Saint Patrick’s Day Promo Ideas for Your Restaurant

On March 17, restaurants and bars around the world will serve countless pints of beer to an estimated 33 million people for Saint Patrick’s Day, generating roughly 5.3 billion dollarsSales

It doesn’t matter if your establishment doesn’t typically cater to the Saint Patrick’s day crowd, there’s always a way you can get in on the action while staying true to your cuisine and your clientele. That’s why we’ve put together a list of last-minute ways to monetize Saint Paddy’s and make some serious green.

  • A successful St. Patrick’s Day in your restaurant includes:
    • Saint Patrick’s Day promos and events
    • Putting your unique spin on traditional Irish dishes
    • Satisfaction and safety of customers

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10 Last-minute Saint Patrick’s Day promos and events for restaurants

You don’t have the luxury of time, but you need to run some promos to draw guests to your establishment, keep them entertained and offer them value. These are some easy promotion ideas to put together and implement.

1. Run a Saint Paddy’s Day Instagram contest

Social media photo competitions are a good way to attract younger people to your business. Content created by usersGet more customers engaged on your Instagram and Facebook pages

Play on the “lucky” theme and run a social contest with these simple participation guidelines:

  • Your guests take pictures of themselves in your establishment
  • They tag your establishment’s Instagram account and location
  • They also include the contest hashtag (#GetLucky for example).
  • They finally post the photo

Use an Instagram raffle tool like this on March 18 EasypromosTo determine the winner of the contest, Then, post an Instagram photo to announce the winner and an Instagram Story that shows some of the contest’s best submissions while thanking them all for participating.

You can go even further. With a contest like this, your Instagram is going to get flooded with photos you’re tagged in. Use them to show all your Instagram followers that your establishment is the place to be on March 17th by sharing them the day’s Instagram story ?

2. You can run a loyalty promotion

A good deal is something everyone loves. Loyalty programs are loved by 83% of customersYou can combine them together.

If you have a Loyalty program that’s available in any smartphone app store, your goal is to get as many people to download it as possible. Consider offering a “one day only” offer where your loyalty program Members receive 7% discount on beer and Jameson They are lucky!

Customers receive an instant kickback for something that was already purchased. They also accumulate points which they can redeem next time they come to your location. This will help you secure repeat customers. Everybody wins

Tip: Smartphone app-based loyalty programs have a ton of benefits, the most important of which is that you’re collecting your customers’ contact information and purchase history. With this information, you will be able to create personalized offers for later.

3. Live music or bagpipes might be featured.

You can get guests to dance, enjoy, and stay for longer than one round of traditional Irish music. Are you limited on space? Think about going with an acoustic band, that can set up anywhere in your establishment because they aren’t reliant on a power supply. A local bagpiping group could also be a great way to attract people.

4. Set up a St. Paddy’s day photo booth

If you tend to get a younger crowd, they’ll love posing with their friends in a photo booth. Make sure you have plenty of props such as big red beards and leprechaun-hats. Also, make sure they are able to hold or wear fun sayings. You should encourage your guests to use social media to upload their pictures, including using a hashtag and tags for the restaurant.

5. Invite other local businesses and organizations to participate in the fun

It’s a good idea to team up with local businesses in order to create an atmosphere of fun and excitement that will draw people. Each business can help promote the event to its customers by working with others. Houston’s Irish Carnival featured games, Lucky Charms eating contests, and a dunking station. The event included small snacks, jello shots, and beer.

6. Host a trivia night during the week of St. Paddy’s

Besides the day itself, it might be worthwhile to come up with some fun St. Patrick’s Day games that can attract customers during the week. Trivia is a fun and easy to test your customers’ knowledge of St. Patrick’s day, Irish culture or a broader category, like green things.

7. You can hide four-leaf clover around the restaurant

Speaking of St. Patty’s Day bar party ideas, why not host a scavenger hunt? Lucky four-leaf Clovers can be placed in randomly located areas. Then, guests will find them. Or, you can let your customers know in advance on social media that you’ll be hiding clovers under random guest chairs so they get an automatic chance to win just by coming in.

8. Announce a St. Patrick’s Day raffle

Especially if you’re getting other local businesses in on the fun, a raffle could be a good way to draw people in. Offer baskets featuring donated items with 50% going to local charities.

9. Offer a clever discount

Would you consider offering 17% discount on all your green beverages? You could offer green beer and apple martinis as well as grasshoppers. You could also offer discounts on the spot to those who wear the most green. However you frame it, patrons love a fun holiday promotion.

10. Try some “lucky” marketing

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, stay in touch with customers on your email list and on social media to let them know that you’re lucky to have their business. It’s a great way to thank them for their patronage. Also, you can share brief videos from your bartenders and other staff about what makes them feel grateful to be able to work in your restaurant. Customer response to positive attitudes and goodwill is excellent.

St. Patrick’s Day is a moneymaker for most restaurants, especially if you have a busy bar area. Try thinking beyond green beer this year, so you can create some buzz and excitement about your St. Patrick’s Day promotion ideas. If you do it right, you can be reworded with your very own pot of gold—happy customers and a great week of sales.


Put your unique spin on traditional Irish dishes

Of course, you’re going to want to stock up on Jameson whiskey and Guinness beer, but you should also consider adding some traditional Irish dishes to your menu for the big day.

  1. Cattle and corned beef
  2. Shepherd’s pie
  3. Fish and seafood
  4. Irish soda bread

If your establishment isn’t known for working-class, hearty meals like the ones listed above, you can always add a Saint Paddy’s Day twist to your existing menu items and have your servers call it out as your special for the day.

Here’s an example: Let’s say your establishment is a Mexican-style eatery best known for tapas-style soft shell tacos. For an Irish-inspired steak taco, try adding cilantro, avocado puree and jalapeno.

Alternative: Maybe you’re a brunch spot and all the above menu items don’t fit in well with your menu. You might consider adding Lucky Charms Latte like Montreal’s Melbourne Cafe

For those of you who are St. Patrick’s day pros, streamline those slim food cost margins by optimizing your inventory. Take a look at your past records to see what types of beer, dishes and other products were purchased. Then match your order for this week with those numbers. If you’re not already keeping track of holiday stock, whether through manual or an Automatic inventory systemStart planning for the future by getting started in this year.


Customer satisfaction and safety on St. Patrick’s Day

Make sure your guests are safe

Maybe it’s something in the air, or maybe it’s all the green beer and Jameson shots, but Saint Patrick’s Day tends to get rowdier than other holidays. Set up safe ride programs to show your guests you are concerned about their safety. You can partner with local taxi companies or create promo codes for popular transport services such as Lyft and Uber. Your goal is to demonstrate that you care about your guests’ wellbeing.

Let customers know how much you value them

Once the festivities are done, it’s important to Show your appreciation to customers. This can be done in many ways. Our personal favorite is to post a quick video on Instagram and Facebook of you and your team thanking them for stopping by, enjoying your atmosphere and choosing to celebrate Saint Paddy’s with you.


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With Small Biz Sense’s restaurant POS and management system, you can offer tableside ordering, track inventory, start a loyalty program and view reports to see what’s working.Meet one of our expert restaurant chefsSee how technology can streamline your business and help you make better decisions. 

Cyndy Lane

Cyndy is business journalist with a focus on entrepreneurship and small business. With over a decade of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Cyndy has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, insightful and approachable journalist. She has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners and is able to explain them in a way that is relatable and actionable for her readers.