'Twas the night 'fore Thanksgiving
And out at the bars
All the people were drinking
Hope they're not driving cars!


Okay, I'm not much of a poet when I'm sober, but it's true: The night before Thanksgiving is the number-one night of the year for bars in the United States.

The anecdotal explanation is that we're a mobile nation now. Most Americans wind up moving away from the towns and cities where they grew up.

So, the end of November is one of the few days during the year on which a vast number of the disapora return home. Thanksgiving itself is for family, the night before is for running into friends, high school classmates, and all those other people you see on Facebook at the local watering hole.

The analytical explanation, since we're also a data driven country now, comes from a restaurant management platform called Upserve, which says that it tracked 10,000 bars and found that they sell 63 percent more liquor on Drunk Wednesday (a/k/a Drunksgiving, a/k/a Blackout Wednesday, but that seems a little extreme) than they do on the day before, which we'll just call Regular Tuesday.

Interestingly, while drink sales go through the roof, food sales actually drop a bit, which Upserve suggests might be because most people on Wednesday are already thinking about how they'll be having a big meal on Thursday.

"With practically everyone having Thanksgiving Day off of work and no reason to wake up before football games begin, it's clear why this night has become a cultural phenomenon," the Upsell people wrote in a blog post highlighting their findings and urging their client bars and restaurants to take advantage of it.

Upserve suggests that bars treat Drunk Wednesday like the sloppy, crazy, major event that it is, or at least has been for the last few years. Among the suggestions: put away good beverage ware and go with plastic, hire bouncers, and post the numbers for taxi companies prominently.

So we have Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Amazon clearly wants to get you thinking of Thanksgiving itself as Amazon Thursday.

But Drunk Wednesday--or Drinksgiving, your choice--is still up for grabs. So go out, meet with friends, have a few drinks if that's your thing.

Just also drink plenty of water and don't drive. The Main Event will always be the next day; Drunk Wednesday is just the warmup.

Published on: Nov 21, 2018
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