Hosting a Hotel Happy Hour
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Happy hour at a hotel restaurant or bar can be a weekly or a daily event, but it must be consistent. People must know when to expect happy hour. Over time, you will develop a loyal following if people know you host happy hour, for example, every Friday from 5 to 7, or every Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 6:30.
Do welcome any and all customers to your hotel restaurant’s happy hour; do not limit happy hour to overnight guests. Also, avoid the mistake of not being predictable. If people show up expecting happy hour and are disappointed, they will not try again.
The goal of happy hour is to attract customers to come in earlier than they would usually arrive, to drive increased sales, and to hopefully entice them to stay for dinner. Customers want to come to happy hour because drinks and sometimes even food are offered at discounted prices. While it may seem counter intuitive to offer discounts in order to make money, there are good ways to make this strategy work.
Happy Hour Drinks at Hotel Restaurants
One strategy is to have specific beverages on special. Customers know that the discounted beverages are not top shelf, but they might not mind when given the opportunity to receive a deal. As long as the sale beverage prices include a profit margin, you are still making money and will sell more product.
Another possibility for happy hour is to offer all beverages at a specific amount off; for example, during happy hour all drinks are $1.00 off. This way, top shelf drinkers may participate and you will still have a healthy profit margin.
Consider offering a signature cocktail each happy hour, and change the special drink on a regular basis. Allow your bartender to get creative and develop some delicious beverages that are only available at your hotel restaurant bar.
Happy Hour Appetizers at Hotel Restaurants
Customers will appreciate having appetizers for sale at reduced prices during happy hour. Doing this and making a profit can be achieved in more than one way.
Look at the profit margin on your full priced appetizers. If there is room to offer them at half off during happy hour, you will become known for offering a great deal. You may even be able to raise the regular prices of your appetizers so that offering them at half off still earns you a healthy profit.
Consider offering tapas during happy hour. This way, happy hour patrons may order and enjoy small snacks that are less expensive than full size appetizers. If tapas are only available during happy hour, then they are special and people will come to happy hour to enjoy them. (If you have regular customers who always ask for tapas outside of happy hour, you may consider not limiting their availability.)
Advertising Your Hotel Restaurant's Happy Hour
Information about happy hour should be included among the pamphlets and flyers in each hotel guest’s room. Also, have a decorative and eye-catching sign in the restaurant that informs all patrons about happy hour.
Never forget that members of the local community can be your bread and butter just like your overnight guests. Welcome the community and all of your guests in for happy hour together.
Written by: Beth Taylor