30 Cool Things for St. Patrick’s Day

If St. Patrick’s Day is a favorite of yours, add a little extra green to your restaurant’s experience.  Here are thirty examples of St. Patrick’s Day restaurant promotions to get you thinking beyond the usual (and a few extra ones).

1. Start Early

Who says St. Patrick’s Day celebrations can’t start early? Crossroads Irish Pub in Boston says you don’t have to wait until March 17th. The bar serves a traditional Irish breakfast, along with a slew of other Irish-themed options: think Dublin fried chicken and waffle and sloppy Irish Joes (billed as a shepherd’s pie meets Texas toast).

2. Find Your Pot of Gold

Leprechauns, rainbows, and gold can only spell one thing: a St. Paddy’s Day scavenger hunt involving alcohol, of course. New York’s Slattery’s Midtown Pub will host a scavenger hunt full of mental, physical, and “bar” challenges, with the winning team taking home a New York gift package.

3. Rock Like the Irish

St. Patty’s Day is long known for being the rowdiest of the Spring holidays. Thus, a bit of practice is in order. In Savannah, a group of bars and pubs unite a few days before St. Patrick’s Day to host “St. Patrice Day.” Participants in the bar crawl get a Leprechaun List scorecard  to mark their progress and get them into all the participating bars for free.

4. Everybody’s Irish

We all know St. Patrick’s Day is famous for green beer, shots, leaf clovers, and lots of rowdy play. But what about establishments that aren’t traditionally Irish? Hosting a St. Patty’s event when you aren’t a pub is a great way to boost sales. Put up some green decorations, create a special green colored drink, play Irish music, research Irish culture, and have fun. Your patrons will, too.

5. Love a Leprechaun

Atlanta’s Park Tavern makes the most of the holiday with Lepre*Con, an all-day festival full of music, beer, and good eats. The annual event draw thousands (dressed in green, naturally) and also includes entertainment and games.

Atlanta Park Tavern St. Patricks Day
6. Wear Green

Everyone is just a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day — even the cocktails. A slew of both local and national chains get in on the fun by offering Irish-themed drinks — like BLT Steak’s “A Grasshopper and a Leprechaun Walk into a Bar” or green-hued jello shots at D.C’s Shaw’s Tavern.

7. Go All Out

St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to be about cheap booze. In fact, some bars and restaurants take the theme up a notch. At McClellan’s Retreat in Washington, D.C., guests can partake of the Pride, a $17 cocktail that consists of Jameson Black Barrel whiskey and green Chartreuse.

8. Focus on the Food

The alcohol tends to get a lot of attention around this time of year, but the Irish are famous for their food. Saul Haus Bier Hall & Garden offers green beer, but plenty of food, too — like a free Irish nacho and potato cake buffet. Also, it never hurts to make the presentation extra appealing for social media.

9. Getting Minty

Not everything about St. Patrick’s Day involves boozing it up. Even fast food chains are getting in on the Irish spirit. At IHOP, customers who wear green can get a $1 short stack of pancakes, while Sonic offers half-off all shakes. Other famous mint themed March fast food promotions include McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, an annual favorite.

For 2024 St. Patrick’s Day, McDonald’s is doing the Shamrock shake with a twist, adding Oreos to the mind drink.

McDonald's Shamrock Shake
10. Dye It Green

Just about anything is up for being dyed green during St. Patrick’s Day. In Chicago, that includes the river, cheap beer, and even eggs. Eggy’s Diner actually serves green eggs and ham year round — but in March, the tomatillo- and avocado-topped speciality is especially popular.


11. Limited Time Offers

Limited Time Offers can be one of the most effective restaurant marketing ideas. Krispy Kreme has a go-to LTO during St. Patrick, a green glazed donut. But the company also alternates other new menu items for the celebration, like the “Good as Gold” campaign during 2023, including a golden cookie-filled donut, green icing decorations, sprinkles, and more. The limited-time new menu items were also very well done to share on Instagram.

12. Fast Food Companies Give Freebies

One way to attract customers’ attention is to give freebies. While we don’t usually recommend discounts and freebies as they may detract from the brand, in some cases they work to boost traffic in the short-term.

Dairy Queen offered had a “Free Cone Day” in St. Patrick’s for several years and Del Taco would give free guacamole to customers in their loyalty program.

13. Test New Products

A creative way to boost sales during St. Patrick’s Day is by adding products that have a minimal cannibalization effect on regular sales. The New-York-based bagel shop Ess-a-Bagel partnered with Bailey’s to offer a brunch box for delivery anywhere in the U.S.

14. Make a Fine Dining Experience More Approachable

Some fine dining restaurant chains like McCormick & Schmick’s opted to become more approachable during St. Patrick’s day. This upscale chain is doing a spread available all day with slides, mussels, and more.

15. Mocktails for St. Patrick’s Day

There is a sober movement and many restaurants are taking note of the trend. From lime punches to mint milkshakes and tropical green smoothies, these drinks can also be appealing for families with kids.

16. Food Delivery Aggregators Also Celebrate

In the UK, Deliveroo would give free lunches to randomly selected customers named Paddy.

17. Irish Pizza?

Las Vegas’ Flour & Barley gets into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit in a unique fashion. The brick-oven pizzeria highlights all things Irish on St. Patty’s with its Luck of the Irish pie, topped with corned beef, cabbage, sausage and potatoes, and drizzled with pesto cream sauce.

18. Get Lucky

At Chicago bar Henry’s, guests can try their hand at pool while sipping on Jameson shots, Guinness Tallboys, and enjoying corned beef sliders.

19. Forget the Beer

Forget the beer. St. Patrick’s Day is also great for highlighting whiskey. St. Augustine’s annual Celtic Music & Heritage Fest includes a whiskey tasting featuring seven Irish and Scottish libations.

St. Augustine whiskey tasting
20. Meld Irish With Italian

Tuscany on Taylor, in Chicago, offers its spin on Irish food during St. Patrick’s day with an Italian-Irish special of corned beef, cabbage and potato-filled ravioli at dinner and a Bailey’s cheesecake.

21. Start Early

It’s never too early to get in the St. Patty’s Day spirit. At least, that’s the idea behind the early-morning revelry at D.C.’s The Dubliner Restaurant and Pub. The pub offers 42 cents pints of Guinness from 8:30 AM to 9 AM for those who want a (very) early start to their celebration.

22. Wake Up and Smell the Irish

Avenue Cafe in the MGM Grand in Vegas offers guests a traditional way to start the day. Corned Beef Benedict is a serving of corned beef hash on toasted pretzel roll with two poached eggs, dill Hollandaise and hash browns. The eatery also offers a more traditional Reuben on rye for lunch.

23. Something Fishy

Tis the season for fish and chips — and lots of it. Chicago’s Owen & Engine serves an entire menu of authentic British and Irish eats, but St. Patty’s is prime time for their fish and chips: a big pile of haddock and house-cut chips with a malt vinegar mayo, pea puree and sauce gribiche.

24. Eggs n’ Kegs

Kick off the morning at Nashville’s The Pub with eggs and kegs, and music (from a band called Def Leprechaun, no less), a bag pipe band, and a DJ — plus drink specials.

25. Go Back in Time

The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog is just the kind of place to escape the madness of St. Patty’s parades. The 19th-Century-themed bar in New York draws inspiration from “the conviviality of Old New York and the Irish-American tradition.” In other words, patrons can expect old-fashioned punch, toddies, and juleps — plus a full Irish breakfast on Saturdays.

26. Fun for the Family

Slattery’s Irish Pub, in Denver, knows that St. Patty’s isn’t just for adults. Which is why the bar focuses on everyone, from young to old. There are drink specials, of course, but also live music, dancing, and a magic show.

27. Offer Something for the Morning After

O’Tooles in Tampa knows how to handle the morning-after crowd: With a St. Saturday party featuring live music and leftover green beer.

28. Do Something…Different

L.A.’s Greyhound Bar & Grill hosts an annual St. Patrick Swayze Day highlighting, of course, the eponymous actor. The event includes a movie marathon, $4 Molyan drafts, and seasonal food specials. And guests aren’t even required to wear green.

St. Patrick Swayze Day
29. DIY

Duff’s Cakemix offers plenty of classes for those looking to get their hands dirty. Guests at the L.A. bakeshop can drop in and decorate or take an instructional workshop — plenty of green frosting is, of course, available.

30. Learn Something

In Chicago, a shoreline sightseeing boat will take guests through the city fir a lunch cruise. The 75-minute cruise features an Irish-style lunch buffet and a history lesson, with the tour highlighting the role of the Irish in Chicago’s economic development.

31. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Cheesy

Manhattan’s Bedford Cheese Shop offers classes throughout the year but the March event is not to be missed. On St. Patrick’s Day, the shop hosts an Irish Whiskey class, wherein guests can sample a flight of distinct Irish whiskey from blends to single malt. The flight also includes a pairing of cheeses to highlight the nuances of the so-called “water of life.”

32. Take it to the Streets

Kells Pub, a cozy, family-run bar in Seattle, hosts the largest outdoor Irish festival in the Northwest, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. The week-long event includes a lineup of Irish bands, an array of traditional dishes (think sausage rolls and Irish soda bread) and beers brewed at Kells.

33. Offer Something Hearty

You can’t really go wrong with mashed potatoes and meat — but Martin’s Tavern (where JFK proposed to Jackie) in D.C. offers an elegant twist on Shepherd’s Pie, featuring lamb, veggies, rosemary and Guinness. The dish is always available at Martin’s but especially popular on St. Patty’s.

34. Go South of the Border

Mexican food on St. Patrick’s Day? It works. El Chucho Cocina Superior in D.C. offers a Mexican spin on bangers and mash, Jameson specials, all-night happy hour, plus green margaritas.

35. Green Means Go

If you’re craving Hopdoddy, a Denver burger joint that rolls out a unique special every year. In 2016, they unveiled the Luck o’ The Doddy Burger ‚ complete with a house-made green bun, green beer cheese, and topped with fries.


Hopdoddy burger
36. A Reverent Celebration

In Ireland, up until recently, St. Patrick’s Day was a religious holiday akin to Easter. So it’s no surprise that Nashville’s Cannery Ballroom is showing some respect to the holiday with its Beers & Hymns celebration. Attendees are given custom booklets filled with the evening’s song — which the crowd sings together throughout the evening. And then there’s the beer, because a little liquid courage never hurt, right?


Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with some promotion ideas!

Some of the ways restaurants can promote St. Patrick’s Day are with LTOs (new menu items appealing for the celebration), fun activities from scavenger hunts to live entertainment and new take-home celebratory menus (including special meal kits for the occasion).










Irish food is in demand during St. Patrick’s, including Irish eggs Benedict, fish and chips, potato cakes, Shepherd's pie, and Irish soda bread.

About Aaron Allen & Associates

Aaron Allen & Associates works with leaders of global foodservice and hospitality companies on strategic issues related to growing and optimizing performance and value. Specializations of the firm include multinational expansion, system-wide sales building, brand and portfolio strategy, modernized marketing, industry trends, technology, and advanced analytics. Aaron has personally led more than 2,000 client engagements spanning six continents and 100+ countries for companies collectively posting annual revenues exceeding $300 billion.