Looking to grow your alcohol sales this spring? You’re in luck—with St. Patrick’s Day around the corner on Thursday, March 17, projected alcohol sales are looking up. In fact, the average person will consume about 4.2 drinks on St. Paddy’s, and bar and restaurant sales can see an increase in sales of about 150% for the holiday.
In 2022, St. Patrick’s Day activities are starting up again after two years of subdued celebrations. Cities across the country, from Dallas to Denver and possibly even Boston, are planning to reinstate their local St. Patrick’s Day parades. Whether your customers are drinking on premise or ordering for delivery, make the most of this shift by signing up for an alcohol delivery partner like DoorDash to get drinks to customers wherever they are.
Keep reading to learn more about the history of St. Patrick’s Day, how to prepare for the influx of sales, and get ideas on alcohol delivery promotion for this festive holiday.
The History of St. Patrick’s Day
While what we generally think of St. Patricks’ Day in the US as an excuse to wear green clothing, get together with friends, and drink Guinness, the holiday actually started as a much more solemn occasion in Ireland. Saint Patrick was a missionary who is credited for bringing Christianity to Ireland sometime during the 4th to 5th century, and St. Patrick’s Day originally started as a serious religious feast day to honor his work.
However, as Irish communities started settling in other countries around the world, St. Patrick’s Day turned into a joyous celebration of all things Irish in their new home countries. It’s a day for people everywhere to take pride in their Irish heritage, or simply join in the party if they aren’t Irish. In fact, St. Patrick’s Day is now an even bigger celebration outside of Ireland than it is in Ireland.
Preparing for St. Patrick’s Day sales
As we approach March 17 and all things green, here are some key items to consider so your business is St. Patrick’s Day ready.
Prep with proper alcohol storage
First things first, it’s important to make sure you’re storing your alcohol and other festive beverages properly. Follow these alcohol storage best practices to ensure your hard liquor is at the proper temperature, your wine bottles are pointed in the right direction, and everything is organized according to a system. This will help keep your operations streamlined once your customers—and their delivery orders—start pouring in.
Have the right alcohol packaging on hand
If you’re new to offering alcohol delivery, set aside some time now to order the right packaging to protect your bottles and cans throughout delivery. Having the right bags, boxes, and fridge space on hand can keep customers happy when their beverages arrive intact and at the perfect temperature—and can help you keep your sanity. Check out these alcohol packaging tips recommended by DoorDash merchants for ideas and tested best practices.
The convenience of an alcohol delivery partner
As you build out your St. Patrick’s Day alcohol offerings, consider working with an alcohol delivery partner to get drinks to customers in time for the party—no matter how they’re celebrating.
DoorDash delivers in an average of 35 minutes or less, making it a convenient way to reach new customers without changing your onsite operations. Plus, customers appreciate the convenience of not having to go back out to the store every time they run out of something, and businesses can relax knowing that Dashers are only handing off alcohol to customers who can verify they’re of legal drinking age.
Still want to sell alcohol to local customers, but not sure if delivery is for you? With DoorDash, you can also enable alcohol pickup orders. That way, customers can easily confirm that you have what they want in stock, place their order online, and swing by for a streamlined pickup process. Alcohol retailers can do this using the DoorDash App or DoorDash Storefront, a branded online ordering system that integrates seamlessly with your existing website and is commission-free. There are no monthly software fees for Storefront; instead, restaurants pay payment processing fees per order.
Advertising your alcohol delivery options
Next, it’s time to get creative—and get the word out! Since ad-hoc alcohol delivery is new for many retailers and wholesalers, customers might not be aware of your offerings. Make sure to put some time into marketing your alcohol delivery services, and share details about your specials through social media and influencer partnerships, your email list, eye-catching flyers, and more.
The opportunities to reach customers and drive sales are endless—and who knows? With the right marketing, you might just find a pot of gold at the end of the holiday. Read on for some fun ideas on how to promote your alcohol delivery options this St. Patrick’s Day.
Honor tradition with St. Patrick’s Day staples
Traditions are traditions for a reason—they’re worth repeating. Set up an eye-catching display in your store, or a category specific to the holiday in your store’s listing on DoorDash, with a selection of these St. Paddy’s favorites so that customers can quickly get what they need and get back to the festivities.
Guinness: The unofficial official drink of St. Patrick’s Day, Guinness is a dark Irish dry stout known for its rich, creamy head. It’s also the best-selling alcoholic drink in Ireland all year-round. 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed on St. Patrick’s Day alone, which is 819% more than usual.
Green beer: With bars still operating under limited capacity this year, encourage customers to make their own green beer at home by pairing a light-colored beer with a few drops of green food dye. Recommended beers include a Sam Adams Rebel IPA or a Shocktop Belgian White, but anything light in color will do.
Irish whiskey: For those that prefer liquor to beer, consider pulling a selection of quality Irish whiskeys. Jameson Irish Whiskey is always a great choice, but also consider offering some unique, imported top-shelf options for customers looking to expand their palette.
Gold flake drinks: Help your customers find their own pot of gold (or rather, cup of gold) with a spotlight on gold flake drinks, with a variety of fun options, from vodka to wine.
Inspire customers with unexpected cocktails
After you’ve covered the basics, be bold with drink offerings that will inspire your customers’ creativity. Share cocktail recipes on your website or social media channels to get people thinking about new ways to spice up the holiday. Consider printing out cocktail recipes onto cards and dropping them into customers’ bags for in-store or delivery purchases, so they’re ready to explore new recipes.
Absinthe: Also known as “the Green Fairy,” this bright green, anise-flavored, high-proof spirit packs a punch in cocktails or on its own. Some swear that it can induce psychedelic properties, so a few lucky drinkers may think they’re seeing leprechauns after imbibing this one.
Midori: Targeting a younger crowd, Midori is a neon green, melon-flavored liquor that’s great in tropical and fruity cocktails.
Mint Liquors: Highlight your green-hued mint-flavored liquors, like Tippy Cow Shamrock Mint, and suggest fun cocktails like a spiked grasshopper milkshake.
Baby Guinness: You’ve heard of Guinness, but have you heard of a Baby Guinness? A layered shot drink that mixes coffee liqueur with Irish cream, this drink looks just like a tiny Guinness beer and is surprisingly easy to make.
Offer non-alcoholic options
Though many people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a focus on drinking, there’s still a sizable group of people who don’t consume alcohol but still enjoy getting festive. As a beverage retailer or wholesaler, there’s a massive opportunity to connect with these customers and grow your sales. Get creative with the products you highlight—it could easily become someone’s new tradition.
Non-alcoholic beers: Non-alcoholic beers have come a long way in the last few years and there are now several respectable options on the market for those that like the taste of beer but don’t want the alcohol.
Non-alcoholic spirits and canned cocktails: The past few years have seen an explosion in the non-alcoholic spirits space, with innovative options that are infused with an assortment of botanicals, adaptogens, CBD, and nearly anything else you can think of. Recommend NA drink recipes, or curate a selection of canned NA cocktails that fit in with the St. Patrick’s Day theme.
Kids’ drinks: No one is more excited about a neon green drink than kids are. Suggest lemon-lime sodas, green syrups, and other brightly-colored beverages that let kids in on the fun too.
Find your own pot of gold
With so many options for promoting alcohol sales, you’re sure to capture the attention of your customers (it’s much easier than catching a leprechaun this time of year).
Try out a few different promotions to learn what works best for your business and your customers—so that you can continue to bring in the green even after St. Patrick’s Day. Cheers, and sláinte!