by Guest Blogger Rochelle Carlotti, Bar Manager
Saint Patrick’s day is one of the biggest days of the year in the bar business. A constant stream of people ready to drink and eat at the crack of dawn can mean huge sales numbers for your establishment, but it can also be an incredibly stressful and exhausting day for your staff.
With St. Paddy’s Day falling on a Saturday this year, you can expect even more people and accompanying shenanigans than you may have seen in previous years. Here are five tips to help you make the most of the day while staving off staff-wide mental breakdowns.
1. Staff Up and Order Extra Everything!
With the increased number of celebrants, you will need extra people in the kitchen and behind the bar — and don’t forget about security! People get drunk and rowdy early on St. Paddy’s Day, so having extra security staff in the morning and all night is smart to keep altercations under control and make your staff (and patrons) feel safe.
Be sure to order extra liquor and beer for the day, specifically: Guinness, Jameson Whisky, Baileys Irish Cream, and popular Irish and domestic beers. Don’t be afraid to over-order on occasions such as this.
Pro Tip: Keep your staff happy by keeping them well-fed with a few pizzas or other quick bites. It’s a good moral boost as it shows your appreciation for their hard work and ensures they get something to eat on day when they may not have time for a full break.
2. Sell Bottles of Water and Use Plastic Cups
Nothing spells disaster like a bunch of unruly drunk people with glass in their hands. Make it a point to serve everything in plastic for the day. Using disposable cups relieves the pressure of having to collect and wash glasses. Most importantly, plastic ensures that glassware cannot be accidentally dropped or intentionally smashed and used as a weapon if a barroom brawl breaks out (believe me, I’ve seen it all).
While many bars provide serve-yourself water dispensers these days, selling bottled water or soda is another way to maximize profits and cut down on time. Locate separate water and soda stations away from the bar to minimize congestion.
3. Have St. Paddy’s Day Drink Specials
Draw the crowd into your bar by advertising drink specials relevant to the holiday. Irish Car Bombs (while offensive in name, are popular nonetheless), Guinness, and Jameson are the standard go-tos. Offer a Guinness with a shot of Jameson or two-for-one Irish Car Bombs. Green Jello Shots (while arguably gross) are surprisingly loved by many. They’re inexpensive, can be made in advance, and bartenders can just grab them as needed.
4. Serve a Limited Food Menu
A scaled-back menu is one way of keeping the kitchen running smoothly and keeping productivity high with a huge influx of restaurant traffic. Consider making a special menu that includes some fast and easy items from your regular menu, with the addition of holiday-specific dishes like Reubens, Guinness Beef Stew, or a Reuben Mac and Cheese.
5. Get into the Irish Spirit and Book Some Entertainment
Most cities have at least a few Irish bands to choose from when looking for St. Paddy’s Day entertainment. When booking a band, look to other bars in the area and schedule accordingly. Bar crawls are the way most people celebrate St. Paddy’s, so limit competition by being a bar people stop at before or after they head to see another band at a nearby bar.
If you don’t have the space or time to book a band, make sure you are playing fun Irish music to keep people drinking, dancing, and having a good time. (See The Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly)
Finally, check with your restaurant point of sale specialist to see if you’re able to create a “Saint Patrick’s Day” button to keep all of your food and drink specials organized and in one place for the day. And remember, making a few simple adjustments can really make all the difference to ensure everything runs smoothly and your employees don’t buckle under the stress. A simple word of thanks goes a long way, so be sure to express your gratitude to your staff on this busy day. Sláinte!
Contact a Leebro POS specialist today for all of your restaurant POS needs.