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return on the investment is bigger and bigger. We have lots of advertising, through very large blackboards outside the pub, and of course we like to put it in the local paper. Another form of advertising we use now is Facebook.” It seems Roche is not the only ex-pat with

a passion for the day either. Noel Clements is landlord of The Swan Inn in Rhyl, North Wales. He comments: “I go big every year as I’m from Dublin originally. I’ve been with Thwaites for 22 years and, ever since I joined, St. Patrick’s Day has always been very im- portant to me. We prep it for weeks ahead. Once New Year’s is packed away, we start to plan for St. Patrick’s day, and with the Six Nations falling on the same weekend this year, it is set to be a big day.” The point about the Six Na-

“Even if St. Patrick’s

Day falls in the middle of the

week, I can still take

tions is also one to bear in mind. The last day of the competition falls on St. Patrick’s Day and sees Ireland take on England at Twick- enham. A combination of the rugby in the afternoon, followed by some Irish entertainment in the evening could be a winning combination for many people. And entertainment itself is also an important

as much as I would on New Year’s Eve”

point of sale kits for St. Patrick’s day are superb. As it is not a bank holiday in England like it is in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day does boost trade on a week day but when it falls on a weekend eve- ryone seems to get in the spirit. Guinness sales soar, as do Irish whiskey sales like Jameson and Bushmills,” says Ben Garratt, manager of The Queens Head in Ramsgate, Kent. So what of the fi nancial benefi ts of put- ting in the effort on 17 March this year? We can do no better than to leave you with a com- ment from Noel Clements at the Swan Inn, which should answer the question very nicely. “Even if St. Patrick’s Day falls

in the middle of the week, I can still take as much as I would on New Year’s Eve. An average New Year’s Eve would see us take around £6,000 [which for a small pub is a very good fi gure] and I would expect to do bet- ter than that on St. Patrick’s Day this year, as it coincides with the Six Nations. Whether or not we get support from the breweries, or from Guinness, I always or-

factor. It’s one thing to dress your pub or bar in all things Irish, and it would be wise of you to do so, but to put on a special entertainment of- fering could well see you even busier than you expected. Live music is an obvious suggestion, provided of course you can spare the space, coupled with a spot of Irish dancing perhaps? Or why not organise an Irish themed karaoke night? At The Swan, Clements and a couple of regu-

lars are a dab hand with the guitar, so following the rugby they’ll be strumming out a few tunes for the locals to enjoy, while over at The Druids Head they have their very own version of Mi- chael Flatly. “He actually dances on the tables, which makes him the star of the show. He is a professional dancer by the way! We also show Riverdance on the TV, and not forgetting to men- tion the Irish stew – that I make myself, I may add – which goes down a treat. The Guinness is our main seller of the day, as is Jameson, and I think even the people that don’t like Guinness tend to drink it on St. Patrick’s Day,” says Roche. This brings us nicely on to the all-important

aspect of the drinks offerings. Guinness, of course, is synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day and seems to sell hand over fi st on the day every year. Many venues offer great value deals on a pint of ‘The Black Stuff’ and those places selling it are well supported by the brand. “Compared to other events, St. Patrick’s day enjoys the superb backing of Guinness. Their


der extra Guinness and I do it cheap. It’s at my own expense, but it’s a thank you back to my customers for their support throughout the year. The return throughout the year and the goodwill is enormous. You give away to get back, and it really works for us.”


extra pints were sold by outlets that used Guinness POS on St. Patrick’s Day 2011, according to CGA data


Guinness is setting out to bring St. Patrick’s Day 2012 to life and encourage consumers to get together in groups to celebrate what the brand has coined ‘the friendliest day of the year’. Following last year’s successful campaign, Guinness this year plans to make this day officially the friendliest via a link up with the brand and Guinness World Records. Guinness is inviting consumers across the globe to pledge to be friendly by sharing a pint with their friends on 17 March and in doing so, attaining an official world record for the friendliest day of the year.

The pledge mechanic will go live mid

February across the Guinness website and dedicated Facebook page, which will also host video content and event giveaways. To really steer consumers into the on-

trade, Diageo GB will be sending out over 17,000 Guinness-branded St. Patrick’s Day POS kits, which include the famous Guinness hats, as well as inflatable pints, balloons, posters and t-shirts. In 2011, outlets that used Guinness POS sold around 67 extra pints, according to CGD data, so this is a great chance for licensees to join in the celebrations and drive incremental sales. Additional POS kits will also be

available to purchase via www.


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