Happy hour can be a big draw for both your regular guests and new ones. But with the steep discounts you have to offer to get people in the door, is there really any money to be made? Of course there is! The key is to make the most of the people who come in during happy hour, and give them a reason to come back another time.

Happy Hour Training

Improving the profitability of your happy hour starts with staff training. Focus on these areas to help your entire staff generate more sales (and tips!) during happy hour.

Product knowledge training: Test the knowledge of your staff members on your bar offerings and food pairings. Everyone should be prepared to describe the ingredients of every drink and special on the happy hour menu, as well as the 4 Ps of product knowledge: Portion, Presentation, Preparation, and Price.

Appetizer sales training: Train your staff to use descriptive words to describe appetizers. This gives guests a visual image that triggers their taste buds and makes the suggestion hard to resist. Not only are they more likely to take servers up on a well-described offer, they’ll feel good about the level of service they’re given. Bartenders and servers should know what extras and add-ons they can suggest with your appetizer specials to improve the guest experience and increase check averages.

The 7 steps of service excellence: If you’re promoting your happy hour well, your place should be packed. The busier you get, the more tempted you and your staff might be to skimp on important service steps. If you do this, though, you’ll jeopardize your reputation and your chances of creating loyal guests.  Train your staff – and remind yourself – to follow the 7 steps of service excellence with every guest, no matter how busy you get. Those steps are:

  • Step 1: Look at Me
  • Step 2: Smile at Me
  • Step 3: Talk to Me
  • Step 4: Listen to Me
  • Step 5: Thank Me
  • Step 6: Remember Me
  • Step 7: Invite Me Back

Check out our online training workshops that cover sales and service strategies to increase restaurant profits, including modules on How to Sell More Appetizers and The 7 Steps of Service Excellence.