11 of the best happy hour deals at chain restaurants

Many chain restaurants have special deals on cocktails and appetizers.

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Many chain restaurants have special deals on cocktails and appetizers.
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iStock

  • During certain times of day on certain days, chain restaurants advertise special happy hours.
  • Dave & Buster’s has two happy hours per day and you can score discounted cocktails and beers.
  • The Cheesecake Factory offers drink and snack specials from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. during the week.

Convenient, consistent, and delightfully nostalgic, chain restaurants can charm even the most hardcore foodies with their generous portions, comfort-food-based menus, and gentle prices. To the latter point, national chains frequently feature satisfying happy hour deals including substantial discounts on drinks and, in some cases, snacks to match. Before heading to your favorite chain, be sure to check with your location to see if they participate in happy hour deals.

From cheap appetizers to discounted drinks, here are 11 chain restaurants with great happy hour deals.


The Cheesecake Factory offers drink and snack specials from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. during the week.

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While you’re there, pick up a slice of cheesecake to go.
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Wikimedia Commons

Beloved for its enormous and decadent desserts and hearty American fare, The Cheesecake Factory also offers an enticing happy hour during the week.

Although specific menu items and hours vary by location, The Cheesecake Factory’s happy hour typically happens Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and visitors can partake of classic cocktails like Cosmopolitans and Margaritas (usually priced around $5.95), wines and beers ($4 to $5.95) and discounted bar snacks like the Happy Hour Burger, Tex Mex Eggrolls, and Warm Crab and Artichoke Dip (usually priced at $5.95).


Benihana visitors can head to the bar for inexpensive specialty cocktails and food-menu favorites.

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Benihana offers fruity cocktails.
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Facebook/Benihana

Upscale Japanese-fusion chain Benihana brings a lot of flair to the dining experience, thanks to its open hibachi grills and the rapid-fire knifework of its talented chefs. As far as happy hour goes, most Benihana locations provide drink deals during the work week; typically, Benihana happy hours occur Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

During this time, guests can enjoy signature drinks like the Yuzu Margarita or the Benihana Punch for around $6.50 (depending on location), wines and beers for an average price of $3 to $4, hot sake for $3, and $3 to $6 snacks like edamame, California rolls, and pan-fried gyoza dumplings.


Chili’s puts monthly cocktail specials on their happy hour menus.

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Their specialty margarita changes every month.
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James R. Martin/Shutterstock

Chili’s likes to mix up its happy hour with a sizable offering of Southwestern-inspired bites and one specialty margarita per month, which they price at $5.

The January 2019 selection, known as the Cherry Blossom, includes tequila, St. Germain, sour mix, and grenadine. For food options, typically priced between $3 and $5 per dish, you can choose from Chili’s classics like Southwestern Eggrolls, White Spinach Queso, Smoked Chicken Wings, and Fresh Guacamole.


Grab a pre-dinner bite and a glass of vino at Olive Garden’s happy hour.

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You can probably snag some breadsticks while you’re there, too.
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Sarah Schmalbruch / INSIDER

Iconic Italian-American chain Olive Garden provides customers with excellent meal deals throughout the day, and their weekday happy hour is no exception.

On Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Olive Garden bars serve select wines by the glass for an average price of $5, Miller Lite and Bud Lite for $3, and cocktails like the Spritzer and the Long Island Limoncello for around $4. If you need some eats to cushion the booze, Olive Garden answers the call with $4 snacks like Tortellini al Forno and Crispy Risotto Bites.

Read More: 14 surprising things you didn’t know about Olive Garden


Steak & Shake’s twice-daily happy hour includes half-priced drinks and milkshakes.

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You can score a half-priced milkshake after 2 a.m. on weekdays.
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Steak ‘n Shake/Facebook

There’s no need to limit restaurant drink deals to alcoholic beverages, a maxim with which Steak & Shake fully agrees. This Midwest-based burger chain serves its soft drinks and its famously-creamy milkshakes for half-price Monday through Friday and they offer this deal at both 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 2 a.m. to 5 a.m., taking care of both 9-to-5ers and night owls.


Bonefish Grill’s “Hand-Crafted Happy Hour” provides deals on wine, beer, craft cocktails, and “bar bites.”

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You can score $5 cocktails at certain times.
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iStock

Relaxed seafood chain Bonefish Grill centers its happy hour around its menu of artisanal cocktails, serving drinks like the Blueberry Lemon Drop and the Raspberry Vodka Collins for just $5.

If you’re more of a beer and wine person, Bonefish Grill’s happy hour also includes a $1 discount on draft beers and house wines for $4 a glass. $6 nibbles can be ordered to satiate your libation-fueled hunger, like Crispy Cod Sliders, Artichoke Fritto, and Mussels Josephine. Bonefish Grill’s Hand-Crafted Happy Hour begins at 4 p.m., with the time the deal ends varying depending on location.


T.G.I. Friday’s “Fridays Five” gives guests the opportunity to trade a Lincoln for a signature cocktail or an appetizer.

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The $5 appetizers are only available in the bar area.
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TGI Fridays

As befits its name, casual bar-food juggernaut T.G.I. Friday’s reserves its best drink deals for Fridays. This all-day discount can only be ordered in the restaurant bars, where participants can snap up beverages like the Angry Apple Punch and the Blood Orange Cooler and dishes like Loaded Cheese Fries and Boneless Wings with Carolina Reaper Sauce for just $5 each.


With its $2 Neighborhood Drink of the Month program, Applebee’s introduces a deal that’s pretty tough to beat.

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In October 2018 they offered a “Dollar Zombie” drink.
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Applebee’s

Although any happy hour discount will be eagerly welcomed by bar patrons, the ability to grab a boozy beverage for the same price as a soft drink feels especially appealing. At Applebee’s, guests can do exactly that with one specific cocktail per month.

The chain introduces a Neighborhood Drink of the Month that can typically be purchased for $2, and the deal applies throughout the daytime and nighttime service. For instance, January 2019’s Neighborhood Drink of the Month is the Captain and Cola, a simple combination of Pepsi and Captain Morgan’s rum.


Eat and play restaurant Dave & Buster’s typically schedules two happy hours per day: a post-work version and a nighttime reprise.

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The deals vary by location.
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iStock

With its winning combination of comforting pub grub, inventive beverages, and arcade game stations, Dave & Buster’s represents a strong choice for some post-work relaxation. Plus, D&B’s two daily happy hours feature impressive deals on the chain’s edible and drinkable offerings.

At participating locations, Dave & Buster’s serves happy hour both in the late afternoon/early evening (the “After Work Happy Hour”) and later at night (the “Late Night Happy Hour”), and during both time periods, restaurants slash prices on signature cocktails, 22-ounce draft beers, and glasses and bottles of wine. Prices vary based on location, but you can typically expect $3 to $5 cocktails and at least $1 off of draft beer pours.


Wash down your Doritos Locos taco with a $1 beverage during Taco Bell’s Happier Hour.

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You can wash down your taco with a Freeze.
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Getty Images

The only fast-food entry on this list, Taco Bell’s low prices for their quick eats and refreshing frozen beverages are already the stuff of legends. But from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. every day, visitors can feel even better about their Taco Bell spending habits, since the chain’s Happier Hour features Freezes, Sparklers, and all soft drinks for just a buck.


Beer drinkers flock to BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse for a well-curated beer list, housemade brews, and some serious happy hour deals.

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The happy hour includes $6 burgers.
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iStock

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse specializes in beer, many of which they make themselves and serve exclusively at their own locations.

Bargain hunters with a taste for a frosty pint can make themselves comfortable in the bar area of their local BJ’s, where the eatery provides a rightfully-popular happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to closing time. Happy hour guests can order $3 domestic beers, $4 BJ’s brews, $5 well drinks and wine glasses, and $6 signature burgers and appetizer plates.

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