However, several restaurants around here are committing several Happy Hour Faux Pas, making it more of a Pleasant Hour:
1. Timing: In DC, most people don't leave work until 6 (at the earliest), so a happy hour ending at 7 gives most of us maybe one drink before we're paying $12 for that vodka soda. One of my favorite happy hour destinations ends their specials at 6:30!!!! If they didn't have $9 mussels and a fantastic beer selection, I wouldn't frequent this place ever. But I can make the happy hour special on Fridays at least.
2. The Deals: $1 off an $8 glass of wine isn't going to get me into your restaurant. Half price needs to be on the deal board somewhere, and if you're listing prices, nothing should be over $5. Odds are I spent at least $2 in Metro fare to get to the restaurant in the first place . . .
3. Location, location, location: This might be pet peeve number one for me--don't restrict happy hour to the bar only. UGH. That makes for 30 people smushed in at a bar with ten stools, the bartenders get overwhelmed, drinks get spilled, people can't eat, and it really takes away from the "happy" and "unwinding" part of happy hour. I celebrated my 24th birthday at a happy hour at the bar, trying to keep my presents from getting lost and still talk to all my friends. Needless to say, I don't frequent that place for happy hour anymore.
So there you go--the keys to a perfect happy hour. Be sure to give me a cut of the profit when you start your restaurant with these tactics :-)