Perfecting Summer Happy Hour at Your Restaurant


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Hosting a happy hour can be great publicity for your business, helping you bring in large groups of friends or coworkers who may have never frequented your restaurant before during untapped hours of the day. But in order to have a successful happy hour, marketing, budgeting, and targeting the right demographic all have to be executed correctly. Here are our tips to conduct a successful summer happy hour at your establishment!

Create a Limited Edition Summer Cocktail

Potential guests aren’t just looking for tasty drinks anymore; they’re looking for a unique presentation as well. Revamping your cocktail menu is a great way to get customers through the door. Take advantage of the light and fresh cocktail trend this summer with an exclusive drink menu inspired by the summertime. By creating a limited time menu, it creates urgency in guests to frequent your restaurant, because they know it will not be around forever. Try using hydrating and sweet summertime flavors, like watermelon, lemonade, and mango in your drinks.

Add Food to Your Happy Hour Discount

As a business owner, happy hours aren’t about the drinks, or even about ringing in the cash. Instead, happy hour is a traffic-driver in hopes to get customers excited about coming back at a later date for your full-priced menu. Rather than limiting your customer base to people who are solely looking to grab a drink, expand your target market and add small plates. This also gives an option for the designated driver to see an incentive on joining his or her friends at happy hour. Not only will it expand the number of people coming in, but it could also increase their bill.

Be Sure to Market Your Happy Hour on Social Media

Social media is a critical tool to help drive in customers to your happy hour special. Let’s be honest, how many times have you spent the end of the workday refreshing your social media feeds just waiting for work to be over with? You’re not alone. By posting about your happy hour on social media during the afternoon, you will be hitting potential customers just when they begin to crave a brake. Whether you offer outdoor seating, and it’s a sunny day outside, or if you have some of the coolest décor in town, make sure your post captures your one of a kind ambiance!

Pick the Right Hours

Happy hour needs to be long enough to boost business, but not too long so the business does not lose money. Typically, happy hours last about two to three hours. Choosing the best hours of the day depends on your surrounding community. If most businesses in your area release their workers at 5pm, make sure your happy hour accommodates them. It’s also important to keep in mind that many offices have a shortened business day on Fridays in the summer, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Host Events During Happy Hours

What better way to drive people to your restaurant than by hosting different events throughout the summer? Take advantage of all the events happening this summer, like the Olympics and the US Open, by offering drink specials during popular games. In addition, having musicians come in to perform live music not only adds to your restaurant’s ambiance, but also provides free advertising from the musician or band. They can help you reach a potential crowd of new customers you may have never been able to reach on your own.

Special Offers to Have Customers Come Back

Give your guests a reason to come back! A great way to fill your seats during the week is to offer customers who visited during happy hour a discount on their next lunch or dinner. As long as guests have a delicious meal or cocktail and exceptional customer service, there’s no reason that they wouldn’t come back with a coupon. Be sure to train your staff on the proper way of turning a happy hour visit to a profitable experience. When a guest asks for a recommendation, have your staff mention the special happy hour menu, while also talking up the full-priced items.

The most essential item for a successful happy hour is to make sure your restaurant is covered with liquor liability insurance. For more information on how to protect your business with insurance, contact RPA today.