Happy hour is a great time to draw a crowd into your restaurant and drum up business. Those customers maybe stopping in for a quick drink and a bite to eat right now, but once they're familiar with your space, they're likely to return for dinner and more expensive purchases. But how do you set your restaurant apart during happy hour? Consider implementing one of these easy menu ideas to draw a crowd.
1. A French Fry Bar
French fries are a great menu option for happy hour since they cost you very little and since customers can slowly snack on them and share an order. But fries themselves can get pretty boring. Consider setting up a French fry bar. Customers can order their fries for, say $5, and then add their own toppings buffet-style. You can include classics like ketchup and mayo, but also more unique toppings such as hoisin sauce, chopped onions, sauteed mushrooms, and olives. This interactive customization gives customers something to chat about, too, which is always fun during happy hour.
2. Build-Your-Own Burgers
Another option is to offer build-your-own burgers. This can be a bit for the kitchen staff to keep up with, so you might want to only offer it during happy hour so they don't get overwhelmed. This will also draw in a crowd since the customers know they have to come during happy hour to get it. Let customers pick their own burger toppings from an extensive list. It helps if you frame it as some sort of deal — for instance, you could let them add up to five toppings included in the price, and then charge $1 for every additional topping.
3. Dip Selections
This one goes along well with the sharing spirit of happy hour. A group can order one set of dips to share. Three dips is a good number to include in an order. This gives everyone plenty of choices, but it does not overwhelm the staff with the task of making too many dips. You can include various things to dip in the dips, such as fries, tortilla chips, pretzels, and even a few chicken strips. You could change the dips you include every week to keep people coming back and trying new things.
These three happy hour menu options are fun, tasty, and crowd-pleasing. Try implementing one in your restaurant, and watch your popularity grow.