How To Make Happy Hour Promotions Work

Posted on: 26 March 2019


Happy hour is a mainstay at many bars, clubs, and restaurants throughout the United States. The implication is often that a business offers drinks at a steep markdown in order to drum up business, and that may leave you wondering whether that's really a good proposition for your place. Here's what you need to know about setting up happy hour events at your bar, club, or restaurant.

Match the Special to Your Brand

There's nothing wrong with have 25-cent wells if you run a dive bar aimed at young people. If you're operating a high-end restaurant, though, it might attract a different crowd than you're really shooting for. Bear in mind that happy hour specials don't have to be loss leaders. There are plenty of other ways to approach the idea, including having special drinks and foods that are only available at that time.

It Doesn't Have to Be About Money at All

The point of a happy hour is to get business cooking, to get a crowd into your business that then makes it easy for other folks looking for a good time to decide that your place is where it's happening. That doesn't require cheap booze or jalapeno poppers.

You might decide to hold an event for happy hour. Quiz nights are always popular, and they often bring in a crowd that can be less rowdy. Speed dating is another option, especially if you'd like to get a younger crowd into your bar. Provide prizes and swag, and include items that people will wear. This will ensure that if they go to another bar people will ask them where they got the stuff. Also, make the most of your social media presence by posting pics of the happy winners online.

Aim Your Specials at Groups

Offering something like a champagne bottle or a set number of drinks for a group is a great way to get people to bring their friends out. In your advertising, go out of your way to emphasize something like "Bring your friends!"

Timing Matters

Happy hour should be a kickoff for your evening. For example, a Saturday night happy hour at a night club might start at 10 pm to attract dancers. Conversely, a sports bar and grill might have its happy hour at 7 pm in order to bring in a crowd when the city's basketball or hockey team plays that night.

Contact a company like Vito's in the Valley today to learn more.