Bank a Pot Full of Gold this St. Patrick's Day

Planning ahead for St. Patrick's Day will help you score a pot of gold. Image: Getty

St. Patrick’s Day is big business in the bar and nightclub scene, especially for Millennials. If you haven’t started yet, now’s the time to start planning and putting the right vendors in place to make sure you get a chunk of the spending.

Follow these tips to succeed this St. Patrick’s Day.

1. Provide the staples, but think outside the box.

Green beer and special St. Patrick’s Day cocktails are always a must, but every bar in your vicinity is going to offer that. Differentiate yourself by thinking outside the box with other activities to drive in your guests:

  • Drinking games, such as beer pong or Irish quarters, against a “lucky leprechaun” (to make even more revenue, offer this option at a buy-in rate only);
  • Being a part of a St. Patrick’s day pub crawl to draw a new crowd;
  • Creating drink packages, like a flight of Irish beer or a series of Irish whiskey-based cocktails, to increase spending;
  • Taking the party outside by hosting a patio party or even a block party. You can also couple this with a scavenger hunt to find the hidden treasure.

2. Don’t forget the food.

A big part of Irish culture is the food, which also happens to be a big part of drinking holidays. If you don’t offer food, your customers are likely to leave at some point to grab some grub elsewhere. There are a number of Irish items you can add to your menu, which should always be governed by how your kitchen is equipped.

Perhaps simple finger foods or appetizers are all your bar can handle, or maybe you have a full kitchen and can offer corned beef, Irish stew, and shepherd’s pie. You can also partner with food trucks so that you have food on-site without having to be in charge of the food prep and delivery. Try to stick to traditional or well-known Irish food to appease your customer’s appetites and the theme of the day.

3. Create drink packages.

Spending per person on St. Patrick’s Day has increased the past few years. You can continue to increase spending by packaging drinks together for an added perception of value. Create a flight of Irish beer for a premium. Allow people to buy an Irish whiskey tasting. You can even pre-sell drink packages to guarantee your revenue. The more consumers that purchase these packages, the more revenue you make per guest and the more streamlined your bar operations will be.

4. Put the right tools in place.

Having the right tools helps you automate your night, which in turn leads to efficiency and increased revenue potential. Do you need to sell tickets to your event? If so, pre-sell them to gain more revenue than just selling them at the door. Do you need to automate your guest list? What about speeding up the line at your door? Identify which areas you could improve on and find the best tools and systems to help with these processes. There are a few platforms available that have all this and more features integrated to allow you to handle all functions from one system.

5. Start promoting now.

The time is now to market and drive people through your doors. The best way to reach your customers is by using the channels they’re already on, such as social media, email, and text messages. You should also always keep your regular guests who stop by your venue before St. Patrick’s Day informed of your plans so they have it on their radar. Consider putting money behind paid advertising to generate even more buzz than organic marketing alone, making sure to use your audience segments to target the right people. If you have a CRM system in place, use filters to segment your customers into specific targeted audiences to provide each audience with a message that is 100% relevant to them. Make sure your messaging is consistent across channels and is compelling enough that your customers want to share the news with their friends.

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