5 Unique St. Patrick’s Day Bar Promotions

 In Bar Entertainment, Bar Promotion

St. Patrick’s Day is so ubiquitous with drinking that most celebratory shirts, hats, and paraphernalia contain a beer mug or pun-filled slogan about alcohol. Americans treat St. Patrick’s Day as a bright green excuse to party and make merry in their local tavern, bar, or restaurant.

For bar and restaurant managers this means big business. The National Retail Federation estimated that 4.8 billion dollars were spent on St. Patrick’s Day in 2014, and that 45% of consumers between the ages of 25-34 celebrated in a bar that year.

However, offering green beer and green cocktails isn’t going to make you stand out or pave the way for guaranteed financial success. Every other bar and restaurant in town will have a shamrock-themed drink, so try out some more unique promotions to truly generate some revenue.

  • Hire a Live Irish Rock Band: Believe it or not, you’ll pretty easily be able to find a small-time Irish rock band in any decently sized city. Hiring a band to play during St. Patrick’s Day festivities adds an authenticity to your celebration. It also garners goodwill from your customers – they’ll be more likely to spend a few bucks on another round of drinks if your bar feels connected to the local music community.
  • Become Part of a Pub Crawl: This promotion idea takes a couple years of investment for the greatest payoffs, but nothing says “profits” like becoming a major stop on a local pub crawl. If one doesn’t exist in your community, reach out to other bar managers and create one! Social media marketing is key to long-term success for this promotion.
  • Patty’s Day Punch Card: Sure, a St. Patrick’s Day-specific drink is great. But what about five? Offer a myriad of options (Irish beer, whiskey cocktails, green margaritas, etc.) and issue punch cards with every option listed. If a customer (or group) orders every drink on the card, they get a free drink!
  • Buy-In Drinking Games: For this promotion, either hire someone to dress as a leprechaun or choose a fun, outgoing member of your staff. Allow customers to buy-in for a chance to trounce the leprechaun at beer pong or Irish quarters to win a free appetizer or drink. The fee to simply play will maximize profits, and many customers will play just for the experience and the photos (which they can tag you in on social media!).
  • Trivia Drinking Games: While these should be moderated, turning tablet-based Buzztime bar trivia into a drinking game is a win for both the customers and for bar owners. They’ll have a blast trying to outwit their friends and taking a shot when they inevitably lose a round or two, while you’ll see a steady stream of revenue without having to spend a dime.

Any of these unique St. Patrick’s Day bar promotions will make your bar or restaurant the hottest destination for revelers and regulars alike on March 17th.

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