When looking for a good happy hour place, I check it to first to see if I’m comfortable there and if it has a good ambiance. Then I go to see if the service and the food are good. Yeah, try their signature drink or specialty will seal the deal if there are really that special.
What’s there not to love about Happy Hour? It gives you a chance to wind down after work, sample food from area restaurants, and enjoy discounted drinks ranging from bottled beer to cocktails. Despite what you may think, not all Happy Hours are created equally. In order to fully appreciate and enjoy this type of promotion, you need to keep a few things in mind to be sure you’re really getting a deal, otherwise you could end up being lured into the restaurant with the promise of a good deal while actually spending more than you intended.
Here are some things to look for in a Happy Hour:
- Good eats at affordable prices. Sample a restaurant or pub’s menu for a fraction of the price you’d pay ordinarily. Some establishments offer free appetizers or snacks as a way of getting people through the front door. Plan your meal around this time period. Fill up on inexpensive food and drinks and then go to the movies or out dancing.
- 2 for 1 drink specials. Restaurants and pubs bank on you purchasing more than you intended to. That’s why they offer drink specials. They want you to spend your money on more expensive menu items. If you want to avoid this, go to a place that has discounted or free food. This will prevent you from spending a small fortune. If you don’t want to look like the cheap one among your friends, order something small or offer to split the cost of a larger appetizer with the group.
- Live entertainment. Who doesn’t love music or live trivia? Very few people will argue that live entertainment takes away from Happy Hour. In fact, businesses know this and that’s why they pay people to come in and entertain you. Try to hit up the restaurants and pubs that offer this service. You’ll enjoy discounted food and drinks and listen to a band, a musician or even a comedian perform his or her routine.
- Flexible hours. Try to pick the Happy Hour that best fits your needs. Many people, especially travelers, have flexibility in their schedules. Visit a restaurant or pub’s website before going to check what hours they’re offering specials. This will give you a better idea of what time to show up.
- Pleasant company. If at all possible, grab a group of friends or co-workers and set off to Happy Hour. Having people to talk to makes the experience even more pleasant. If you go at it solo, don’t worry. You’ll meet plenty of people while you’re there having a drink.
Happy Hour is an affordable way to sample restaurants and pubs in your city. Find out which establishments offer specials and make plans to check them out. You have nothing to lose than a few hours of your time.
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About the Author: Charissa Arsaoui is a freelance writer with a love for thrift. She contributes to many different personal finance blogs.
There's nothing like a good glass of beer after a hard day of work. I don't see anything wrong with treating yourself once in a while. And yes, a good company is important. Even if the 'special' tastes bad, as long as you're with good friends, you're going to have a good time.
I like your idea on spending some time on looking for places that offer happy hours. I can imagine how time consuming it would be yet can be worth the effort especially for future purpose. It is always great to suggest something to your friends in which they will be extremely grateful in the end.
In general, I avoid happy hours at really swanky places because they are only giving you a modest discount on their already ridicoulous prices. Happy Hour is meant to be cheap. 2 for 1 is always good. Free food is amazing but hard to find, at least in my city (Tampa, FL).
If you really want to make happy hour cheap, make it the only thing you do that night. Maybe because I'm closer to 40 than 21, I like the idea of getting out of work, having a few drinks and realxing the rest of the night. Also, places with bar games are great.