You may have spotted our ‘What’s On 2017’ calendar (if not it may be found here).
In which case you’ll already be busy planning for the next key events that your business can promote.
We’ve been taking a look at what’s coming up too and think that the next 3 best opportunities are St Patrick’s Day (March 17th), Mother’s Day (26th March) and Easter (14th -17th April)
Let’s take St Patrick’s Day first.
Apart from serving Guinness or Irish Whiskey, there are other culinary ways to introduce Ireland into your menu.
If you’re open for breakfast, why not offer a full Irish as an absolute treat? It’s a belly-busting feast that includes good lean bacon, sausages, black pudding, white pudding, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried potatoes (or potato bread)—accompanied (or followed) by some soda bread, butter and jam—and washed down with a good strong cup of tea.
Of course this could be an all-day breakfast offering, in which case it could be washed down with Guinness!
As well as Irish stew, other traditional hearty Irish dishes can be included on your menu, such as colcannon (a delicious mix of potatoes, cabbage and onions), boxty ( a type of potato cake) and coddle—a one pot stew packed with sliced pork sausage, boiled bacon, sliced potatoes and onions and mopped up with soda bread.
A few lively Irish tunes and green table décor (perhaps with vases of shamrock) are all that’s required to give the occasion the right ambience!
Mother’s Day celebrations mean giving mum a break. According to research by Carlsberg UK, around 64% of UK families head to the pub or restaurant for Mother’s Day lunch. A family orientated event such as this means catering for all ages, from babies to grandparents, so menus should reflect that. Roast dinners are popular, but with almost 6% of the population now vegetarian and a good number of meat eaters also enjoying vegetarian dishes it’s important to include some special non-meat choices too. Think about your drink offerings as well. Pitchers of non-alcoholic punches or cocktails work well on a big family table and relieve the pressure on your waiting staff.
Easter is often thought of as the start of the holiday season in the UK and is the ideal time to offer special meal deals to attract new customers—early bird, sharing platters, 2 dine for price of 1 and so on. Good Friday also provides the chance to introduce some special fish dishes, and of course Easter Sunday must include all things chocolatey.
As it’s a 4-day break for many people, Easter is often a chance for families to eat out together—so think about hosting some special events to attract families with children.
An Easter egg hunt, a hard-boiled egg rolling competition or an egg and spoon race would all be fun if you’ve the right space. If not, what about filling a large jar with mini eggs and running a competition to see who can guess how many there are?
It’s not too early to start advertising the events you’ve got planned, so make sure your website is up-to-date, your promotional material is easily available for customers to pick up and you’re shouting about it on social media.
And don’t forget to ask your regulars if they’ve booked a table for Mother’s Day or Easter yet!