A pot o’ gold awaits the well-stocked bar owner on St. Patrick’s Day. Celebrated the world over, this festive holiday is notorious for attracting happy crowds, whether they’re stopping in for an Irish coffee before the parade or settling down in their stools for the day’s final round. Here are 5 essential tips to help make your bar the go-to spot for the day:
Set the Stage
According to Forbes, the demand for live Celtic music on St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. is so high, many bands based in Ireland trek across the ocean every year to cash in. While your neighborhood joint may not be hiring the likes of Gaelic Storm, a little entertainment is called for. Live shows can range from stepdancing to contemporary Celtic rock to traditional bagpipe music. Enlist a variety of genres and keep the music flowing throughout the day.
Keep it Authentic
Is green-colored beer too gimmicky? Some purists believe so. While Restaurant News reports that a significant number of consumers will seek out restaurants and bars offering green beer, the majority will simply navigate toward their “favorite” establishments. This means that your safest bet is to stay authentic to your tastes. Your selection of St. Patrick’s Day spirits could highlight everything from Irish-style beers from local breweries to a creative spin on Irish coffee to specialty cocktails crafted with Irish whiskey, and you can proudly display them on your digital menu boards.
Stocking the Right Inventory
Your St. Patrick’s day demographic can differ significantly from the crowd you’ve come to expect during regular business hours. Do your patrons consist primarily of the professional crowd, college crowd, or locals and families? Knowing who to cater to will help you target your day’s promotions, from the type of music you bring on at what hour, to how much shepherd’s pie and Irish stew to prep in the kitchen. Check reports from last year to ensure you stock your best selling items, and to be prepared in terms of how much to order and how many people to staff.
Preparing for Larger Volumes of Customers
According to Nightclub & Bar, St. Patrick’s Day brings out some of the craziest crowds, so bar owners should keep additional trained staff on hand to deal with potentially rowdy patrons. In preparing for a packed house, training sessions and refresher courses on security and service are recommended for your regular crew, who are sure to face an especially busy shift. You can also consider setting up one touch menus or special order stations to avoid any bottlenecks in service. Additionally, consider premixing some cocktails as a house drink to give customers a fast and easy option to keep service moving.
Choose Your Promotions
Consumers love the fun accessories that come with St. Patrick’s Day, from the green clothes to the pins and buttons that accentuate them. Bar owners do well to encourage a festive spirit with select promotions that may well become your annual signature. Feel free to get creative with trivia games, door prizes, or even a donation of your day’s profits to a favorite local charity. Spread the word about the days festivities on your social media channels.