Category : Bar Marketing

St Patricks Day Activities

St Patricks Day Activities
to Bring Em In and Keep Em There This St Paddy’s Day


St Patricks Day activities are essential no matter what type of St Paddy’s Day party you’re planning.  If you want your bar to be in on the Paddy’s Day crowd, you’ll need to do more than just add a couple drops of green food coloring to your beer.

Below is a St Patricks Day poster for an event I ran a couple years back.  Take a good look at the poster to get ideas for not just St Patricks Day drink recipes but also food and entertainment specials.

st patricks day activities

As you can see from the St Paddy’s Day poster, in addition to food and drink specials, we had lots for people to do as well.  Since the party usually gets started during the afternoon on St. Patricks Day, you’ll need to make sure that there is enough entertainment to keep your patrons from straying elsewhere.

One of the things you can do to get people through your doors is to reward them for coming.  Here are a couple of ways you can do this:

  1. Trade in your Ticket for a Free Jello Shot – since we were using smaller versions of the poster as handouts and tickets for the event (it was free to get in), we wanted people to hold on to the ticket so that they could compare what we had happening at our place to whatever else was going on in the city (knowing, of course, that you’re putting on the best St Patty’s Day event in town), leading up to P-day.
  2. Wear Green for a free Jello Shot – whether it’s a shooter, cocktail, mixed drink or appetizer, give something away to patrons who get into the festive spirit and wear green to your event.  These are the people you want at your bar so give them a reason to dress up and reward them for it.


Ok, now that you have people through your doors, let’s look at some St Patricks Day activities you can incorporate into your St Patty’s Day events.


  • Irish Music – One of the first things your patrons are going to notice about your St Patricks Day event is the music.  It’s an Irish holiday so make sure you have Irish tunes playing.  Make sure you stick to the more upbeat, drinking song type music.
  • Face Painting – We’re not talking about unicorns and ice cream cones here.  Have one of your bar staff paint shamrocks on people’s faces.  If you have someone artistic on staff, you can have get a little more creative.  Since face painting crayons aren’t very expensive, you can even take this a step further and put a green face paint crayon on every other table so that your customers could draw on their friends’ faces.
  • Create a Limerick – This adds a nice break in the middle of what will turn out to be a very long night.  Throughout the day as people come and go, have them submit a Limerick about St Patricks Day.  Print out the definition of a Limerick on a piece of paper with blank lines for the Limerick itself and hand them out to people as they come in.  Guests can make up their own Limerick and later in the evening you can read the best ones out to the crowd and choose a winner based on applause.
  • Balloon Drop – Since I had worked out a deal with a travel agency in advance, I was able to get free tickets to Las Vegas as the main giveaway for the event.  To make the giveaway more entertaining, we decided to do a balloon drop where people had to burst balloons and find out which ones contained prizes (simply pieces of paper stating what the prize is).  Prizes consisted of free drinks, appetizers, “skip the line” passes for Fri/Sat nights, beer gear etc.
  • Jello Syringes – Although jello shots and jello syringes may seem more like St Patricks Day drinks rather than St Patty’s Day activities, the reality is that doing jello shots IS entertainment and therefore qualifies as an activity – especially doing jello shot syringes.Jello shots are cheaper than regular shots and a lot more fun for your guests to do.  But you do have to prepare them in advance.  Make sure you check out how to make jello shots and for a tasty green jello shot recipe, take a look at the Liquid Marijuana jello shot recipe at the bottom of the page.



Although this next point, staff involvement, is not a St Patricks Day activity per se, it’s of the utmost importance that your staff are on board with the promotion.

There’s nothing worse than getting dressed up for St Patty’s Day and getting to the bar only to find out that, not only are you the only guest that’s dressed up but none of the bar staff are in costume either.

Much of the success of your event has to do with how committed the venue and staff are to the event.  Make sure your staff all wear green and are pushing the event weeks prior.


St Patricks Day comes but once a year.  But when it does, watch out! It can be one of the busiest days of the year for many bars, pubs and clubs.  Make sure that you’re prepared, have enough stock and your staff knows the food and drink specials as well as what the entertainment is for the day.


If you haven’t checked it out yet, make sure you stop by our St Patricks Day drinks recipes page.


If you know of any other great St Patricks Day activities, please share them with our readers by leaving a comment below.

Restaurant Marketing Strategies

Proven Bar / Restaurant Marketing Strategies That Work

In today’s tough economic times, new restaurant marketing strategies are a much needed way to keep patrons entertained and coming back; as well as for bringing in a continuous flow of new clientele.  bar marketing

Keep in mind as you’re planning your promotion or event that a successful restaurant / bar promotion can’t always be measured by pure profit alone.  And the best promotions don’t need to have super cheap drink specials – as long as the event itself is promoted and well-run.

The best type of promotion that you can get for your event is the free kind – free publicity.  One of the best restaurant marketing strategies that any bar / restaurant could implement right away is to get as much free publicity as possible.  There are a couple ways to do this.

  1. A good way to get free publicity for your event is to look to local magazine / newspaper writers.  Make a contact list of all the people who write about events going on in your city and make sure you email them a personalized invite each time you are running a special / throwing an event.
  2. Ditto with bloggers.  If you are running a food promo, find someone in your city who blogs about restaurants and food and invite them in for a free meal.  If you are launching a new top shelf vodka or tequila, find bloggers who have blogs about spirits or bar hopping.  If you can’t persuade them to come into your place by offering them something for free, see if they allow advertising on their blogs and sites.
  3. Utilize your staff and social media to your advantage.  In addition to making sure that your staff are well-versed in the particulars of whatever event you’re running, ask them to promote the restaurant specials on their Facebook and Twitter pages.  They can make it very social by simply saying something like “I’m at work tonight and we’re running a great X special.  Maybe we’ll see some of you for dinner 🙂 “

We consistently write about new bar promotions and restaurant marketing strategies to help bar / restaurant owners succeed.

If you haven’t already, make sure you check out 12 Bar Events You Can Implement Now, Bar Games, Bar Promotion Tips and 10 Bar Promotions that work.

Utilizing Bar Marketing Strategies – Email Marketing

Bar Marketing StrategiesEmail Marketing  — We all know that bars and restaurants live and die by repeat business. One way to help drive repeat business from your loyal customers is by sending email promotions.

“Great, I can do that…. but I don’t have any email addresses.”

No problem. Here are three simple ways to turn your patrons into subscribers.

Bar Marketing StrategiesEmail Marketing Tip #1 – GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO DO

We’ve all been at the bar with friends and there is a lull in the conversation. Why not have a sign holder or table tent with a QR (Quick Response) code on it for people to join your mailing list. They’ll grab their phone, scan the QR code and before you know it, they are on your list!

Another great way to get your QR code in front of your patrons is to put the code on your bar coasters. That way, every time they take a drink, they’re looking at a fun little activity for their phone.

bar marketing strategies - email marketing


Bar Marketing StrategiesEmail Marketing Tip #2 – GET THEM BACK INTO YOUR BAR

This is like killing two birds with one stone because you’ll get their email address, but you’ll also get them back into your bar. It works like this…

Train your wait staff to tell your patrons to visit and that you’ll send them an email for a free drink or $5 off their next visit. If you set up an email collection form on that page, it’s easy for them to remember and most of them can do it on their phone while they’re still at the bar.

All you need to do then is set up an auto-responder email that sends them a coupon with the offer you promised once they complete the sign up process.

Bar Marketing StrategiesEmail Marketing Tip #3 – HAVE A COMPETITION

Your wait staff has the strongest relationship with your patrons and could easily convince them to join your email list. That being said, why not propose a competition to your wait staff where whoever collects the most email addresses over the course of a week or month wins a nice prize.

It could be a paid day off, a trip to the spa, tickets to a football game, or just a cash prize. Either way, it could be a fun experience for your wait staff and you could walk away with more email addresses than you could have hoped for.

Please note that this competition should have a clear start and finish date. This sense of urgency will drive your staff to gather more email addresses in a smaller amount of time. Don’t make this a part of their job on a regular basis.

Bar Marketing StrategiesEmail Marketing Tip #4 – AUTOMATION

With all of these email collection techniques, you should set up an auto-responder series so that you don’t have to personally email all of your new subscribers.

Here’s an example of a 3 touch auto-responder series.

  1. Welcome email with a short story about the owners or how your bar got started.
  2. Drive them to your events calendar on your site with a nice email about your exciting events, live music, etc.
  3. Entice them back to your bar with some kind of offer like no cover charge at the next event, a 2 for 1 coupon, or a $10 off orders of $20 or more coupon.


Written by Josh Michael, email marketing nerd and owner of
If you have any questions about autoresponders, how to set up your email lists or any other email marketing questions, Josh answers them for free on his website


If you’re looking for more bar marketing strategies that work, check out our other bar promotions and bar marketing pages below.


Bar Promotion Ideas That Work

Bar Promotion Ideas That Work

Looking for bar promotion ideas that work?  As opposed to the ones that don’t work that everyone’s always searching for?  Just kidding.

Seriously, we have a lot of pages on this site dedicated to bar promotions and bar events.  This specific post has more to do with providing you a way to find lots of bar promotion ideas that work rather than listing off a bunch.

1.  We don’t need to tell you, Facebook is just massive.  Something you’ve likely overlooked about Facebook however, is the fact that you probably get invited to a slew of different events.  And what you might not be aware of is that you can browse through past events you’ve been invited to for ideas on what you can do for future events.

To do this, click on Events and at the top where you see the previous month, click on that to go back as many months as you want.

What you’re doing is scrolling through to see any bar promotion ideas that you can borrow and better.  Careful not to copy something from within your area however.  You want to do something different and better than anyone else is doing.  Make every event memorable and you’ll keep people talking about it and coming back week after week.

2.  Another way to get bar promotion ideas that work is to use the big G.  Take theme parties or holidays for example.  Simply Google the name of the party (i.e. Toga party, st. Patricks day party etc), click on Images and search through the images to find other bars’ posters and flyers and see what they’ve got going on.

Lets say for example, you’re wondering what kind of specials to run on New Year’s Eve.   Type “new years eve party” into Google and then click “images” and scroll through other bars’ flyers and posters to get ideas for your own bar promotion ideas that work.

We hope we’ve opened your eyes to the wealth of bar promotions that are out there as well as how to find them.

Remember, bar promotion ideas that work are the ones that are planned properly, involve all the staff, are advertised well and are executed without any major problems.



Halloween Party Drinks

Halloween Party Drinks

Halloween Drinks
Brain Haemorrhage and Devil’s Handshake

Halloween party drinks are just one more reason why Halloween can be so much fun (and so profitable) for bars who take part in the holiday.  When I choose drinks to highlight, I try to stay with drink recipes that contain ingredients that you can typically find in most bars, pubs, clubs or restaurants.

I try to stay away from the latest fad – some smokey infused cumquat flavored, triple distilled, upside down, double fruit blend of vodka. Sure, these are great for promotions in your bar and ya, you can make some cool cocktails with them. But, not every bar carries these products and they’re not available all around the world, so I like to keep it simple and stick with what most bars have on hand. That doesn’t mean the drinks are boring. Hells No! Below you’ll find one Halloween shot recipe and one Halloween cocktail recipe.

Check out these two GHOULISH Halloween Party Drinks:

Halloween Drink Recipe #1:  Brain Haemorrhage

Called a brain haemorrhage because of the effect the ingredients make when combined together. These are really cool looking shots – especially for Halloween – and they taste good too. Use a 2oz shot glass if you have one.


  • 3/4 Peach Schnapps
  • slightly less than 1/4 Irish Cream (Baileys)
  • grenadine

Fill up your shot glass about 3/4 full with peach schnapps. Carefully add the Irish cream so that it floats on top. Don’t fill the glass to the top with Irish cream – leave a bit of room. Now pour in the grenadine to fill the glass. Experiment with how you pour in the grenadine as this is what gives you the effect of a brain hemorrhaging.

Halloween Drink Recipe #2:  Devil’s Handshake

This is one of those drinks that doesn’t really have anything to do with Halloween except for the name. There’s nothing gross, ghoulish, sick, twisted or scary about the drink itself. And the look of the cocktail doesn’t really lend itself that well to the name. However, Robert Englund – of Freddy Krueger fame – has partnered up with Hornitos Tequila to promote the drink. So there’s the SpOoKy part….so I’ve included it as one of this year’s Halloween drinks.

  • 2oz Hornitos Tequila
  • 1oz Lime Juice
  • 4oz pineapple juice
  • simple syrup
  • ginger
  • lime wedge

Fill up a shaker tin with ice and add the tequila, lime juice, pineapple juice and simple syrup. Then, using a grater, finely grate about 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ginger into the shaker tin. Shake with enthusiasm and then strain it onto fresh ice in a highball glass. Garnish with the lime wedge.

Click for Halloween Cocktail Garnish Ideas

Click for Halloween Bar Decoration Ideas