Saint Patrick’s Day: A Pot of Gold for Restaurants

Whether you’re Irish or not, Saint Patrick’s Day is a holiday celebrated across the nation. Each city has their own ways of recognizing the Saint, but more than 30% of those enjoying the holiday will be at bars and ordering a themed food dish or drink. This occasion only comes around once a year, so prepare your restaurant with these helpful tips from your friends at Uncorkd.

What to Expect

This year, 127 million Americans are expected to celebrate St. Paddy’s day, spending an estimated $4.2 billion nationwide. The warmer weather and better economic conditions will be pulling people out of their homes to enjoy the festivities at restaurants and bars. 8 out of 10 of those participating in the celebration will be Millennials, projected to spend an average of $38.55. Even better, the remainder of St. Patrick’s Day patrons are spending at average of $41.69. This wide of an audience sets the stage for restaurants driving people through their doors. The challenge now is to figure out how to have your restaurant stand out among the waves of green.

Beverage Suggestions

1. Green Beer: An oldie, but a goodie. It may seem obvious to have this option at your restaurant, but know that the traditional green coloring itself will catch customer’s attention. People are striving for the full St. Paddy’s experience, and green beer has been a custom of the holiday for years. The best part of having this option on your menu is that it’s easy. The secret ingredient? Green food coloring. Use a light colored beer such as pilsner or a pale ale for the best results.

2. Irish Beer: For those looking for the more authentic experience, offer a selection of Irish beers. Guinness is a classic Stout choice, but otherwise try introducing O’Hara’s Celtic Stout or Beamish Irish Stout. Other beers include O’Hara’s Irish Wheat or Smithwick’s Irish Ale. If your restaurant currently offers a selection of Irish beers, feature them on the menu so they stand out during the month of March – this could further sales than just on St. Pat’s.

3. Irish Whiskeys: These can span from the classic Jameson and Redbreast to more unique brands like The Green Spot. Irish Whiskeys can be served straight, but creating cocktails special to your restaurant is an easy way to beat out the competition. Offer standard choices, such as Whiskey Sours and Car Bombs, or try some of these recipes…

–  The Emerald: A drink similar to the Manhattan, but with a twist. 2 oz Irish Whiskey, 1 oz sweet vermouth, 2 dashes orange bitters.

– The Blarney Stone: A sweet, light drink. 2 oz Irish Whiskey, 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes), chilled ginger beer, lime twist garnish.

-Pat’s Irish Coffee: A fizzy form of this traditional drink. 1 oz Irish Whiskey, 1 oz chicory infused rye , 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/4 oz freshly squeezed orange juice, 3/4 oz fresh coffee syrup, 1/2 oz egg white, 1/2 oz soda, garnish with nutmeg.