Ah, happy hour. That age-old period of time where the work crowd filters in after a long day to save a buck, have a drink, and unwind. It means something different to every restaurant. Many start mid-day, but other don’t even start until after the sun has set. Typically though, happy hour conveniently takes place during off-peak hours. Because when it comes down to it, it’s there to increase your bottom line.

Want to give your happy hour sales a nice boost? You’re in luck. Here’s a list of 8 ways to increase your happy hour sales.

  1. Focus on increasing awareness of your happy hour. There are dozens of ways to do this (online advertising, social media, and in-store marketing material for example). You can be as creative as you like, but just make sure that your promotion method makes sense for the audience that you’re targeting! If you’ve got a late night happy hour that typically attracts a younger crowd, then running ads in the paper probably won’t do you too many favors.
  2. On the subject of promotion, post about your happy hour specials on social media. It’s especially effective right before happy hour is about to start. It’s a good way to remind people just getting off work to head over to your restaurant on impulse.
  3. Furthermore, don’t just advertise online. In-store advertising is important because it works to incentivize non-happy hour customers to return for something special. Repeat business is good business.
  4. Get creative with your happy hour! Maybe a certain deal is only available on Thursday, or perhaps coming during happy hour gives a special 5% discount off your total bill at the end of the night? The options are limitless.
  5. Pick happy hour options based on the next part of the day. If the majority of your evening sales come from drink sales, then you probably will be better off serving up food deals during happy hour. The opposite also holds true. According to the National Restaurant Association, 24 percent of happy hour customers appreciate the opportunity to stay for dinner!  
  6. Give customers a taste of your best stuff. No, I’m not saying you have to offer your finest steak on your happy hour menu. All it takes a small portion of what you’re known for. Whether it’s your delicious fried shrimp or your signature flatbread, the goal is to make them think: “Wow, I want more of that!”
  7. Live entertainment. Nothing says happy hour quite like a live band. If the goal of your happy hour is to sell drinks, then putting on a show is a move you can’t go wrong with.  

8. The CoGoBox Way

Need a solution to automatically promote your happy hour? We’ve got you covered with CoGoBox. Not just a tool, but a fully-featured marketing service – our affordable solution promotes your happy hour deals digitally.

All of our solutions are designed to promote your restaurant across multiple fronts – both in-store and out. Via WiFi, CoGoBox displays an interactive landing page on your customers’ mobile devices, allowing you to display happy hour deals and more! With our SMS service, you can send automated text messages letting your customers know happy hour is about to start. We even produce full customer profiles and integrate them with your favorite marketing list, allowing you to send emails to all of your loyal customers!

What do you do to boost happy hour sales? Have any cool specials to share? Sound off in the comments!