Posted on: 5 October 2018
As its name indicates, a happy hour in the restaurant business often lasts 60 minutes. As the restaurant owner, this period of time gives you a chance to hopefully entice more patrons through offers of discounted drinks and food. Not all establishments that have happy hours stick to just 60 minutes, though. Many extend their happy hour to two or even three hours, which can often be a smart business decision. If you currently run an hour-long happy hour and are contemplating extending it, you should assess a handful of things before you make this move. Here are some suggestions.
You definitely need to think about your staffing situation before you decide to extend your happy hour promotion. A happy hour draws more people to your establishment, and this can require you to have more staff members on duty. In the restaurant business, it's common for you to use a lot of staff over the lunch hour, and then reduce your staff for the middle of the afternoon before bringing more people on toward the dinner hour. If you're moving the happy hour promotion back, such as moving it from 3 to 5 p.m. instead of from 4 to 5 p.m., you may need to hire more staff so that you're not short during the first hour. There's obviously a cost to doing so, which is something that you need to consider.
You should also think about whether there is demand for an expanded happy hour. Demand can come in two forms. You could get patrons frequently requesting an expansion. For example, lots of people may tell you something to the effect of, "We love getting here for happy hour every week, but we wish it were two hours instead of one." It's also possible that you could tell the degree of demand just by seeing how popular happy hour usually is. If there's a waiting list to get into your establishment at the start of happy hour, it's reasonable to expect that extending it would be a smart business move.
While extending your happy hour can work on its own, it's usually ideal if you can do so with a new series of promotions that will launch the extension with a bang. Think about some new ideas you can implement to create some buzz in your community. For example, if you're adding an hour at the start of your happy hour, you might want to make the deals even more enticing during the first hour. This can definitely generate interest and make your decision to extend the promotion worthwhile.
For more information, talk to a company like Vito's in the Valley.Share