After entrepreneurs make up their mind on how to open a bar and start their business, their mind becomes occupied with another tricky question: how to attract and retain customers and get a stable foot traffic. Seasonal holidays provide good opportunities for promotion. While some of those are fairly obvious ( , , , or ), others may get not that much of attention, and St. Patrick’s Day is the one.
In 2019, St. Patrick’s day falls on Sunday, March 17th. It means that people will start going out to celebrate starting Friday, and all through the weekend. How can your business take advantage of these three days? Here are some ideas for attracting people on St Patrick's day.
St. Patrick’s Day Is a Great Opportunity To Stand Out Among Competitors
On St. Patrick’s Day beer sales grow at an impressive pace because restaurants start offering all kinds of green beer. Families that want to have a memorable St. Patrick’s weekend enjoy going out to places that offer extraordinary specials. Needless to say, kids love trying weird green-looking foods.
Are you wondering what promotions for St Patrick's day there are? Here are a few.
A Possibility to Stand Out From The Crowd
If you serve specials on this day, you’ll be able to put your place on the map and stand out among other bars, restaurants or pubs in the area. St. Patrick’s Day might be a good chance to get local press to pay attention to your place - this way, more people from the area will know about your business.
Strong Social Media Potential
Social media is a powerful St Patrick's Day promotions tool for restaurant owners. A lot of people post and browse pictures of food inspiration every day. On Saint Patrick’s Day, your guests might want to take a picture of a special or a glass of green beer. This way you’ll be generating free buzz about the place and getting new patrons.
A Way to Attract Families
Most families don’t have the time nor the means to go out every day. On holidays the landscape changes - all the families in residential areas look forward to having a memorable night out. Your restaurant can provide this experience. After showcasing your quality service once, you stand a chance of converting many households into your clients. Essentially, implementing St Patrick's Day marketing ideas for a bar means getting bigger checks as well.
St. Patrick’s Day Restaurant Bar Ideas
Choosing the right St Patricks Day ideas for a bar to attract new guests on Saint Patrick’s Day might be tricky. To start with, you need to decide on your target audience. According to the National Restaurant Association, women are twice as likely as men to pay attention to a place with St. Patrick’s Day specials even if they haven’t visited it before.
Also, aiming for younger adults would be a wise move - statistically, people 18-34 years old are more likely to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at a restaurant or a bar than older adults.
Paying attention to specials is important but so is the overall atmosphere. Let’s take a look at a few ways to create a proper St. Patrick’s Day vibe.
1. Have live Irish Music
If there’s a possibility to hire fiddle players for a day, take advantage of it. Live music will be an interesting event even for those who don’t order any specials. It will make your place more Instagrammable and buzz-friendly. Listening to fiddle players will have some educational value for kids - they’ll be immersed in the traditional Irish culture.
2. Set Up a Photo Booth
It’s another way to enhance the social media profile of your restaurants. In a special Saint Paddy photo booth, guests can take pictures and share them on Instagram. You can even come up with a reward system to praise guests who share the booth pictures online with a location tag of the place.
3. Invite Other Businesses for Collaboration
St. Patrick’s Day is not just a possibility to attract more guests and have a lot of attractive social media posts. You can use the day as an opportunity for business collaboration. For instance, a restaurant owner can host a game night and give prizes provided by different brands. This way, your partners will get a cross-promotion possibility, and you’ll be able to add more fun to St. Patrick’s Day activities.
Traditional Irish Games
What kind of party would St. Patrick’s Day be if there were no games? Bring an unforgettable atmosphere to the place by offering special games and activities for the holiday. We did some legwork on the subject and collected a few worthwhile St Patrick's Day bar party ideas and games to play on St. Patrick’s Day.
1. Gold Hunt
Bring a couple of dozen chocolate coins and hide them all over the place. Divide the restaurant guests into two teams and have them look for this “gold” for two minutes. The winning team gets a present - a free special dish.
2. Gold Coin Toss
For this game, you can use the same coins you bought for the previous one. Sure, you’ll need to get a few leprechaun pots as well - luckily, dollar stores might help out here. Divide the group of guests into two teams and have them throw coins into a pot. For every successful toss, a player gets a point. The team with the most points gets a special prize.
3. Irish Dancing
Throw an Irish dancing workshop at your restaurant. You might even hire an instructor to teach your guests some basic moves. That way, you’ll be able to offer the visitors some free entertainment.
4. Man vs Clock
For this game, challenge your guests to ‘beat the clock’. Have a jar of Lucky Charms ready, and challenge every guest to take as many Lucky Charms out of the jar as possible within 30 seconds or a minute. Every participant gets to keep their marshmallows.
5. Hot Potato Drinking Game
Ask your guests to stand in a circle. Give a potato to a person in the center of the circle. Start playing some Irish music and have the participants pass a potato to each other. Whoever has the potato when the music stops, has to step out of the circle and have a shot of whiskey. The winner can be awarded a St. Patrick’s Day special.
Decorations For St. Patrick’s Day
On St. Patrick’s Day, a restaurant owner would want to create an atmosphere that’ll allow guests to forget about their routine and happily enjoy food and drinks. To make sure you succeed, add a special vibe by decorating the place properly.
1. Shamrock Jars
Add a party vibe by putting shamrock jars on the table. Good news is, this kind of decor can be 100% DIY and really cheap. On the other hand, a golden-colored jar with the pictures of shamrock glued to it will look quite epic and memorable.
2. Pot of Gold
For this decoration, you’ll need to add glitter to an old flower pot and fill it with gold coins. Let your guests take a few of these chocolate coins for free - it’s a way to show care and attention.
Do not forget about adding custom St. Patrick’s Day banners. Decorate your place with triangle banners with words like “Lucky”, “Leprechaun”, or other traditional St. Paddy’s phrases.
4. Penny Wall Art
Use pennies to write words and glue them to the wall. It’s going to be a minimalistic, cheap to make, and memorable addition to the St. Patrick’s Day holiday atmosphere.
5. Scrabble St. Patrick’s Day Art
We all love to play the ‘Scrabble’ game, don’t we? Why not use it as an inspiration source for St. Patrick’s Day? Put scrabble words that spell special words for the occasion on the wall or into a frame on the bar counter.
Special Irish Drinks
Now that you’ve mapped up a list of bar promo ideas for St Patrick's Day and created the mood by putting up St. Patrick’s Day decorations, it’s time to think about drinks to offer guests on that day. Going with traditional Irish beverages is a good idea. Here are some traditional drinks to consider.
1. Green Beer
Green beer is the number-one drink everyone is looking forward to trying on St. Patrick’s Day. Go with the flow and include it to your own special menu as well. For a 100%-Irish experience add a pint of Guinness to it. Also, it would be nice to serve green beer in shamrock cups.
2. Guinness And Green Jell-O Shots
For drinking games, it’s always nice to have a couple of special shot recipes around. Guinness and Green Jell-O shots are quite a solid choice to serve to guests. The first layer of the cocktail would be the dark gelatin (a mix of Guinness and Irish whiskey). For the top colored layer, use gelatin and Irish cream.
3. Green Apple Cocktail
Seeing that green would be the color of the night, you’d want your cocktails to match the palette, right? The green apple cocktail is basically green martini, with vodka replaced by Irish whiskey. The apple schnapps will color the drink, and the cranberry juice will add a new flavor to the mix.
4. Pot of Gold
The drink walks the line of being both creative and traditional. This one will be a fit for vodka martini fans. It’s a low-calorie recipe made entirely from vodka, syrup, and elderflower liqueur.
5. Shamrock Shaker
This drink is very lightweight, creamy, with a low hangover risk. Add Kahlua, amaretto, and milk, give all of it a good shake - the drink is ready to be served. The Shamrock shaker is both fun to make and to drink.
Special Irish Menu For St. Patrick’s Day
If you have decided to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, it’s better to go all out. Apart from offering a traditional Irish breakfast, do a solid dig on St Patrick's Day promotions food and don’t forget about traditional dishes for the day.
Shepherd’s pie. Your guests will love giving this dish a try. It’s a mix of meat, potato, and vegetables baked into a bready crust. Super yummy!
Irish soda bread. It’s a simple yet popular treat that your guests will be expecting on St. Patrick’s Day. Basically, it’s really just a bread baked with baking soda.
Green eggs and ham. This dish is simple (green eggs and ham) yet super popular due to the popularity of green on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a must-have for an Instagram-friendly menu.
Shamrock Shake. When McDonald’s rolled out a similar special, it got wildly popular. Consider adding the classic green milkshake to your own holiday menu.
Bacon and cabbage. A simple appetizer in classic Irish style is another special worth considering for St. Patrick’s Day.
Lucky Charms. You’ll need this one to lure kids into your place. Also, you haven’t forgotten about games involving this special, have you?
St. Patrick’s Bar Party Ideas
If you’re running a bar, you can expect a lot of visitors over the course of the entire St. Patrick’s Day weekend. If you want to keep guests in for longer, how about throwing a special party? Here are some creative marketing ideas for St Patrick's Day we’ve come up with.
1. A Costume Parade
For instance, you can have a special all-green dress-code. Also, you can throw a costume contest or even offer different traditional costumes at your place. It’s a great way for guests to have fun, dance, take amazing pictures. You as a business owner will benefit from a high engagement level.
2. Traditional Irish Party Game
Creating a party where your guests will compete in traditional games is one of the best St Patrick's Day marketing ideas. The game list can include darts, croquet, or a ring toss tournament.
3. Irish Song Party
Throw an event that’ll allow guests to be immersed in the traditional Irish culture. Learning Irish songs and singing them in karaoke is a good idea. You can either charge for a class and go for extra-cash or throw it for free, and use it as one of the strategies to earn guests an offering from the marketing St Patrick's Day menu.
4. Food Competition
Instead of cooking all the time by yourself, why not allow your customer to test his frying, baking, and chopping skills? Throw an Irish food cooking competition. Guests can compete in backing shepherd’s pies, frying fish and chips, or cooking potato dishes. Have your chef determine the winner and award him with a delicious special.
St. Patrick’s Day is an amazing promotional opportunity for bars and restaurants. There are dozens of St Patrick's Day restaurant ideas, specials to cook, and games to play. Not only will you remember this day as one of the most fun and engaging - you’ll actually earning more on green beer sales and specials.
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