Happy Hour strategies for your restaurant

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What gets us most excited? Discount on our favourite brand? Cashback offers? Gift vouchers? Coupon codes? well, to a certain extent yes. But nothing beats the excitement of entering a restaurant and knowing that they have an offer on food and drinks! How thrilling is that? Specially for a foodie like me, it certainly is! Nowadays, many restaurants are coming up with the concept of Happy Hours to boost up their sales and uplift their business during the slow hours of the day. Thus, it is important for restaurants to device a smart and attractive Happy Hour strategies. But before jumping onto various strategies, let us first understand what are Happy Hours and how does it benefit the restaurant.

Happy Hour as the name suggest, means hour of happiness in hospitality business. This is mainly because of the amazing offers one can get during those hours on either food or drink or complete menu as decided by individual restaurant. Usually restaurants or bars sees a high pitfall during the evening and night time. However the rest hours of the day, restaurants run pretty empty. Thus, to cater to this and to ensure they don’t run under losses, restaurants come up with Happy Hours to attract people even on the odd hours of the day. And why wouldn’t they be attracted when they get the same drink and meal at a discounted rate!

Restaurants can now look up to the following strategies of Happy Hour to boost their business.

#Set the Pricing right

Happy Hour is all about setting the price right. You must remember, if you are lowering down the price of your drink, then you must increase the price of your fastest selling food item inorder to maintain a balance between the pricing. Else in the effort of attracting customers, you might start incurring losses on your reduced markup.

#Craft a special menu

How interesting it will be to craft a menu specially for your Happy Hours! You can create a combo offer including of food items that are fast selling and has high profit margin along with the drinks. Usually finger food goes best with Beer and cocktails during Happy Hours. You could also have a separate meal preparation that is not available during the peak hours, just to attract customers. Or you could have a miniature version of the main course meals so that it becomes easier for customers to grab them along with their drinks. Serving mini size of a meal is a best option for customers who are not looking for a full course meal.

#Happy Hours with a Theme

Having a theme at your Happy Hour will help to create a community at your restaurant. A theme could be anything – sports screening, karaoke, live music, stand up comedy, talk shows etc. For this, you can even conduct a survey as to what your regular customers would be interested in. This will not only help you to entice customers but will also give you visibility and recognition of having unique programs at your happy hours. And with so much of competition, you would certainly want to have something unique planned for your happy hours.

How to increase restaurant sales without advertising?

#Special Pricing at special Events

You can host different event depending on the theme of your restaurant. For example if your restaurant specialises in Italian cuisine, you could probably conduct an ‘Italian Cooking class’ and can serve the meal for free or minimal cost. This will surely attract lots of interested customers and can give a big name to your restaurant by their word of mouth or social media.

You could also tie up with other related brands to have their promotions at your space. For example, someone who is specialising into Dips and Chips can come at your space and together you can offer discount to your customers on Dips, chips and beer! A win-win for all.

#Victory Happy Hours

One of a way to have your Happy Hours is to conduct gamification. You can conduct games or quizzes or impromptu engagement shows and declare free drinks or food to the winner. This will highly engage the crowd uplifting the entire vibe of your restaurant and leaving your customers with a want to come back again. After all, happy customers are the long time customers.

#Hold on to your regulars

Conducting different sorts of events and designing a unique experience for Happy Hours is fine, but important thing to keep in mind is the target audience. You should be well aware of the kind of customers fill up your space at Happy Hours, and craft the event according to their preference. It is essential to hold on to your regular customers by giving them what they want. Because, most sales come from the regulars than the newbies. So focus your strategies around the regular customers.

#Promote through Social Media

Social Media Marketing is the king of marketing strategies in today’s era. And not to forget, the use of Hashtag can boom anything up. So what you can do is, you can create a special hashtag for your Happy hours and promote it all over the media. For example, #WineWednesdays or #MiniMealMonday etc. Create any hashtag that your customers can use to post it on social media about your offers on Happy Hours.

You can also arrange for some give away to your followers on Social media like Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Online quizzes, interactive blog post games can also be one of the way to promote your Happy Hours.

We hope we have provided you with enough Happy Hour strategies for your restaurant that will benefit you to achieve your goals and profits. Cheers!

Image by Stefan Schweihofer from Pixabay

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