- At least 3 hours long (4-7), this lets the people who leave work at 4 or 5 at least 2 hours of happy hour good times. Why discriminate against early risers or late risers? Be inclusive.
- The drink special should be on single serving drinks. Happy hour is a social occasion, but people are paying their own tab. They're not sharing bottles of wine. Bottles of wine are for dates or family occasions, happy hours are neither.
- The drink special should be heavily discounted OR very cheap. $2 Boulevard bottles, $3 microbrew draws, $4 martinis, etc. or something like $1 shots or $1 PBR cans. A special should be just that, special.
- Make it easy to take advantage of the happy hour, people are coming and going constantly so you don't want it to be complicated. Buy X get Y for 1/2 price is annoying, just give us Y for 1/2 price. The goal is to get people to drink in your place, not get them to buy something you're not willing to discount.
- Food specials. Give me some $2 wings or $2 pretzels. Portion size doesn't really matter. We've been working all day, we need a snack before we go home. Just make a couple of food items really cheap. Feature something that you want us to come back for at dinner if you want, just keep it cheap.
- Have plenty of servers on hand. We're not there to sit around and wait, we're there to get a drink quickly and socialize with coworkers or friends. The longer time commitment I have to make to go to your happy hour, the less likely I am to go. Quick service is key.
- Display your happy hour specials on the sidewalk or on your front door. Definitely feature it on your website. Your specials drive new business, let us know easily and with no commitment from me. I don't want to walk in your place and feel obligated to buy something without knowing what kind of special you have.
If you didn't read the comments from the previous post, the worst happy hour was found at Savvy Coffee and Wine Bar in the Power and Light. I don't really want to say anything bad about the place because I haven't been there. But their happy hour special breaks rules 1-5. They nailed rule #7 because I saw it displayed on a sandwich board in front when I walked by at lunch time.[UPDATE: THIS HAS BEEN CORRECTED, SAVVY CHANGED THEIR HAPPY HOUR] I would like for them to succeed because it seems like a nice place. They're just feeling their way around still so go in and let them know they're breaking the KC Beer Blog's rules for happy hours.