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Restaurant Must Have: Bar & Happy Hour Menus

Have you ever been to a restaurant where they hand you an entire book as their menu? You spend 5 minutes looking for the drink list when it’s on page 16, or you want to order appetizers, and it’s on page 7. It can be a bit overwhelming when you have to look at every page in order to find what you want.

Specialty drink and happy hour menus allow guests to quickly decide what they want to order. Without so many options, it allows your staff to accommodate larger crowds.

Many restaurants combine their bar and happy hour menus, and while that may work, it can be confusing for guests. A bar menu includes a list of drinks available, which can all be ordered during open hours. A happy hour menu is only utilized at certain given times, typically after 2pm and before 6pm.

Keeping these separate will limit the questions asked about pricing on happy hour items versus bar items.

How to Design Your Speciality Menus

Since these types of menus tend to be smaller, restaurants have more freedom to be creative. Die cut menus are a great option for bar or happy hour items. If the restaurant serves Hawaiian food, a die cut menu shaped into a coconut or a pineapple would both be a fun, creative element for the overall experience.

Restaurants can also be creative with the type of material the bar or happy hour menus are printed on, such as wood, acrylic, or leather. One consideration is that these menus tend to be handled by countless people, so it is important to print on quality materials that will stand the test of time.

Benefits of a Happy Hour Menu

The goal of a happy hour menu is to attract guests at a time that may not be particularly busy for the restaurant. Most happy hours tend to be right before dinner time, from 2pm – 6pm. With a happy hour menu, the restaurant can fill their seats between lunch and dinner time by offering food and beverages at a slightly lower cost.

The menu can include drink specials as well as small appetizers. When the happy hour menu is separate from the main menu, it is much easier to switch out specials and change it seasonally. Keeping guests wanting to come back to try something new next time.


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