If you’re a member of this challenging industry of ours, happy hour isn’t a new concept for you. You look at your books, identify the time(s) of day and perhaps day(s) of the week you could use a boost in the numbers, and pick some beverage and food items to discount. In an ideal world, guests will beat down your doors in droves, knocking them off the hinges and filling your coffers.
Happy hour may be old hat but it’s always a good idea to take a look at what the competition, the successful, the upstarts and the visionary are doing. Your next brilliant idea, after all, could be just a Google search away. Here are 7 happy hour promotions we hope will inspire you.
Dual Happy Hours
Are your numbers slipping during dinnertime and late-night hours? Have you identified multiple timeframes during which you’re experiencing a lull in business? Offer your guests 2 happy hours.
FIZZ Las Vegas, a champagne lounge located inside Caesars Palace, offers 1 happy hour promotion twice a day. They call it Bottomless Bubbles, aptly named considering they specialize in serving the bubbly. From 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, and again from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM, guests can plunk down $36 and have as many glasses of J. Rogét as they want (responsibly).
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar approaches dual happy hours differently. The nationwide chain offers 5 cocktails, 5 wines and 5 appetizers priced at $6 each from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. During this time they also feature 2 for $6 pricing on 1 seasonal beer, and their Prime Burger for $7. The happy hour food and beverage items and prices change a bit between the hours of 8:00 PM and 10:00 PM, with 8 wines and cocktails and 8 “Bar la Carte” food items priced at $9 each. Guests can also order a themed wine flight featuring 3 pours for $9.
Prix Fixe Happy Hours
Owned by hospitality group Element Collective, Chicago’s Nellcôte is opulent and approachable with a menu created by Chef Jared Van Camp. The restaurant and bar calls their happy hour promotion the Savant Special, and it’s both simple and genius. Monday through Friday, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, and Saturday and Sunday, from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM, $10 gets you one of their award-winning pizzas and a beer.
Situated in New York City’s famed Hell’s Kitchen and located inside food hall Gotham West Market, El Colmado is a Spanish tapas and wine bar created by Chef Seamus Mullen. From the hours of 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Monday through Friday, El Colmado has Oyster Happy Hour, a price fix promotion consisting of a half-dozen featured oysters and 1 glass of their house cava for just $11.
Specialty Happy Hours
Maybe you’re lucky enough to have just one day of operations that needs a boost. Perhaps you want to create guest loyalty by rewarding them with a happy hour promotion. It could be you’re looking to pull guests away from your competitors on busy days. And there’s the possibility that you just have some cool stuff on your menu and you want to offer your guests the chance to try them during traditional happy hours. Whatever the reason, here are 3 interesting promotions that just happen to all come from venues located in the City of Brotherly Love.
a.bar, which can be found in the fashionable Philadelphia neighborhood of Rittenhouse Square, features the cuisine of Chef Eli Kulp and a compelling wine and spirits program. What makes their happy hour interesting, beyond the creative snacks and signature cocktails, is that it’s offered only on Monday from 10:00 PM to midnight. For those 2 hours, guests can choose from $8 cocktails and punch, $8 wines, $10 specialty wine, an $8 bottled beer selection, a $4 draft beer selection, and 5 snacks (including Bar Nuts which consists of fried peanuts, chickpeas and wasabi peas and Smoked Trout Rillette) for $4 each. If you’re a popular, hopping venue, this type of happy hour is an excellent way to reward loyal guests.
Gastropub Alla Spina, Italian for “from the tap,” puts their namesake on their happy hour, offering wine on tap for $6 and Negronis on tap for $7. This happy hour promotion is available Monday through Friday, from 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM and takes advantage of an increasingly popular cocktail trend. The Philly gastropub also has $3 Fernet Branca shots, wings and oysters for $1 each, and half-price pretzels, beef fat French fries, mortadella hot dogs and black bean nachos.
Finally, let’s take a look at Bardot Café and brunch. Located in the former manufacturing district turned up-and-coming neighborhood Northern Liberties, Philadelphia’s Bardot Café not only hosts happy hour all weekend, it features a brunch happy hour on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. During this time, crafty brunch cocktails like the Hail Mary (a Bloody Mary with habanero vodka, horseradish, Tabasco and black pepper), Kir (house chardonnay on tap and cassis), Day for Night (Hendrick’s gin, cucumber syrup and prosecco) and several others for just 5 bucks. If that doesn’t guarantee a steady stream of loyal brunchers, I don’t know what will.
Need to put more cheeks in seats? Get the tools and tactics to develop brand specific marketing and promotions in the Promotions & Marketing Track conference session at the 2016 Nightclub & Bar Show. Register today!