People will spend money like crazy on St. Patrick’s Day next week—but will they spend it with you? They might if you get creative like T.G.I. Friday’s and give them a reason to celebrate at your restaurant, even though it has no connection whatsoever with this Irish-themed holiday. Friday’s ploy is to offer specialty drinks tailored to the occasion. Could a similar approach work for you?
For some restaurants, St. Patrick’s Day can rival Mother’s Day as a one-shoot boost to the bottom line. Most of the day’s revenue comes from the bar, although people will give such traditional food items as corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew with lamb and Guinness beef stew a try on this day. If your restaurant happens to be on or near a parade route or has a theme that can seem at least vaguely Irish, you’ll get a crowd without even having to try.
Most other restaurants, however, don’t really share in this one-day bonanza of business. Their location or menu has little appeal to most St. Patrick’s Day revelers.
Included in this category are the 600 U.S. units of T.G.I. Friday’s. They’re fun places, to be sure. But a casual chain restaurant in a mall-like location just isn’t a natural draw on St. Patrick’s Day.
But that doesn’t deter the marketing wizards at T.G.I. Friday’s from trying to make it one. This year, they’ve concocted some trend-tapping cocktails they think will help draw St. Patrick’s Day celebrants to their restaurants.
“T.G.I. Friday’s is always your party headquarters but on St. Patrick’s Day, one of the craziest party days of the year, our guests will have more reasons to make T.G.I. Friday’s their St. Patrick’s Day destination,” says Friday’s USA boss John Neitzel. “Our bars across the U.S. will be rockin’ with two new Irish drinks and a party with green beer, beads and buttons you won’t want to miss. Be sure to check with your local T.G.I. Friday’s for their specific party plans.”
The chain’s mixology team has come up with two new drinks for the day. The Irish ’Rita provides a Gaelic twist on the classic margarita by blending Jameson’s Irish Whiskey, Sour Apple Pucker, Midori, fresh lime juice and Friday’s house margarita mix. The St. Paddy’s Peach cocktail simply combines Jameson’s with peach puree.
Nothing earthshaking here, except that these drinks could have big appeal to the people within the St. Patrick’s Day party crowd who would rather have a cool cocktail or two than swill green beer all day. We guessing it’s going to work for Friday’s, and we think something similar could work for you. You’ve still got a week to come up with a couple of sexy drinks before the big day arrives. Why not see what your bartenders can create?