For most bars and restaurants, happy hour is a chance to bring more new people into the place. With discounts and deals, you may not make as much profit during happy hour, but that's an okay trade-off for the recognition and new customers it earns you. But what if your happy hour is really earning less than you need it to? Maybe you're barely making a profit, or perhaps you're even in the hole. Here are some ways to reverse that issue and make more of a profit during happy hour.
Only discount a few drinks.
Discounted drinks are a part of happy hour. But you don't have to mark down the whole bar. Choose two or three drinks to mark down, and that's it. Maybe you offer $4 glasses of wine, $4 beers, and $4 vodka drinks. Sell everything else at full price. This way, some people will order off the full-price menu if they don't prefer any of the discounted drinks, and that will bring back some of your profits.
Make simple, few-ingredient dishes.
When designing your menu for happy hour, try to include simple foods that call for a few ingredients. This way, the prep cost for those dishes goes down, which means you make a little more profit on each one. Good examples of foods to discount during happy hour include French fries, flatbreads, and soft pretzels.
Include dishes that use up leftover ingredients.
Say you have 5 pounds of ground beef that have to be used within 2 days. Using that up as a part of your happy hour menu will save you money because it will keep you from having to throw away the meat. Or perhaps you have some cheese that's about to reach its use-by date. Making cheese pizzas for happy hour is the obvious solution! If you change your happy hour menu by the day, you can embrace it as a way to use up your extras, which goes a long way towards boosting your profits.
Don't overstaff the place.
The more staff you have come in during happy hour, the lower your profits. You don't want to be understaffed, but you don't want staff to be standing around, either. Observe your staff during a happy hour, and make cuts if needed.
Happy hour isn't going to be the most profitable time for your restaurant, but with the tips above, it can still earn you some money.
For more information, check out a restaurant like Down the Hatch Maui.