With troubling times during this crisis, Restaurant owners are looking for ways to stay open and keep paying their employees. Following safety protocols and state regulations make it hard to generate the same type of revenue you used to have pre-COVID. Based on proven statistics, I will go over 4 reasons why your restaurant needs a recurring happy hour, how they help boost your bottom line, and tips on how to create an enticing happy hour offer.
1) Happy Hours boost your net profit.
U.S bars and restaurants have 60.5% average weekly sales just from their happy hour—a time frame that accounts for just 15 hours of the total business week. The average check during those hours is up to $8 than the average, to $68.99, with food and drinks.
From this data we can gather that: happy hours boost your bottom line and drive more traffic to your restaurant.
2) Leverage Down Times
You know that feeling when it's a Tuesday around 2:30 p.m. and not a soul is in the back or front of the house in your restaurant.
You're still paying the hostess to check her Instagram while you wait for the dinner rush to crawl in. We know you've been there.
Monday's and Tuesday's around 2-4 p.m. are the least busy times of the day. This is because potential customers are still recovering from the weekend and getting back into their work grind for the week. In other words, they're too tired to come into your restaurant and get that $12 Combo Special you offer for lunch on weekdays.
Here's some actionable advice for you: Create an enticing offer that someone's grandmother would want to try, to bring them in when you want. Here's a great, real example of a place we love in Huntsville.
One of Checkle team's favorite happy hours is Whiskey Wednesday @ Rhythm on Monroe. They serve $0.75 wings and $5 Jack & Coke's all day. Rhythm on Monroe also follows along with different daily happy hours for the other days of the week, like Tequila Thursday's. You can gain a lot from creating diverse happy hours for different days of the week to leverage your downtime, like:
- Hosting a Different Crowd
- Creating a Unique Atmosphere
- Generating more Profit
These work more efficiently than just a daily happy hour (which we still encourage you to have.) The most important aspect is that you can cater to these downtimes that will encourage co-workers, colleagues, and family to go out then to get a deal that they just can't pass up.
Key Takeaway: Leveraging Down Times with great offers is a good way to build a slow time of the day for your venue and to build loyal customers to come back for dinners.
3) Create Recurring Customers
Mike the Mechanic really loves his Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila Shots on Thursday's around 5:00 p.m, Lauren can't wait to meet up with her girlfriends for $4.99 Homemade Sangria's she gets from your restaurant on Wednesday's at 6:00 p.m. You want to build a community to establish these long-lasting customers. When you have customers who love your restaurant, they'll throw money your way if you pivot to different directions (within reason).
The Checkle team likes to shop for good deals when we're going to eat out. We almost always go to a place that is currently running a happy hour when we need that quick Monday lunch as a team. Moe's Monday at Moe's Southwest Grill is a great example of this. We usually don't go there unless they're serving those $5.99 Burrito specials, it's just too good of a deal to pass up. This has made us recurring customers, just for that weekly happy hour. If it weren't for that, they wouldn't have attracted us with such a delicious deal.
Key Takeaway: Encourage customers to come back for your weekly, recurring happy hour.
4) Drive Organic Traffic
One of the least talked about aspects of a happy hour is all of the organic traffic you can bring into your venue through referrals. This is the ideal moment to leave a lasting impression on new customers. When you create a great happy hour with a unique atmosphere, customers will bring their family and friends into the restaurant to try whatever you fix up for them. This creates the opportunity to cultivate relationships with different customers to let them experience how awesome your venue is, which in return keeps them coming back to bring other friends.
To get more referrals, create a happy hour that encourages you to bring along a friend with you. For example Two-For-One select beer or drinks. This encourages a customer to bring a friend to get drinks, which can then increase ticket prices when they buy additional food. Most venues will offer cheap domestic beer for that special to keep their overhead cost low to make more profit.
Key Takeaway: Group happy hours bring in larger crowds, which drive up the total price of each ticket. Offset your overhead by offering cheap, domestic beer or mixed drinks to your customers during the happy hour.