Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The price of goodwill

JK, my good friend and former landlord of my favourite bar here in Beijing, could be a bit of a penny-pincher at times. This was definitely his idea of 'a promotion'.

It was only very reluctantly that he finally introduced a ‘happy hour’ at our bar – and that only because he knew it wouldn’t “cost” him anything, since he had very little early evening trade (pretty hard to change that: we’re just too far away from the major centres of office working). Moreover, he limited the initiative to a rather modest discount on two items only – the house wine and draught beer – that are not really the top sellers.

I always feel that ‘happy hours’ that aren’t really all that happy tend to have a negative effect. If you can’t offer a decent discount on (nearly) everything, why bother?

A well-judged ‘happy hour’ pays for itself.

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