Drive traffic during off-peak hours and build loyalty through signature bites
Happy hour, generally offered somewhere between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., is a long-held strategy for operators looking to get guests through the doors at times or on days that are often quieter than others. When executed well, happy hour also helps with guest engagement, deepening that all-important emotional connection that makes people want to come back for more. There are a million ways to go with happy hour food menus. We’re highlighting three solutions with three things in common: The menu ideas are easy to prepare, familiar to diners and have craveability locked up.
Of course, a key ingredient to a good happy hour is fun. Menu offerings can carry that over with fun, friendly and delicious fried snacks. Kraft Heinz introduces KD Bites, snack-sized macaroni and cheese. No artificial flavours, colours or preservatives—just the power of Kraft Dinner wrapped inside a crisp-fried mac and cheese-filled bite. Nostalgia, playfulness and craveabilty help make happy hour items like this a success.
Perfect for the conviviality of happy hour, it’s hard to beat
the crave factor of a warm, cheesy, savoury dip. The ever-popular
spinach and artichoke dip is the standard bearer with countless possibilities for signature takes.
A number of restaurants demonstrate that nicely. La Piazetta serves a Hot Country-Style Dip
with a blend of French-style cheeses, cream cheese, mayonnaise, spinach, artichoke hearts,
green onion and garlic flower, accompanied by herbed focaccia bread. And Bier Market serves
a bubbling hot Bier, Bacon and Cheese Dip with ale, American, Swiss, Cheddar and cream
cheese studded with crispy bacon and topped with “everything-spiced” pretzels.
A number of happy hour’s biggest hits—sliders, wings, fries, tacos—demand big pops of flavour. Condiments, of course, provide the quickest pathway to success. Renée’s Aiolis deliver a serious punch of flavour, offered in five varieties, including Renée’s Jalapeño Lime Aioli and Renée’s Roasted Garlic Aioli. They introduce signature, delicious flavour—without artificial preservatives, colours or flavours. Restaurants are tapping into the power of aiolis—27% are now menuing it nationwide (Technomic, Q3, 2019). At Crabby Joe’s Bar & Grill, the Nashville Hot Chicken Tacos are finished with jalapeño-lime aioli for a flourish of heat and creaminess. Renée’s Aiolis can dial up flavour in happy hour menu items.
“While Thursday is often touted as a strong drinking occasion, Nielsen CGA1 data shows that Wednesday Happy Hour traffic is an average of 24% higher than other weekdays.”
1 Nielsen USA (April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018)