Happy hour specials boost alcohol sales
Data suggests restaurants, bars depart for higher check averages
When the “mid-week slump” hits, one of my favorite activities is meeting with friends for happy hour (where we can find the best deal, of course) and imbibe with premium cocktails at a lower price.
A May Nielsen Insights titled “When it Comes to Alcohol Sales, Happy Hour is Big Business,” states that U.S. bars and restaurants generate 60.5 percent of their average weekly sales during happy hour.
Nielsen defines happy hour as on-premise (bar and restaurant) alcohol sales from 5 to 8 p.m. The Insight stresses how important day-parting is for bars and restaurants that want to boost their alcohol beverage sales.
An analysis from Nielsen CGA’s check level Insights pool on data from chain and independent bars and restaurants, found that the average U.S. happy hour check is $68.99 after discounts, including food and drinks, which is $8 more than the average check during other day-part occasions.
As one might guess, the largest amount of money spent at happy hours is on Saturdays, with almost $45,000 in sales for the year beginning April 1, 2017, and ending March 31, 2018. Friday takes the No. 2 spot and Sunday is No. 3, with roughly $38,000 and $26,000, respectively, within that same timeframe.
On the contrary, the most popular weekday for happy hour is Wednesday, with dollar sales around $23,000. Scott Elliott, senior vice president at Nielsen CGA commented on the results: “This Wednesday happy hour ‘spike’ is an opportunity for retailers to better cater to consumers’ need for a mid-week break by promoting more premium products rather than the lowest priced alternatives so often available mid-week.”
From what it looks like, my friends and I will be able to continue our “mid-week slump” tradition with premium drinks at a discounted price.