Restaurant Tips for Saint Patrick’s Day: Get More Green
St. Paddy’s Day offers your restaurant golden opportunities in more ways than one. Join the fun—jump on the (paddy?) wagon and celebrate that wee bit of Irish in us all. To help out, we offer some restaurant tips for Saint Patrick’s Day. Market the already-Irish-inspired items on your menu. Plan a special event to draw in an even bigger crowd. And remember to review your marketing strategy for Saint Paddy’s with an eye to the raft of special holidays that arrive throughout the year. Coming up soon: Easter, Cinco de Mayo, Mother Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, and more.
Make time to celebrate
By the time March rolls around, we all get a little stir-crazy. While sports fans have co-opted the term “March Madness” to refer to college basketball tourney time, it still describes the cabin fever we feel after being cooped up during a long winter. In March, your customers are looking for a reason to get out of the house and celebrate a little. Saint Patrick’s day offers the perfect reason to get out and kick up their heels a little.
Extend the party
To put the luck o’ the Irish on your side this year, make an event of it. Saint Patrick’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year. This makes it easy to extend the celebration, starting with the weekend before and running up through Tuesday, March 17.
Do what fits your restaurant’s theme and style. If you have a bar, you’ll probably want to advertise green beer and shots, along with Irish beers—Guinness, Harp, Kilkenny, Smithwick’s and more. Feature green cocktails, Jameson Irish whiskey drinks and spirited Irish coffee.
You may already have Irish-inspired food items on your menu: Reuben sandwiches and corned beef on rye. Perhaps you want to run a special on corned beef and cabbage, Guinness battered fish & chips, Irish stew, shepherd’s pie, or steak with an Irish whiskey sauce. Brainstorm ideas with your chef and staff.
Pull a few shenanigans
Think outside the box. Pull a few shenanigans! If yours is a Mexican-themed restaurant, your “celebration of the green” might include margaritas, green iguanas, mojitos, guacamole and more. Up in Chicago, the Italian steak house Harry Carry’s (named after the famous sportscaster) rebrands itself as “Harry O’Carry’s” for the day. Creativity counts when it comes to attracting business. Think outside the box, too, in coming up with featured items, activities, live music or special events that will set you apart from other restaurants in your area.
You’ve considered these restaurant tips for Saint Patrick’s Day and used what makes sense for you. After the party is over and you’ve caught your breath, take a few notes:
• What worked well for you?
• What do you wish you had done differently?
• How early did you start the planning process?
• What marketing materials did you use? Social media? Print materials?
• What did you offer your customers that your competitor’s did not? What made you stand out from the crowd?
• What did you learn that you can apply to the next special holiday? And the next?
Turn right around and use what you’ve learned for Cinco de Mayo and other upcoming holidays. Capitalize on your strengths and address the gaps in your current strategy. You’ll appreciate the pay-off throughout the year.
Erin go bragh!