I've run some (admittedly flawed) calculations on this crap. I don't know how much electricity, gas for the grills, etc. adds to the total, but let's say they keep on a cook, a dishwasher, a server, and a bartender an extra hour every night. That's about another $30 in labor a day. We'll ignore any extra cost, such as the loss on liquor from doing $1 beers, etc.
In my restaurant management class I took a couple of years ago, I learned that the average restaurant makes about ten cents of profit on the dollar. That means that to cover the extra labor for that hour, the restaurant would need to do an extra $300 in sales that hour. We're usually lucky to do $100 in sales per hour after nine! And even if all this gimicky crap pulls in some extra people, it's still not going to work out like the want--especially with $1 beers and $3 appetizer specials.
If a couple of guys come in to play Guitar Hero and nurse two beers each and order some hot wings, that's going to give them a grand total bill of, um, $7. Whoohoo! Seventy cents to the restaurant! And probably, what, a dollar to their server? Bullshit. Do they really think we're going to get forty groups of people in there for this? Or let's get really crazy and say the guys have four beers each and three appetizers, for a bill of $20 (we'll round up). Now the restaurant and the server both get two dollars! Oh yeah! Swimming pools and movie stars, bitches.
CL keeps talking about how she went to a different chain restaurant in the next town over, and how their game night was just a huge success!!! Yeah ... about that? Different chain restaurant atmosphere with a proper bar, in a college town. Then she starts talking about how there's nothing to do in our town after a certain time, yada yada. Even the local bars, real bars, close at the same time we do now. Think there might be a reason for that?
It's not that I don't want this to work. If it doesn't CL gets fired and god knows who they'd bring in--at least I know how she works. And the net effect of this extra hour every night is that I can't work more than five shifts unless I give up some of my closes, which I can't afford to do. So I'd like to make some damn money at it. I just don't see how it'll work.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe "Pin The Tail On The Donkey Thursdays" at Local Chain Restaurant will be the next big thing. Maybe I'll be eating my words in a few months. Stay tuned.