Incorporating happy hour promotion effectively can significantly benefit your restaurant, from increased revenue to building a loyal customer base. With restaurants and bars earning an estimated 60% of their weekly sales from happy hours it is without a doubt a strategy worth investing in. In this blog we’ll review what happy hour promotion is and then dive into some promotional happy hour ideas that you can use in your restaurant.
Happy hour promotion is a marketing strategy used by restaurants to attract customers during specific hours of the day when they offer discounted prices on food and drinks. It is a valuable tool for increasing revenue and creating a buzz around your establishment.
Happy hour typically occurs during the late afternoon or early evening, usually between 3:00pm and 7:00pm, though the exact timing can vary depending on your restaurant's preferences. The primary goal of happy hour promotion is to boost foot traffic during slower hours and increase overall revenue. It creates a sense of urgency and excitement among customers, encouraging them to visit your restaurant during these designated hours. Moreover, it cultivates a loyal customer base by offering them value for their money.
Many of your customers see happy hour as a chance to try something new so make sure you include items on your happy hour menu that aren’t on your regular menu. Crafting an exclusive list of food and drink that is only available during happy hour will create intrigue and excitement. Not only will you please your customers by creating a special menu but it will also allow you to test items you are considering putting on your everyday menu. It’s best to collaborate with your chef to come up with these exclusive items but if you’re stuck for ideas here are some food ideas that you could include in your happy hour menu.
Don’t forget to ensure you include some vegan and vegetarian options so that you can cater to a variety of customers.
With 39% of people attending happy hour to catch up with friends there is a big focus on socializing at happy hour. It’s important to cater your happy hour selections to groups of customers. Focus on plates where people can graze amongst themselves, finger food also works well for sharing.
You don’t want customers to only come once to your restaurant, you want to create loyal customers that keep coming back for more. One way to accomplish this is to keep updating or rotating your happy hour menu items to keep your menu exciting.
If you’re getting stuck on how you can change up your happy hour menu, try a themed menu! These themes can range from seasonal themes like “Summer Beach Menu” to calendar events such as a “Valentines Day Menu” or even musical eras like “80s Evening.” On these themed nights you can cater your food to the theme, suggest costumes for you customers, put up decorations or all of the above! Test different ideas and see which ones resonate with your customers. If a certain theme is a big hit, consider making it a weekly or monthly occurrence.
Just as it’s suggested you create an exclusive menu for your food items, special drink items are a happy hour hit. Try incorporating some unique cocktails as well as mocktails for a non-alcoholic option. You could give your house cocktails fun names or even theme the drink names to the happy hour theme of the night.
With the goal of creating loyal customers in mind, consider how you can reward your regulars and keep encouraging them to come back for more. For example, you can provide them coupons or stamp cards. If you don’t want to offer discounts but you have some customer information you can send happy hour reminders encouraging them to come in and try your new specials!
To widen your reach, include your happy hour specials for your delivery and take out online ordering as well. Not everyone wants to visit your restaurant in person so by including them in your happy hour you're reaching more customers and if you impress them, maybe you’ll see them in person for the next happy hour! If setting up different happy hour menus on each third party delivery app seems daunting, check out Cuboh’s menu management where you can push menus to all apps with the click of a button.
By offering an experience for happy hour you can welcome a new crowd of customers who are not only interested in trying your food and drinks specials but also are drawn in by entertainment. If you’re looking for event ideas try a paint night, karaoke or live music with local musicians. During these events, don’t forget to encourage customers to share their experiences on social media to further your reach.
Happy hour promotion is a dynamic strategy that can breathe new life into your restaurant's revenue stream. It's not just about offering discounts; it's about creating a memorable experience that keeps customers coming back for more.