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Sarah Ward

Happy Hour Deals: 10 Fresh, Fun Favorites for Every Bar

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Any bar or restaurant-or speakeasy-can make a great happy hour menu with some happy hour deals. It doesn’t matter what your specialty food or drink is, or what size venue you have. You can make the best happy hour deals out of what you do best-you can lean on bar books for ideas. This may be the most popular cocktails in town, or a unique slider option. Maybe you’re a dessert and wine shop that works well for anyone with a sweet tooth. If you’re not sure what your best happy hour deal will be, read on. You can even start by learning how to make a cocktail with rum-all types of rum. Planning these deals into your bar operations manual will be an integral part of a successful business.

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What Makes Happy Hour So Happy

A happy hour deal is all about a sweet price on great offers in a short time span. Happy hour is such a great deal because it gives customers an option besides a full dinner. While your happy hour can be more than an hour, keeping it short, sweet, and delicious is a must. The best happy hour deals are ones that offer a reduced price on something people already love. That logic applies to happy hour deals no matter what you’re selling. 

Number 10: All About Advertising

The best happy hour deals are the ones everyone knows about. This option works no matter what you’re selling or what the deal is. Using bar promotion ideas for your happy hour specials is guaranteed to help people find you when they search for “best happy hour near me.” Advertising is one of the most important things you can do to have your happy hour specials bring in the crowds. It won’t be the flashiest part of your happy hour deals, but it’ll never stop being important. 

Number 9: Mini is More Fun

If you’re wondering what you can serve for your happy hour deals, this is the option for you. If you have the best restaurant appetizers based on your regular menu you’ll bring in customers to sample the minis and get hooked. Happy hour food is best for eating in a short amount of time. Small bites will bring your customers back for the next happy hour. 

Number 8: For The Arts

A great happy hour deal can be teaming up with local artists. This option serves itself well to a paint night with an artist. You can offer discounted wine, beer, and spirits, along with a canvas with purchase. Your customers can sip their drinks while they paint alongside the artist. They’ll remember your bar as the place that gave them a great night. 

Number 7: All Aboard The Beer Flights

A classic, but always a good option for a happy hour deal is a sale on beer flights. Whether you’re a brewery or a classic bar, serving a flight of beers for happy hour specials will bring in a variety of customers. If you’re looking to connect with bars in your area, reach out and get together for a beer flight experience. 

Number 6: A Happy Hour Deal or No Deal

For a happy hour bar game, give your customers the chance to win a great deal. Set up a coin toss or spin the wheel to keep your customers playing. To make it fun all the way through, don’t set a limit on how many times people can play. Make sure everyone has a chance at a good deal, with a few really amazing deals in the mix. 

Number 5: Mocktail Hour

No matter what you usually serve, a great option for happy hour specials is a variety of mocktails all priced at a discount. You can do options of your usual cocktails, or you can do a full line of mocktails just for happy hour. You’ll reach a wider audience, as there are plenty of people who want to enjoy happy hour deals without alcohol

Number 4: Happy Hour-Only Meals 

A way to boost your happy hour deals is creating a unique happy hour menu. If you have specialties that you’re proud of, you can do variations of them. However, happy hour food that is truly unique will make customers want those great deals. The best happy hour food is food that works as an app or light dinner. Steering your happy hour menu in that direction is a good place to start. 

Number 3: Happy Fits Any Theme

Whatever the style of your bar or restaurant is, there’s always room for fun with happy hour themes. Some great theme options to lean into for your happy hour deals are:

  • Mardi Gras
  • Pirates
  • Halloween
  • Movie nights
  • Hollywood
  • Carnivals
  • Tropical Vacation

With any of these themes, you can fit your menu to them and deck out your bar or restaurant to bring the theme home. You can do a different theme month by month, or just have one themed week every month. Whatever you choose, great themes are sure to bring in a variety of customers looking to see the next theme. 

Number 2: An Evening With… 

To step up the game on your happy hour deals, bring in entertainment. The best happy hour deals come with fun for everyone. Hiring a comic, singer, or dance group for your happiest hour will bring in the crowds. Similar to rotating themes, you can bring guests in once every month or whenever it suits your schedule. Paired with happy hour deals, entertainment for your customers will be sure to make them happy. 

Number 1: Nothing Beats a Great Deal

If your menu is great, and you want to keep it simple, the best thing you can do is give the best deals. The best happy hour deals often are the best deals in general. Your happy hour specials can be anything you'd like to highlight from your menu, or something completely unique. The factor that will really draw in the crowds is a great discount on your happy hour offers. The best happy hour deals you can offer will depend on your location, your normal prices, and your profit margins. All that said, whatever you can afford to offer, you should. The greater your happy hour deals, the more customers will want to come back and pay full price for dinner.

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The Best Happy Hour Deals:

A happy hour deal can be anything that works for your bar or restaurant. Any of these top 10 ideas are great places to start. As you plan out your happy hour specials, you're sure to find which options work best for you. What really matters is that you've got the best deal to bring in customers and keep them coming back for your great menu. You may also consider running one of the Valentine's Day promotion ideas for restaurants.

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