Promotional St. Patrick’s Day Ideas for Restaurants
One of the biggest nights for drinking is next week and it’s on a Saturday this year! Dating back to the early 17th century, March 17th marked the passing of St. Patrick. Using a shamrock to represent and explain The Holy Trinity, he spent his days as a missionary in Ireland. Since then, this religious day has changed into a day of embracing Irish culture with eating, drinking, dancing, and wearing green. Is your establishment ready for a busy weekend? If you’re stuck on some marketing ideas or simply just don’t know where to start, today’s your lucky day! We’ve constructed a guide that will help you tackle St. Patrick’s Day like a pro, so get your shamrocks ready!
Pub Crawl/Scavenger Hunt
Get out the glassware and put the best beers on tap! A lot of people base this holiday around letting loose and having a bunch of drinks. For your customers that won’t have to work the next day, give them a night of merriment with a pub crawl. A pub crawl is the best way to kill two birds with one stone. Partnering with other local bars gives you additional traffic to your busy evening. Throughout your pub crawl, you can take the entertainment a step further with a scavenger hunt. Create a list of items your customers need to find and have them uncover riddles and clues for the prize!
*It’s also important to give a friendly reminder to your customers that they should drink responsibly. Don’t hesitate to ask how someone is planning to get home—whether that’s by taxi, Uber, public transit or a designated driver.
Serve Traditional Irish Dishes
Pair your drinks with some delicious Irish food! While your signature dishes are always a hit, getting into the spirit of the holiday will have your customers feeling like they’ve just stepped into an Irish restaurant or bar. Create a temporary menu for the holiday or throughout the weekend, highlighting that the dishes will only be around for a limited time. You can even add some speciality drinks to your menu like green beer, shamrock shakes, and Irish coffee. The following dishes are both easy to make and are very delicious:
- Shepard’s Pie
- Roast dinner
- Irish Soda Bread
- Lamb Stew
- Corned Beef and Cabbage (March 17th is also National Corned Beef and Cabbage Day!)
Contest and Discounts
If someone can save some money, even just a little bit, they’re most likely to spend. Using holidays to market your establishment is nothing new because it works. Play to the theme of St. Patrick’s Day when offering discounts. It’s also a great way for you staff and customers to engage with one another, more than usual. If you want to make a contest digital, create a Twitter or Instagram hashtag and have customers connect with you. This is also a great way to increase the digital presence on your social media accounts. Here are some ideas you can look into:
- The person wearing the best St. Patrick’s Day themed outfit gets their meal for free
- Create a “pot of gold” raffle; the winner gets a $100 gift card
- Anyone wearing green gets 10% off their order
- Trivia contest on St. Patrick’s Day or a category of your choosing
- Activity contest (beer pong, pool)
Green Décor and Apparel
This one is a given: go green or go home! If you can’t get your hands on a lot of green and St. Patrick’s Day themed décor, encourage your customers and staff to wear green for the day. You can find additional accessories at your local party store. Don’t stop at just clothes and decorations! Let your customers know that your establishment is ready for a fun weekend by decorating your social media pages. Keep your digital audience updated with your hours of operation and dish specials!
Live Irish Music
Time to break out the fiddles and accordions! Traditional Irish music is quite infectious and is guaranteed to have everyone in good spirits. Even just some acoustics can create a lively atmosphere. Like the pub crawl, hiring musicians brings attention to both your establishment and the band’s following, ultimately gaining more traffic. If you can’t hire some musicians for the evening, temporarily change up your music playlist.
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