Prep Your Bar for St. Patrick's Day to Heighten Guest Experience

Green beer surrounded by gold coins on St. Patrick's Day
Image: LightFieldStudios / iStock / Getty Images Plus

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner. A day filled with drinks, food and celebration, March 17 is a goldmine for bars and restaurants.

In recent years, Americans have spent billions on festivity-related items during this holiday. 

To prepare yourself for this lucrative event, look at a few of these tips and tricks. Your guests will have the time of their lives, all while you maintain your sanity and rake in the cash.

CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL COVERAGE NEWSLETTERS

The most comprehensive and up-to-date information relating to the pandemic.

Get the latest coronavirus-related news with increased daily BarIQ sends. PLUS everything you need to know for small businesses 3x/week with Coronavirus Planning and Response (CPR) Small Business.

Double-check Inventory

You never want to run out of the good stuff, especially on such an important holiday. Take extra time to think about what customers want. Last year's sales can tell you a lot, so be sure to look at those.

In general, you'll want to stock up on Guinness, Jameson and Bailey's. People also like to stick to everyday beers like Bud Light. Don't underestimate patrons—buy more than you think is necessary.

Give this a read: Negotiating the Best Lease for Your Restaurant or Bar

On a similar note, make sure you have food coloring and other appropriate supplies if you plan to make themed drinks and menu offerings.

Create a Menu

Whether or not you serve food, you'll want to make a menu. Feature a few green cocktails and shots so your guests can drink on-theme.

If you have a full-service kitchen, plan to offer specialty bites. Corned beef and shepherd's pie are Irish classics that can be modernized. For dessert, whip up key lime bars or mint-chocolate brownies. Try to stay as dedicated to the day as you can.

Decorate Accordingly

What's St. Patrick's Day without the decorations? Go all out with the shamrock cut-outs and necklaces. Confetti is fun as well. Make a playlist filled with sounds from the Dropkick Murphys, U2 and Celtic Woman—you can't get more Irish than that.

Give this a read: Juiciest Wings in the Universe: Get to Know Bar-Bill Tavern

Hold a few contests to get your patrons involved. If you want to step up your game even further, look into event professionals in your area. They'll help create the perfect celebratory atmosphere.

Communicate with Staff

While this is a day for festivities, that doesn't mean it's always enjoyable, especially for staff. They have to meet the needs of several customers at once—maybe more so than ever before. Take the time to work with them, so they understand what to expect.

When will you set up decorations? What deals do you plan to offer? Keep everyone on the same page and it'll all go smoothly.

Start Early in the Day

For many, St. Patrick's Day starts at dawn. It's an all-day occasion, after all. To appeal to your guests, open earlier than usual. Serve a traditional Irish breakfast with sausage and beans. Offer coffee with a splash of Bailey's. Take the idea of a "kegs and eggs" and make it a little classier: waffles and green Bloody Marys are delicious. Really, you can't go wrong with this approach.

Promote Your Event

Don't let all this effort go to waste. Put up signs that advertise your specials. Send out social media posts with dates and times so everyone is aware of your festivities. People can go to any bar on St. Patrick's Day and drink—what makes your establishment special?

Give this a read: A Dozen of the Best POS & CRM Systems

Afterward, be sure to post about how much of a success everything was. This way, everyone knows to head to your spot next year.

Make St. Patrick’s Day a Hit

To ensure this holiday goes as well as it can, take note of these tips. Stock your inventory, educate your staff, and create a fun atmosphere and delicious menu. Start as early as you want—on St. Patrick's Day, some people wake up to drink and eat as soon as the sun rises. Your guests won't want to celebrate anywhere else.

Looking to improve your marketing and promotions? Learn how to give them a boost and elevate your guest experience from the best in the business in sessions like “Nightlife Marketing Promotions to Fill Your Bar” by Andrew Corbett of WKND Hospitality, “The Jedi Perspective & Controlling the Domino Effect” by Michael Tipps, Homan Taghdiri and David Foss of Invictus Hospitality, “Crush Your Events by Automating Your Social Ads” by nightlife and marketing expert Louie La Vella, and a fireside chat with Linden Pride of Dante, winner of World's Best Bar. Register now and add these to your schedule today!

Suggested Articles

Chef Brian Duffy is offering delivery and takeout to provide meals for hospitality workers. You can follow his example to do the same.

Owners must prepare mentally to lose everything because that will be the reality for several of them. But that's no reason to freak out.

Vēmos announced they will host a live streamed benefit concert in partnership with Icehouse to raise money for local artists and hospitality workers.