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Hawaii: In Real Life ~ Happy Hour Pal

A Hawaii-based app for finding happy hours is going national, and we met one of the founders

Posted April 17, 2013 by Melissa Chang

Many of you — about 1800, to be exact — already follow Happy Hour Hawaii (formerly known as @HappyHourHawaii) on Twitter and Facebook and enjoy the updates on where the best happy hours in town are. The people behind the account, Carey and Brandon Bennett, also created a website and free phone app to help you easily find happy hours around you when you’re on the go (or wandering aimlessly, as I might do).

Well, get ready, America. The Hawaii-based app, which has already been downloaded 30,000 times since its launch last year, is about to go national. The Bennetts have started transitioning everything called “Happy Hour Hawaii” to be “Happy Hour Pal,” a more general name she can use in other markets. By May, the website, social media channels, and app will be completely changed over, and they will have a presence in Portland, OR, as well as Long Island, NY to start, as they begin their journey to expand in markets across the country.

If you haven’t downloaded the free app yet, why not? It is a quick way for you to find happy hours, business information, the restaurant menus, maps, GPS-based directions, check-in rewards and more, plus you can share the information with friends. You can search using almost any parameter (i.e. cheeseburger, near 96814, at 4 p.m. on Thursday) to make it even easier. The app is available for iPhones, iPads, and Androids, so you have no excuse (unless you have a Blackberry, in which case you’d have to just use the website). And did I mention it’s free?

So how does this app make money if it’s free to consumers? Participating restaurants pay a flat, monthly membership fee, simple as that. It’s not just a fee to be posted on the site; the Bennetts help promote the happy hours through their social media channels and generate reports to measure results, demographics, and more.

Cat Toth and I sat with Carey recently to find out more about the app before it hits the big time. Check it out!

Cat then led a discussion on what are favorite happy hours around town are, and why. What are yours?

One last video: Cat and I talked to Carey about how she and her husband got started. Brandon was a political science major, but learned how to be a programmer by watching how-to videos on YouTube. True story! Click here to visit and hear about that and more.


You can read all of Melissa’s blogs at Follow Melissa on Twitter @Melissa808, on Foursquare as Melissa808, or email at

  1. jlieu
    Posted April 17, 2013 at 8:23 am

    That is SO cool! Im going to check the app out now! :D

  2. Melissa808
    Posted April 17, 2013 at 8:41 am

    @jlieu very good!!!

  3. Annoddah_Dave
    Posted April 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Delicate Blossom:  Out of curiosity, did any hostess bars sign on to the app?  Was that soju or sake in that blue bottle?  How does one make any money by developing a “free app”?

  4. Melissa808
    Posted April 17, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    @Annoddah_Dave I’m actually not sure, but maybe happyhourpalhi  can answer that hostess bar question. 
    It was sake in the blue bottle.
    And see paragraph 4!

  5. turkfontaine
    Posted April 17, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    that’s an excellent dress, Catherine. and i think you are drunk. i could use this app to map a route avoiding all the happy hours.


About Melissa Chang

Melissa has been blogging regularly since 2007 and has more than 25 years’ experience in marketing and public relations. She is currently an independent marketing consultant, specializing in social media. 

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