Happy hours promotions reach far and wide. About every restaurant and bar has one. If your a business owner considering a new happy hour special, or even a current franchisee about to partake in the old corporate standard, I would like to offer a few bits of advice. Just because everyone's doing something a certain way, doesnt mean you should follow suit. There are simple ways to improve the safety of your promotion while still increasing business.
Lets consider the typical happy hour promotion. I'll presume the main objective is to make more money and that getting people too drunk is not. Logical yes? Sometimes it helps to make things clear. Most bars adhere to the rule that happy hour is during the less busy hours. Promote business when it's slow and raise prices when it's slammin. This makes complete sense from a financial standpoint and even makes sense for the consumer. The making money logic of any happy hour is pretty simple, but there is a common pitfall that some bar owners and even large corporate franchises make.
Offering a 2 for 1 special is a mistake. Instead, opt for a half price or reduced cost special. Putting extra alcohol in front of the guest increases their chance for drinking beyond their means. So if Bob wants to drink 3 drinks, do you think he will hand the free 4th drink back to the bartender? Yeah right. This goes for encouraging larger orders in any manner.
Another tip is to constantly train your bartenders. Many bartendersand waiters, especially high volume ones, get in a groove of serving and moving on to the next customer without recognition of their actions. Stopping to assess the situation escapes their attention. I have been there myself. Were all human and mistakes happen. However, with frequent training your bartenders will become more effective at their skill. Repitition in training is essential for safe service.
So train often and never offer 2 for 1 happy hour promotions and you'll run a safer establishment while making more dough!