It is obvious that your restaurant stands to gain significantly from this campaign. However, executing the ideal happy hour is a little trickier than it first appears.

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Even while cheap drinks are usually popular, a few dollars off a cocktail isn’t always enough to attract people. According to research by the National Restaurant Association, happy hour is much more to patrons than just a chance to score half-price margaritas.

Indeed, an astounding 43% of respondents think it’s a fantastic opportunity to unwind, and 23% use it to interact with coworkers outside of the office. According to sociologist Ray Oldenburg’s 1989 book The Great Good Place, individuals want a “third place” to unwind away from the demands of their jobs and homes.

1. Be Aware of Your Customers

It’s crucial to consider the type of customers you already serve before you start cutting cocktail rates or serving dollar beers. POS reporting and analytics can help you determine which products are best-selling at different times of the day. Then, you may design a happy hour special that revolves around well-liked, profitable choices.

For example, your Sales by Menu Item report may show that most of your customers are businesspeople who like wine more than beer or cocktails. Using this data, you can then customize your offers to this group of people by providing wine discounts later in the day.

2. Experiment with Your Happy Hour(s)

These promotions typically occur in that delightful lull that occurs between the conclusion of the workday and the start of the supper rush. Although the happy hour after work is a classic, with a little preparation, you can make almost any hour into a happy hour.

For example, several clubs and restaurants have found success in drawing in younger patrons with late-night happy hours. According to the National Restaurant Association, just 25% of customers over 35 attend late-night restaurants many times a month, compared to more than half of younger consumers.

Furthermore, 41% of people between the ages of 21 and 34 claim that deals like this are a major factor in their decision to eat at a late-night restaurant. Stated differently, offering discounted drinks around 10 p.m. may attract a younger clientele (as well as their friends).

Naturally, before doing this kind of campaign, make sure you are aware of the rules in your area and state. You don’t want to lose your liquor license!

3. Provide Tempting Meal Deals

Although alcohol deals are typically linked with happy hour, 41% of attendees are really pulled in by the cuisine. In order to guarantee that you draw a crowd, you must do more than just offer a carefully chosen drink menu.

Among the several methods to incorporate food are:

Ingenious Food and Drink Pairings: For a discounted fee, pair various cocktails with free food.

Small Plates: Serve smaller portions of your most well-liked lunch and evening items to introduce new customers to your menu.

shared Snacks: Expand your menu to include shared items to accommodate larger gatherings.

Try a Theme: Make it an occasion by serving food and beverages that are themed, such as Taco Tuesday or Monday Night Football.

Remember to pay attention to check sizes when you experiment with different happy hour menus. You may learn more about the popularity of each item, how much is being ordered, and how it affects your bottom line by keeping an eye on this crucial parameter.

4. Offer Non-Alcoholic Choices

You can be losing out on a significant portion of the market if your campaign simply highlights alcoholic beverages.

Unbelievably, 40% of customers globally are interested in cutting back on alcohol use for health-related reasons. In addition, a 32% growth in the market for drinks with little to no alcohol is predicted between 2018 and 2022. Health-conscious customers who wish to reduce their alcohol use without sacrificing their social lives are a major driving force behind this expanding trend.

You may mix in some inventive mocktails with your other drink specials to appeal to those who don’t drink and those who are “sober curious.” You may also design a completely zero-proof happy hour menu, which is a fantastic choice for eateries that are located in states where these kinds of alcohol deals are prohibited.

5. Get Staff Ready

Your employees play a critical role in the execution of a successful happy hour. They should not only be well familiar with the offers, but also know exactly what your happy hour is all about.

Are you attempting to increase sales among your regular customers or attract new customers on a dull night? How about inviting the people who work after work to stay for dinner? Or are you hoping to draw in a whole other kind of customer?

Since every restaurant is unique, it’s critical that your employees understand your objectives in order to support you in achieving them.

The greatest people to tell about your happy hour deals are your front-of-house staff. Urge your bartenders and servers to inform patrons about impending specials. As 70% of consumers state that a discount would encourage them to eat out rather than at home, make sure your visitors are aware of any offers that would entice them to return, according to RetailMeNot.

6. Provide the entertainment

It might be challenging to distinguish your happy hour promotion from the numerous that are offered by eateries. Using entertainment such as trivia or live music might help your restaurant stand out, rather than just providing extremely low costs.

Entertainment may fill tables and increase check sizes, even if it may appear like an extra expenditure. In accordance with studies conducted by the research firm LEGER and the music licensing agency SOCAN, 50% of Canadians believe that “live music makes them likely to eat and drink more and invite their friends to join them.”

If you can’t find live music, you might want to think about other unconventional forms of entertainment. For example, January and the first part of February are sluggish months for restaurants, yet it’s the busiest time of year for patrons to go on dates. You might have a happy hour just for singles during the frigid winter months, offering discounted beverages to guests to help them break the ice.

7. Increase Revenue

A large audience, exciting entertainment, and excellent food deals are all nice, but they mean nothing if your happy hour isn’t profitable. You should be observing how much each client is spending, rather than merely counting the number of people that walk through the door.