How Restaurants Are Going Green for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is a day to eat, drink, and be merry, and restaurants come through in a big way with Irish-themed cocktails, food, and music in a festive atmosphere. This day is full of regular menu items dressed in green in honor of St. Patrick, but there’s more to it for savvy businesses. St. Paddy’s Day is the perfect time to experiment with “green” tastes, from Irish recipes to mint, apple, and other green foods and flavors.


Shamrock milkshakes are one of the most popular go-to SPD treats—a chilly mint shake sometimes paired with chocolate for a truly decadent frozen delight. Mint hot chocolates and cappuccinos are spin-offs of this well-loved shake, typically featuring not just peppermint or spearmint flavor but also plenty of seasonal garnishes. Some restaurants take the shamrock shake to an adult level with the addition of booze–imagine a thick, sweet, green milkshake with a combination of rums and other liquors.


Traditional Irish spreads are everywhere this time of year. Gourmets and specialty stores offer meals such as traditional shepherd’s pie with soda bread, corned beef brisket and cabbage, and hot corned beef sandwiches. Patrons discover holiday menus complete with fun desserts, such as donuts with green icing, shamrock-shaped cookies, and Irish-inspired cakes, to round out their meals.


Manufacturers of Irish specialties also shine in March. Consumers flock to delicacies such as sharp Irish cheddar cheeses and a huge selection of Irish beer–one that’s growing each year. Today, Irish beer is about much more than stouts: stores are offering a wide range of lagers, IPAs, ciders, and, yes, a few stouts to satisfy the most discerning partygoers.


Even something as ubiquitous as pizza gets the St. Patrick’s Day treatment in many establishments. How do you make a pizza SPD-worthy? With green sauces and Irish toppings–think pesto cream sauces, roasted Brussels sprouts, corned beef, sausage, and potatoes, all on the customer’s crust of choice.


Your takeaway is that St. Patrick’s Day is a smorgasbord of opportunity for just about any player in the food and beverage business. Take advantage of the chance to appeal to your customers’ festive sides with colors, flavors, and presentations fit for a leprechaun.