Six Happy Hour Promotion Ideas to Boost Sales

Happy hours can be a great way to increase foot traffic and boost sales for restaurant and bars. Data reveals that bars with happy-hour programs had an average increase in revenue of 26 percent during happy hours. So, you can attract new customers and encourage existing ones to stick around for a bit longer with happy hour promotions. 

Since most happy hours take place during the week, you can use them as an opportunity to draw in people who might not normally come out to your establishment. Not only does it attract customers during slow times, but it also boosts sales and encourages people to come back.

Happy hour promotions can help build brand loyalty and create a sense of community around your business. But, they only work if they're well-executed. So, we have rounded up six happy hour promotion ideas to help you plan your campaigns.

Make a Special Menu, Don't Include Everyday Things 

Do you think people come especially during happy hours to try something they can get outside happy hours? Including every regular thing in the happy hours menu would be a waste as they are all about variety and giving people the chance to try something new.

So keep this fact in mind while creating your happy hour menu. Instead of including your usual dishes, mix things up a bit and develop some innovative new offerings.

To do that, you can collaborate with your chef to come up with some happy hour specials that are both delicious and unique. This will help set your happy hour apart from the competition and create an aura of urgency and exclusivity that will attract guests to your restaurant at that specific time.

Don't forget that the happy hour crowd is a price-sensitive bunch. A study shows that 76 percent of happy hour customers look for fifty percent off on all appetizers, and 56 percent look for deals on specific items. So, it's important to make sure that your happy hour specials are truly appealing from the price point of view as well. 

By offering a discount, you'll encourage customers to order more and stay longer. 

Load Up the Menu With Shareables

Since happy hours are also about socializing, make sure to include plenty of shareable items. Many happy hour customers come in groups of three, four, or more and love to share. 

Small plates, appetizers, and finger foods are great happy hour staples as it's all about grazing and trying new things.

Make sure also to offer a few vegetarian options, some gluten-free, and some dairy-free items. This will ensure everyone in the group can find something they'll enjoy.

Change Up Happy Hour Specials Every Week

Happy hour specials need to be interesting, appealing, and surprising if you want people to keep coming back. It means you can't just offer the same  specials week after week. Instead, switch things up on a regular basis to keep people guessing. 

One way to do this is to offer a different special every day of the week. This will give people a reason to come back, again and again, to see what new and exciting happy hour deal you have in store.

Another way to keep things fresh is to change up your happy hour menu on a regular basis. This will allow people to try new dishes and keep things interesting. 

Keep learning the response of your customers and the sales on a particular day if you are changing happy hour specials every day of the week. This will help you improve the menu to keep the crowd all week along.

Get Creative with Your Cocktails

If you really want to stand out, get creative with your cocktails. Instead of just offering discounts on beer and wine, come up with special happy hour drinks that will wow your guests. 

Think outside the box and come up with some unique flavor combinations. And don't forget to make your drinks Instagram-worthy. By making your cocktails look as good as they taste, you'll be able to lure in even more happy hour customers.

When it comes to happy hour drink specials, the possibilities are endless. But, you want to ensure that your specials truly entice your customers to come in and stay awhile.

Offer an Experience, Not Just Food and Drinks

Well, you are not alone in trying your best to promote your business, so happy hour is the time when you can get a bit more creative. So make your happy hours unique, giving people something to talk about. 

Make your happy hour more than just a place to drink or eat, but an experience that people will want to come back to. People will share this unique experience on social media, further promoting your business and attracting more customers. A study revealed that 45 percent of diners in the US are influenced by social media.

So whether you choose to have a tropical happy hour or a Halloween-themed event, make sure to put your own spin on it. Another great way is to add some entertainment that can be anything from live music to trivia night. 

You can also make your happy hours interactive by adding games like darts, drinking competitions, or a photo booth. It will make your happy hour more fun and engaging and increase the satisfaction level of your customers. 

Don't Forget to Target Your Regulars 

Always remember that most sales come from regular customers rather than new ones. Existing customers spend 31 percent more than the new ones, and loyal customers give a try to your new product 50 percent more than the new leads. 

So make sure to give them special treatment. To encourage loyalty, you can give regulars coupons or a loyalty card that they can use to get discounts. 

You can also send them happy hour reminder via text or email. By showing your regulars that you appreciate their time and loyalty, you'll be able to keep them coming back for more. But it does not mean you ignore new customers.

Treat new customers with respect and try to convert them into your regular guests. If your staff is courteous, the ambiance is good and comfortable, and the food is appealing, these customers will most likely come again.