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Food for Thought - Rapids' Blog
A study by the National Restaurant Association reports that more than a quarter of Americans plan to visit a bar or restaurant this year on St. Patrick’s Day. The important takeaway from this study for a bar owner or manager is that 41 percent of those polled referenced traditional Irish menu items as the biggest factor in making their decision about where to celebrate. The upside to that is that the three most well-known “traditional” Irish entrees lend themselves well to a busy night as they are made ahead of time and simply dished up and served when ordered. In other words, they will expedite service from your St Patrick's Day kitchen as opposed to creating challenges.
Done correctly, St Patrick's Day can be a bar or restaurant’s biggest revenue day of the year. There are many options for you to attract customers, such as decking your place out in green, planning menus and promotions that set you apart from other venues but still include traditional menu Irish menu items people seek. Promoting your menu and promotions ahead of time so that the public knows what you are doing to celebrate will also help.
Traditional Irish St Patrick's Day Menu Items
This is the number one recipe searched around St Patrick’s day. Sure, you can buy packaged, pre-brined corned beef brisket that just needs to be heated up, or you can wow your patrons by serving the best beef they've ever tasted. This recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage with Herbed Root Vegetables from Chef Tyler Florence on the Food Network is the best of the best. Your customers will not forget the Irish meal they had for Paddy's Day.
Lamb is what makes this stew Irish. Ask your meat purveyor ahead of time to find you lamb shoulder you can cut into stew size chunks. Originally, Irish stew only contained mutton and potatoes. As economic times became better, Irish stew evolved, adding other ingredients such as onions, carrots, and sometimes peas for a shot of that green color! From our friends at Taste of Home comes our favorite Irish Stew Recipe.
A favorite dish of 18th-century Irish author Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels), Dublin Coddle is a one-pot supper of Irish sausages, bacon, onions, potatoes and fresh parsley, layered and then baked low and slow to meld the flavors. The Dublin Coddle is so tasty, it must be the reason that Swift had Lemuel Gulliver return home between voyages, so that he could sit down and enjoy a dinner of Dublin Coddle before his next adventure. Foodie French Tart has published this great Dublin Coddle Recipe at Food.com
Make Sure Your Bar or Restaurant Is Ready For The Surge in Patrons
When planning your St. Patrick’s Day menu and promotions, remember that the extra business may well stretch the resources of your business. Make certain you are prepared with enough bar glasses, tableware and flatware for the extra business.
Remember as well that you will need enough staff on hand to handle the extra patrons. People that normally do not party and drink will come out on St. Patrick’s Day. You might consider extra security personnel alongside the serving and kitchen staff to handle the rowdy crowd.
Make Your Beer Green In The Keg
Your green beer supply doesn't have to be limited by which distributors are participating - if you have a party pump (and if you don't, buy one from Rapids!), you can make your own! Using a party pump and a keg, you should be able to to pump green dye into the keg along with the air. The best part? Because the system is essentially sealed, there should be no mess!
Watch our how-to video on making your own green beer, but be warned: we have not actually attempted this trick, so it should be undertaken at your own risk!