5 Tips for Running a Successful St. Patrick's Day Promotion At Your Bar

By Raubi Perilli |

  | Feb 27, 2020  /  Solutions |

Get out your green. St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner.  

If you run a bar or restaurant, it's time to get ready. Don’t wait until the last minute to start putting together promotions. St. Patrick’s Day presents a big opportunity to drive customers to your business, and you don't want to miss it.  

Last year, the National Retail Federation reported that Americans planned to spend a record $5.9 billion to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Their survey showed that of the customers planning to participate in St. Patrick’s Day:  

  • 50% planned to buy food
  • 41% planned to buy beverages
  • 27% planned to head to a party at a bar or restaurant

People plan to go out in their green on St. Patrick’s day, and bars and restaurants can capitalize on this.  

You can run St. Patrick's Day promotions to:

  • Bring in past customers who haven’t visited in a while
  • Attract new customers who are looking for the best place to celebrate
  • Boost sales and brand awareness 
  • Drive customer engagement
  • Form connections that get customers to come back another day  

Here are a few tips for running a successful St. Patrick’s Day promotion at your bar or restaurant and getting the most out of this fun holiday.

#1) Market your St. Patrick’s Day promotion as an event.

Get in the full spirit of the holiday by positioning St. Patrick’s Day as an event at your establishment.

Hosting an event (rather than simply running holiday specials) makes the day feel more exclusive and important. It reminds people that this is the only time of the year that they can experience your bar or restaurant in this way.  

Once you create your event, make sure you spread the word about it.

For tips on how to promote your event, check out this MyArea Network guide: 6 Ways to Promote Your Event (That Have Nothing to Do with Creating a Facebook Listing).

#2) Submit your event to local media outlets and calendars.

Another benefit of positioning St. Patrick’s Day as an event is that it is more likely to be included in St. Paddy’s round-ups and event listings.

Submit your event to local media outlets and event calendars so when people search for things to do on St. Patrick’s Day, they come across your event.  

Look for the Local Area site in your community and add your event. This will cause your event to show up in searches on the site and possibly get featured in our round-up of top St. Patrick’s Day events.

Find your Local Area site and submit your event now.

#3) Create an LTO for Irish-themed food and drinks.

Fifty percent of people plan to buy food on St. Patrick’s day, and another 41% plan to buy beverages. Give those customers what they want by creating limited-time menu offers related to Irish flavors and themes.

Make fun variations of Irish-themed food and drinks that are a fit for your clientele using St. Patrick's day flavors and ingredients like:  

  • Corned Beef
  • Shepherd’s Pie
  • Cabbage
  • Irish Soda Bread
  • Potatoes
  • Guinness-Infused Menu Items
  • Green Menu Items
  • Mint
  • Whiskey

Serving Irish-themed food and drinks brings in customers wanting a taste of St. Patrick’s Day.

Plus, limited-time menu items also drive customers to your business because they want to try something they can’t get on any other day.

#4) Generate leads (and interest) with a “Lucky” giveaway.

St. Patrick’s Day is synonymous with lucky four-leaf clovers. Play into this theme by hosting a “lucky winner” contest or giveaway. Set up a contest as a way to tie your bar to the theme of day, while also giving you a way to interest customers and generate leads.  

Use text marketing to set up your giveaway, and invite customers to text to enter the contest. This is a simple entry method for participants, and it is also a way for you to generate leads with each entry. You gather phone numbers that you can later use for re-engagement and remarketing campaigns.  

To run a successful text marketing campaign:  

  • Promote the campaign leading up to St. Patrick's Day.
  • For more visibility, partner with another local brand or business to expand your reach.
  • Send texts to participants reminding them to visit your business on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • After St. Patrick's Day, follow up with participants (that didn’t win) and offer them a coupon to use at your business on another day.

Want to set up a text marketing lead generation campaign but don’t know where to start? Contact MyArea Network to see how we have helped other bars and brands generate leads through text marketing contests.


#5) Use location-based marketing to reach local customers.

Location-based marketing is a great way to reach customers who will be most likely to visit your business on St. Patrick’s Day.

There are a variety of ways that you can target customers by their geographical location and present them with messages and incentives to visit your business.  

  • Prior to St. Patrick’s Day, use geotargeting in paid ads on social media to reach customers who live close to your business.
  • On St. Patrick’s Day, use geofencing advertising to reach people who are near your business or in popular St. Paddy’s Day areas (such as a festival or parade). Present coupons or deals to drive them to your business later in the day.
  • If you are marketing for a multi-location brand, promote your St. Patrick’s Day event on your website location pages so local customers can find the information they need on your larger branded website.

Run Better Promotions at Your Bar All Year Round

Don’t let St. Patrick’s Day come and go without using it as an opportunity to drive both new and existing customers to your bar or restaurant. Also, don’t let these tips go to waste the rest of the year.  

Keep using special branded events and promotions to keep current patrons engaged with your business and to drive in new, nearby customers.  

For more tips on how to promote your bar or restaurant all year long, contact MyArea Network. We specialize in helping local hospitality brands drive in more business from nearby customers, and we’d love to talk about how we can help you grow your customer base and revenue.

Or for more tips, check out our guide 12 Nightclub and Bar Marketing Ideas You Should Be Using But Aren’t.