Could Happy Hour Hurt Your Bar?
Are there holes in your happy hour that are costing your bar
money? Read over three common happy hour mistakes below and
how to avoid them.
Mistake #1 - Across the Board Price Cuts
When you reduce all prices for happy hour, you don't take
into account the costs of each item and you kill your profit
margins. For example, a bar that lowers all drink prices by
50% for happy hour is also doubling the cost of sales.
To run a profitable happy hour, only cut prices of items that
have a low cost like draft beer or well drinks, or a product
that you have a surplus of. That way you can bring in more
customers without hurting your bottom line.
Mistake #2 - Running the Typical Happy Hour
Most happy hours offer drink and food specials from 4:00 to
7:00 on weekdays. But don't think that the happy hour at
your bar must conform to a typical happy hour - it doesn't.
In fact, the more unique your happy hour is, the more customers
it will attract.
Think outside the box with your happy hour. Make special
drink recipes only available during happy hour and offer
different food options other than the typical fried foods and
chicken wings. Think of different ways to serve drinks during
happy hour like in lanyard glasses or fishbowls.
And if you need business during other times of the day, run
more than one happy hour (an early one from 3:00 to 6:00 and a
late night one from 9:00 to 12:00.) A happy hour can be
whatever you want it to be in order to bring in more business
during slower times. *Check with your state laws about when
and how happy hour can be done.
Mistake #3 - Not Promoting Specials
In order for happy hour to make financial sense for you bar,
it must draw a large volume of customers. If you're offering
a terrific happy hour and nobody is coming in, you're probably
not making enough effort to advertise your happy hour specials.
Promote happy hour during your regular business hours by
putting happy hour specials in a section of your regular menu
or place table tents with happy hour menus on tables.
To further promote your specials, consider doing a direct mail
campaign, printing up flyers or doing a tie-in with a local
Want bar promotions that work? See bar