November 12 is designated as National Happy Hour Day 2019. Happy hours are a great way to turn a salon event idea into an easy-to-organize after-hours occasion your customers won’t want to miss! In addition to allowing staff to relax after work together (think teambuilding!), salon happy hours are a casual way to boost retail promotions, customer relationships, and manage holiday pre-planning stress. Here’s how to how to host a salon event that turns the laid-back atmosphere of a happy hour into an effective salon advertisement!
Disclaimer: Please use the Resource links provided below to determine your state’s liability laws when it comes to hosting an after hours social event serving alcohol in your place of business. This article is not provided as legal advice, nor is it a substitute for legal counsel. As laws in jurisdictions vary, it is incumbent on the recipient to insure compliance with State and Federal laws. The content of this blog should foster discussion with your local attorney to determine parameters of laws affecting your business and a determination of legal exposure, if any.
Salon Marketing Ideas: Happy Hour—Happy Customers!
Hosting a salon happy hour for staff and guests to relax and enjoy each other’s company is a great way to build team morale amongst staff and strengthen your client relationships. But it’s also a great way to soft-launch salon retail promotions and push pre-booking, especially if you’re hosting your happy hour around a retail holiday. Not only are you inviting your customers to visit your storefront in a relaxed, social atmosphere, but you can use exclusive promotions to further incentivize them to drop in! To learn more about how to use your salon happy hour to gently advance your marketing goals, scroll down to the sample scripts we’ve included.
Salon Happy Hour Best Practices: Planning Your Event
As with any after hours event planning or after work get togethers, it’s wise to establish some company happy hour rules and revisit your alcohol in the workplace policy (if you have one.) If your salon doesn’t have an alcohol in the workplace policy, this is a great opportunity to draft one, as well as a company party alcohol waiver form (that can be modified to clients who RSVP). Having salon policies, regulations, and waivers set before happy hour begins gives you, staff, and clients peace of mind, allowing everyone to enjoy the party.
Liability. Be clear about whether employees are required to attend, expected to attend, or are free to not attend. Depending on how you’d like your happy hour to go, this may mean creating alcohol waivers and/or an acknowledgement of salon alcohol policies form. For more on this, use the Resources linked below to ensure your business has performed due diligence.
Company Party Alcohol Waiver Template. Create an alcohol in the workplace policy that’s suitable for in-house use, as well as to send to customers. By including this policy in your salon happy hour marketing materials, you’ll manage expectations for staff and guests alike, and make sure that your business is operating as safely and legally as possible.
Set Expectations. Provide both staff and guests with clearly defined guidelines for the event. This includes everything from the time of the event and requirements for entry to drink maximums and the logistics of making sure everyone gets home safe.
Salon Happy Hour Best Practices: Day of the Event
No Money Involved! The first guideline for your salon happy hour is that to remain legal, it must be a free event. If you hire a bartender, they may set out a tip jar, but you must not charge guests for entry or drinks.
No ID, No Drinks—No Exceptions. Before any event involving alcohol in your place of business, you must have a plan to check guest IDs. You can hire an event bartender to check IDs, send an alcohol waiver form requiring birthdate verification, or have a designated person check IDs at the door. But the first rule of any alcohol-involved event is to ensure you’re not inadvertently serving underage guests!
Create a Drink Cap and/or a Cutoff Time. The easiest way to prevent overindulgence is to limit alcohol. For example, you can provide each guest 2 drink tickets upon entry to your Happy Hour, and have a cutoff serving time of 7 p.m. Because happy hour itself is generally designated as 5-7 p.m., this gives you an easy way to control how much alcohol guests and staff consume. Cutoff time also ensures a way to start wrapping up the night—stop serving at 7 p.m., and close the event at 8 p.m.
Have Dry Options Available. Many people, for various reasons, may feel left out or uncomfortable at a happy hour event, where alcohol consumption is implied. In your invitations, you may want to specify that there will ne non-alcoholic options available. For example, “We’ll be serving your choice of wine, beer, or the signature Acme Studios cocktail, The Do-or-Dye (vodka, cranberry juice, and lemon-lime soda with maraschino cherries) a non -alcoholic Do-or-Dye mocktail, and soft drinks.”
Provide Safe Ways to Get Home. If there’s someone on staff willing to serve as a designated driver, you can rent a van for the evening and once an hour provide rides home for guests and staff. Alternately, have ride shares or taxi phone numbers on hand to ensure safety for staff, guests, and your community.
Sample Scripts: Email and Text Marketing
Salon Happy Hour Best
Disclaimer: Please use the Resources links provided below to determine your state’s liability laws when it comes to hosting an after hours social event serving alcohol in your place of business. This article is not provided as legal advice, nor is it a substitute for legal counsel. As laws in jurisdictions vary, it is incumbent on the recipient to insure compliance with State and Federal laws. The content of this blog should foster discussion with your local attorney to determine parameters of laws affecting your business and a determination of legal exposure, if any.
Use Vagaro Email and Text Marketing automation to create and send happy hour invitations, alcohol waivers, age confirmations, and collect guest RSVP’s! Then, you can create an event-exclusive promo code and give attendees updates in the days leading up to the event to build buzz. Your salon happy hour is about to be the hottest ticket in town with Vagaro!
Header Image: @andreafwagner via Twenty20
Interior Images and Infographics: Giorgio Trovato via Vagaro