No matter where someone goes, it seems that every establishment that serves liquor has a "happy hour." What's behind this phenomenon?
It turns out that fans of happy hour San Diego (and everywhere else) have marketing to thank for their favorite time of the day. Many years ago, bar owners noticed that there was a big surge of customers in the evenings but hardly any came in before that. Someone came up with the idea of lowering the price of drinks for the hour before the busy period in an attempt to stretch out the number of active hours for his bar. The idea soon caught on and spread across the United States and Canada.
Because the root of the idea is still to increase the amount of time in which people buy drinks, a bar or restaurant's happy hour doesn't start according to some traditional time. Instead, it'll begin one or even two hours before that establishment's busy part of the day. There are also differences based on the day of the week. Tuesdays, which are typically slow all day, often have extended happy hours as well as various other specials. Friday and Saturday, on the other hand, often have no deals at all.
What Makes a Happy Hour Different From All the Other Hours?
The most obvious difference is the price of the drinks. This is typically what restaurants and bars advertise on their front doors. Fans, however, note that this is just the start. There are many other factors that go into this special time of the day.
One of the factors that come up again and again is the fact that different people come to happy hour than arrive during the main part of the evening. Though each establishment has its own type of crowd at any time, happy hour patrons are generally described as being more laid back.
There are other differences between these groups besides their general attitudes. Happy hours often begin too soon to catch a working crowd, so they're more prone to attract either young people or retirees. Which age group will come depends on the overall atmosphere of the restaurant and the demographics of the area. As these things show, what started out as a simple plan to fill barstools earlier in the day has evolved into a special time with its own unique fans.