Happy days may or may not be here again, but happy hours and other promotions are.
As a result, a Northland restaurant is bustling with late-night customers. And they arent coming in just to chow down on discounted drinks and eats.
Depending on what night you drop into the Gladstone Applebees Neighborhood Grill and Bar in Kansas City, you might find customers trying to empty a tissue box with one hand in one minute the restaurants version of the TV show Minute to Win It. Or they might be playing extreme bingo, family feud, water pong or even bar trivia.
Its all part of the restaurants new late-night happy hour offerings.
Its doing quite well as more customers hear about it, said Steven Swift, general manager of the restaurant. Were nestled in a neighborhood, and they come in to see, What are they doing tonight? Weve had swim teams, football teams, softball teams, lots of couples and should I say this? church groups.
As the restaurant industry slowly recovers from two years of traffic declines, operators are rolling out more and more options to keep the momentum going. Theres more emphasis on nontraditional day-parts, such as late-night happy hours or midafternoon snack times; an increase in daily deal offerings such as Groupon; new menu items such as chicken at breakfast or eggs at lunch and dinner; branded products; and even smaller, more cost-efficient formats.
Were seeing a lot of downsizing, a casualization of fine dining, more entertainment and promotions on the weekdays. Along with that theres been a lot of focus put on bar food, said Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst for The NPD Group, a market research firm. Which serves a lot of purposes in terms of giving consumers more choices smaller portions, small prices and also an opportunity for the operator to move a lot of high-profit-margin alcoholic beverages.
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