Everyone needs a little luck of the Irish these days. And with the popularity of St. Patrick’s Day, restaurants have a chance to market to a wider demographic and boost sales by celebrating the holiday.
This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Thursday, which means you can stretch the festivities through the entire weekend with a nice, long springboard during the week leading up to the big day. For your consideration, here are some marketing ideas to help grow your revenue pot this year.
Because St. Patrick’s Day is a popular holiday for adult libations, it makes sense to focus your attention on your beverage program. Here are some ideas:
- Highlight Irish beers like Guinness®, Boddingtons, Smithwick’s™
- Offer a whiskey tasting
- Include fun Irish-inspired cocktails like Irish coffee, black & gold recipes, or your own unique creation
Don’t Forget the Food
If it makes sense for your restaurant, consider adding some Irish pub-inspired fare to your specials. Classic options include Irish breakfast (which would be a great addition to weekend brunch specials), corned beef & cabbage, and shepherd’s pie.
Beyond the classics, there are creative ways to add traditional Irish ingredients to your menu, putting your own spin on the standards. A Stout Irish Lamb Stew, featuring Piancone® stew meat or Soda Bread with Beer Cheese are timely and delicious options to work into your menu. Give some love to your dessert menu as well. Introduce a Nutty Irishman Shake featuring Sweet Encore® whipped cream or Biscuit Bread Pudding, packed with Nature’s Best Dairy® ingredients.
Make sure to let guests know that this menu is only available for a limited time and promote the menu items in advance on social media to entice guests.
Use decor and music to establish a festive atmosphere around the holiday and promote a contest for guests to dress in green for a discount or special perk. Other promos could include a shamrock search where you hide shamrocks around your restaurant and give prizes to guests who find them. And don’t forget the photos – Set up a selfie station for guests to capture a DIY souvenir of the holiday.
Pack it Up To-Go
With the consistent demand for delivery and takeout options, you’ll want to offer your St. Patrick’s Day specials to-go. Create a St. Paddy’s Day Party Pack with a few batched cocktails or a pack of stout beer, paired with some of your Irish-inspired menu items.
Spread the Word
Share your St. Paddy’s Day plans on social media and in your newsletter and send a note to local press letting them know about your offerings that week. Ramp up to the holiday with a social media contest. It can be as simple as a “Pot of Gold Giveaway” in which you share a pic of menu items from your St. Patrick’s Day menu (or, if you’re offering one, a shot of your St. Paddy’s Day Party Pack) and encourage followers to like, comment, and share for a chance to win something great, like a meal for two or a St. Paddy’s Party Pack of their own!