Raise a glass of Guinness, it’s time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – and say cheers to big sales. To see green, you don’t need luck. Just launch one of these St. Patrick’s Day promotions to earn that pot of gold. After all, Americans plan to spend a record-breaking $5.9 billion this year to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – and you deserve a piece of that shepherd’s pie.
Irish Games as St. Patrick’s Day Promotions
St. Patrick’s Day promotions are all fun and games – literally! Host a competition or tournament with Irish themes that make winners feel as lucky as a leprechaun.
1. Traditional Irish Games
Add authenticity to your St. Patrick’s Day promotions with traditional Irish games hailing from the Emerald Isle. These indoor games are easy to set up and you may even have some in your bar or restaurant already.
- Rings Tournament: This traditional Irish game involves tossing rubber rings onto a shield-shaped board with hooks. Each hook represents a different amount of points that players can earn. The first player to reach a set amount of points is the winner. There are different variations of the game that you can add to your other St. Patrick’s Day promotions.
- Darts: This popular pub game is also a traditional pastime in Ireland. Although darts may have originated in England, the Irish created their own version with an Irish darts board. For one of your St. Patrick’s Day promotions, consider starting an Irish themed darts tournament.
- Croquet: Although some may regard croquet as a fancy game, there’s something satisfying about hitting a ball with wooden mallets. Croquet as we know is actually a passed-down version of an Northern Irish game called Crooky. Usually this game is played outdoors, which we recommend if you have the space. If not, consider getting an indoor version for one of your St. Patrick’s Day promotions.
2. Four Leaf Clover Hunt
According to Irish lore, four leaf clovers are incredibly lucky. Bring a little of that good fortune to your St. Patrick’s Day promotions with a four leaf clover hunt.
You can plan ahead and hold your own scavenger hunt throughout your bar or restaurant for a team of patrons. Or, keep things simple by taping a paper clover to the bottom of one of your bar stools. Whoever sits in the lucky seat gets a prize, like a free drink, appetizer or gift card.
3. St. Patty’s Day Spirit Contest
Some of the best St. Patrick’s Day promotions pit patrons against each other in a little friendly competition. See who loves St. Patty’s Day the most with some of these fun contest ideas:
- Leprechaun Costume Contest: Whether they’re bearded, red-headed or just really into green top hats, have some of your guests compete to see who looks the most like a leprechaun.
- Who’s Wearing the Most Green: There’s more at stake than getting pinched. For one of your St. Patrick’s Day promotions, offer a prize to the guest wearing the most green. Body paint and wigs are encouraged!
- Pot of Gold Trivia Competition: Test your patrons’ knowledge with trivia-themed St. Patrick’s Day promotions. Hold your own live trivia event and offer a pot of gold (a.k.a. a gift card) to the winners!
Drink Like a Leprechaun
It’s no secret that St. Patrick’s Day promotions usually involve lots of drinking. Even leprechauns are rumored to be enthusiastic drinkers, in between cobbling shoes.
4. Irish Tasting
Get in the Irish spirit with some Irish spirits. Partner with one of your liquor reps who offers an Irish whiskey, like Jameson, and hold a small-pour tasting for your patrons.
To take things up a notch, hold a special Irish-themed meal, where you pair whiskeys and stouts with traditional Irish dishes (read below for some entree ideas). As far as St. Patrick’s Day promotions go, this one is also a chance to show of your whiskey and beer selections.
5. Go Green
It’s tradition to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day for good luck. Why not dress up your drinks too? Add a little green to your drink menu to match your St. Patrick’s Day promotions!
- Green Beer: Like whiskey and Guinness, green beer is another staple for St. Patrick’s Day promotions. Just a few drops of food coloring in a pint of popular beer will do the trick!
- Green Drink Specials: Don’t let beer steal all the glory during your St. Patrick’s Day promotions. For your cocktail drinkers, offer a variety of festive mixed drinks. Midori Sours, Sour Apple Martinis and Grasshoppers are some popular (and delicious) options!
- Irish Flag Drinks: Okay, so it’s not exactly a green drink but it still matches your St. Patrick’s Day promotions. Show your Irish pride with a layered Irish Flag shot that features green creme de menthe, Irish cream liqueur and Grand Marnier orange liqueur.
6. Irish Car Bombs
Irish Car Bombs are arguably the most popular Irish drinks. Featuring a pint of Guinness and a shot of Jameson and Bailey’s, your patrons drop the shot into the beer and start chugging.
You’ll probably get many requests for Irish Car Bombs during your St. Patrick’s Day promotions, so stock up and offer a special to sell more. But remember to monitor patrons for responsible drinking!
Start an Irish Jig
Music adds another level of ambiance to your St. Patrick’s Day promotions. Luckily, the Irish have their own, distinct musical sound that’s pretty popular among pubgoers. Consider adding some of your own Irish tunes with the following music-inspired St. Patrick’s Day promotions.
7. Bagpipe Lessons
These famous Celtic instruments immediately evoke all the feels for the Emerald Isle. Add some to your St. Patrick’s Day promotions by offering a class that teaches your patrons how to play the bagpipes. It may get noisy, but it’ll be tons of fun (especially after a couple pints).
8. Live Irish Music…and Dance!
Live music is always a hit on the holidays, and St. Patrick’s Day promotions are no different. To match the theme, feature an Irish band to play hits that range from traditional Irish jigs to popular Irish rock music. If you have a large Irish community, there may even be an Irish dancing troupe that could perform in your venue.
9. Learn Traditional Irish Songs
Irish folk songs are fun to sing and tell the stories of the famous island. Bring in a local Irish folk singer to teach your patrons some traditional songs for your St. Patrick’s Day promotions. You can charge for the class or offer food and drink specials for patrons to enjoy while they sing.
Serve Traditional Irish Fare
Irish food is both filling and delicious. Even if your bar or restaurant isn’t considered an Irish pub, your patrons can still eat like an Irishman (or woman) when you offer authentic Irish dishes for your St. Patrick’s Day promotions.
10. St. Patrick’s Day Eve
2019 St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday, which is ideal for festivals and pub crawls. However, if your bar or restaurant is far from the festivities, you can still reap the benefits with St. Patrick’s Day promotions…for the night before!
Host an Irish-themed dinner on St. Patrick’s Eve, the evening before the big St. Patrick’s Day promotions take place. Your patrons will enjoy a traditional Irish meal while getting a head start on the festivities.
11. Irish Brunch
Before guests begin a long day of celebrating, they’ll need a big breakfast. Offer an Irish spin on some of your popular brunch items that will leave them full and ready for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day promotions.
- Irish Eggs Benedicts: Eggs benedict is a popular brunch dish and can easily be adapted for your St. Patrick’s Day promotions. Just replace the traditional ham with corn beef and hash. Yum!
- Loaded Irish Breakfast Bowl: Add an Irish touch to your regular breakfast bowl by adding some Irish gravy, sausage and potatoes. It’s bangers and mash in a bowl!
- Irish Shortbread Cookies: Offer a breakfast version of Irish Shortbread Cookies as a brunch item for your St. Patrick’s Day promotions. These light, buttery cookies taste delicious with jam and whip cream for a sweet and decadent St. Patrick’s Day breakfast dessert.
12. The Best Irish Dish
Put your patrons to work with a competition for the best Irish dishes. Give them a list of dishes that they can enter for the St. Patrick’s Day promotions, and have your chefs determine the winners. Here are some Irish dish ideas you can feature for your competition:
- Fish and Chips Competition: Let your patrons show off their frying skills for your St. Patrick’s Day promotions. This Irish delicacy is also a popular dish in restaurants across America. Everyone has their own spin on the batter and types of fish used to make the meal their own.
- The Best Potatoes: Potatoes are an Irish pantry staple and possibly the most versatile ingredient on the market. Give your patron’s a bushel of potatoes and have them create their favorite dishes for your St. Patrick’s Day promotions.
- Award-Winning Shepherd’s Pie: Who wouldn’t love a beef-filled pie topped with mashed potatoes? This Irish comfort food can be made several ways, so have your guests use their family’s secret recipe (or create their own) for a chance to win your St. Patrick’s Day promotions.
Need some more ideas for your St. Patrick’s Day, then make sure you check out this awesome list of St. Patrick’s Day marketing ideas!
You don’t need a Blarney Stone to attract a crowd on March 17th. Featuring some of these St. Patrick’s Day promotions that offer food, fun and drink specials is all you need to fill your pot of gold (leprechaun not included).