St. Patrick’s Day is almost here, and it’s time to give your restaurant that Irish flair. While certain dining restrictions and health protocols might change how you celebrate, it doesn’t mean you can’t be a place the community turns to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day. Whether it’s with your food or virtual events, try to utilize these St. Patrick’s Day restaurant promotions and menu ideas this year.
Host a Virtual Irish Trivia Night
Having a trivia night is a great way to get your customers in the St. Paddy’s Day spirit. If you have occupancy restrictions for your bar or restaurant, you can easily host this event on Zoom or another virtual platform. Schedule it the weekend near the holiday, or on the day itself. Ask questions about Ireland, Irish folklore, Irish music or a combination of all three. For your winners, award festive prizes and vouchers to your restaurant, with the grand prize being the elusive pot of gold full of goodies. And be sure to share the event and winners on your social media pages to show your followers just how much fun there is to be had at your restaurant.
Serve a Special St. Patrick’s Day Menu
There’s nothing better than having some hearty Irish cuisine on St. Patrick’s Day. So why not serve some up to your customers? Curate an exclusive menu of Irish staples for the day and the weekend of the holiday. You can go fully traditional or put your own unique spin on these dishes, depending on the type of bar or restaurant you have. Some fan-favorites you definitely should include are:
- Irish coffee
- Corned beef and cabbage
- Reuben sandwiches
- Dublin coddle
- Soda bread
- Fish & chips
- Potato leek soup
- Beef & Guinness stew
If you’re stumped on how to incorporate Irish food into your menu, consider going green instead! Serve all green meals rich with kale, spinach or pesto, or green mint shakes and desserts.
Offer a Carryout Catering
Some folks might not be comfortable dining out or you’re restricted on how many people can be in the dining area. The best way to make your St. Paddy’s Day menu available is to offer special catering or carryout options. Offer partially or fully prepared meals featuring items of your seasonal favorites that people can enjoy at home with the family. Serve them up at a special price, and consider offering famous cocktails or alcoholic beverages to go (if your area allows it). This bring us to our next idea…
Create an Irish Whiskey Flight Experience
Perfect for restaurants or bars that carry a wide variety of Irish whiskeys, offering a whiskey flight during This can be done for in-person dining or as a to-go experience if your area permits it. It’s a great way to get customers to try your stock of whiskeys and showcase the breadth of your whiskey offerings, especially since the spirit has gained popularity. If you want to make things fun, you can serve the whiskey tastings on a green board, categorize them by what county in Ireland they hail from or go by distillation. For a bonus, serve the whiskey flight in a package deal with a traditional Irish dinner from your limited-edition St. Patrick’s Day menu.
Leprechaun Costume Contest
What’s St. Patrick’s Day without a visit from a leprechaun? This is a great event to host at any bar or restaurant as it can be adapted for any age group. Advertise the leprechaun costume contest on social media and in email campaigns, and hold the event on St. Patrick’s Day or during the closest weekend. If you have health and safety restrictions on capacity in your area, this can be held virtually on Zoom or by having customers post photos or videos to your Facebook page. Break down prizes by Most Creative, Funniest, Best-in-Show and so on. The grand prize winner can win a “pot of gold” filled with vouchers or gift cards to your restaurant. You can even team up with other local businesses to include donated prizes and coupons.
No matter what St. Patrick’s Day restaurant promotions you set up this year, make sure you encourage your customers to get home safe either with a designated driver, a cab service or a ride sharing service.