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With Valentine’s Day behind us, it’s time to look toward St. Patrick’s Day, one of the more fun and casual holidays of the year. Here are some tips and tricks to make the day memorable for your customers and profitable for you.

Keeping it Green

The first thing people expect when they walk into a restaurant on St. Patrick’s Day is green: green banners, shamrocks, and seats, with their drinks and food all dyed the St. Patty’s Day hue. If there is one day where excessive décor (and possibly tacky) can be combined and accepted, it’s March 17th. Keeping with the traditional Irish-themed accessories throughout your restaurant and bar will ensure people know yours is a place where they can indulge themselves. Going the extra mile won’t hurt either: consider having special green and Irish uniforms for your staff to put them in the spirit as well.

Portrait of young man in green hat standing with his arms crossed and smiling at camera in the pubEmbrace an Irish Menu

Every good celebration needs an even better menu. Create a specialized Irish menu for the day, from a full Irish breakfast in the morning to shepherd’s pie and corned beef for lunch and dinner. Opening earlier to include breakfast food and drink with a St. Patty’s Day twist will give you an edge on your competitors as customers flock to your restaurant early in the day and stay longer.

Green drink with whipped cream for St Patricks DayWherever possible, incorporate classic Irish ingredients with modern twists to entice customers to try your pie over your neighbor’s. Food that isn’t directly connected to Ireland can still be amped up with some Irish cheer by cutting, baking, or shaping the foods into clovers, rainbows, pots of gold, and other thematic imagery.

Most bars also already have the Irish drinks on-hand: Jameson, Guinness, and Bailey’s. Including more obscure and interesting choices to your bar’s collection can set yourself above your competitors, especially as the day goes on and many party-goers have had more than their fill of on-tap, green-dyed Guinness. There are many other Irish stouts, whiskeys, and cocktails that can brought out to give your customers a more varied and well-rounded experience of Irish alcohol.

Engage with Your Employees

As every holiday and celebration comes with different challenges, it’s never a bad idea to remind/retrain your employees on how best to engage with customers and what the changes are to the menu. Ensure they know the new specials, promotions that include redeemable coupons, and some key differences between the different Irish cocktails you’ll be serving. Your employees can even try learning small facts and trivia tidbits regarding the food, drinks, and different aspects of Irish culture and history that can be used to pique customers’ interest. Offering small trivia questions is also a great way to promote various drinks and entice further purchases – each right answer gives a discount on the next drink!

The Irish Jig

There might not be a better way to transport your customers to Ireland than by creating an Irish-centric playlist. Ensuring your speakers are chockfull of folk songs, rock tunes (U2, anyone?), and upbeat jigs hailing from the Emerald Isle will liven up your restaurant and really bring the luck the Irish through your doors. Control Play can help you create and fine-tune the perfect St. Patrick’s Day playlist that will play throughout the day, with automated pauses, changes, and audio messaging as you see fit through the Control Player. Equipped with music videos, automated digital signs, and promotional information, your restaurant will be the best and easiest choice customers could make this St. Patrick’s Day.

Jacob Parkin

Jacob is a freelance writer who received his bachelor’s degree in English at Western University and has since enjoyed various literary challenges. When not typing up new content, he finds himself editing essays and reading the latest fantasy epic.