Happy hour is by and large one of the most popular times for people to come to your bar. Furthermore, if you do it right, you can expect to see some hefty profits. If you have the right happy hour specials available, your food and drinks will practically sell themselves. However, many bar owners have no idea how to put together a set of specials properly. So, they end up guessing and missing out on a ton of sales. Here are a few basic happy hour specials that you can offer your customers to draw in crowds and make a lot of profit. From offering discounts to creating a bottle service program, these should help to get you on the right track.

2 for 1 Deals

The easiest special to offer during happy hour is 2 for 1 rail drinks and domestic beers. People love getting something for free, even if it means that they have to make a purchase first. If you don’t have proper margins, this tactic will never work; so make sure you have everything figured out ahead of time. Optionally, you can do a 2 for 1 special on select types of beer or cocktails to maximize your return. Lastly, don’t forget those garnishes! By improving the appearance of your libations, you will quickly create more demand. Consider a fun concept like garnishing your cocktails with a sparkler to really make it pop!

Discount Beer Buckets

Image of a Bucket of Beer for a Happy Hour SpecialOffering a discount on your buckets of beer is another great way to drum up more sales painlessly. Typically, you can work out a deal with one of your beer distributors to give you a volume discount on a certain brand of bottled beer since you’ll be featuring it in a promotion. Sell six bottles of beer on ice for a discounted price and you’ll be selling buckets left and right. However, don’t forget to talk to your beer rep first! Most distributors will give you a discount if you push a specific brand each month.

½ Price Appetizer Specials

Food is crucial to the success of your bar, so including a food special is basically required for success. An easy way to do this is to offer ½ appetizers all through your happy hour. Honestly, they aren’t going to be a huge driver of profits on their own. However, your customers will stay longer and drink more because they can get something to eat; and appetizers are typically pretty salty. This creates a great cycle of profitability since eating leads to ordering another drink.

Food and Drink Combo Deals

Lastly, food and drink combos are another staple special for happy hour. If you sell pizzas, you could offer a large one topping pizza and a pitcher of beer for one low price. Or, to capture the “singles” crowd, you could offer a cheeseburger and a pint of beer for a flat rate too. Combining a food and beverage purchase into one price will usually cause a lot of purchases. So, you can even be strategic to sell certain items from your cooler or freezer if they are getting close to expired!

Bottle Service Packages

Bottle service is mainly used as a revenue driver in the nightclub industry. However, you can also use it to increase happy hour sales by drawing in larger groups! Imagine the staff from a nearby office coming in and ordering bottle service for the entire group. Perhaps it was a long day at work, or maybe they enjoy seeing their beverages delivered with bottle sparklers on top. Either way, you can quickly see a huge increase in profitability with the right program. Of course, not everyone will show up for this service daily. However, if you get just one group a day, you could easily see a 30% rise in happy hour revenues.

No matter what type of specials you offer during happy hour, the most important factor to consider is getting the margins correct. If you’re just blindly setting prices and choosing your specials, it’s never going to be profitable or draw in the crowds the way that you’re hoping. Us some common sense, think about what your customers might enjoy, and price things accurately to see a huge spike in happy hour business and your bottom line.