Halloween is a holiday enjoyed by all ages and you don’t have to create an over the top Halloween themed restaurant to join in the fun. There are plenty of creative ways to incorporate Halloween into your restaurant or bar that customers will love. Just grab some spooky decorations for your restaurant and a little imagination and you’ll be on your way hosting lots of Halloween fun.
- For family friendly restaurants, it’s best to keep the scary factor to a minimum and focus on the kids. Start by putting together trick-or-treat bags that include sweets, but also some branded items like stickers or magnets. Little ones love to play pretend so filling your kids’ menu with Halloween-themed items like Zombie Eyeballs (meatballs) and Mummy Fingers (chicken fingers) is a great way to delight the little ones. With a quick search of Pinterest you’ll also be able to find Halloween puzzles and games that can be downloaded, printed and handed out to keep kids busy at the table. Use your best haunted house decorating skills to set up a photo booth backdrop that people can use for selfies or photos of their little goblins. Kids love to see their photo, especially when they are in a costume they are proud of! Be sure to brand the backdrop with your restaurant name and logo and, if you have the staff to do it, offer Polaroid shots as a takeaway. Don’t forget mom and dad who are probably ready for a short respite from the trick-or-treat excitement. Offer specials on bottles of wine or a Halloween happy hour cocktail that is offered all evening.
- Vampire tasting menu. Vampires are always in style this time of year and they are arguably the sexiest of Halloween characters. As far as restaurant marketing events go, a vampire-themed evening can be as opulent or as simple as you’d like, but going for the opulent will create an atmosphere of mystery and allure that will really encourage guests to get into their characters. Decorate with coffins, bats, dripping candles and 18th century tablescapes to create a creepily romantic mood. This setting is perfect for a pre-fixe tasting menu paired with European wines. You could even go so far as creating an Eastern European menu to play off the theme of the vampire’s origin. This is a fantastic restaurant promotion to market to groups looking for a Halloween party that is out of the ordinary.
- Themed costume contests. We all remember the one Halloween costume that we felt was an award winner. Whether we triumphed or were disappointed, costume contests are ubiquitous with Halloween and are always a crowd pleaser. Loud bars are the perfect atmosphere for a costume contest. Get the crowd involved by having your guests participate as judges, play spooky music while contestants walk the stage and give out prizes like free appetizers or drinks that can be used at their next visit. By announcing different themes, like best zombies or Elvis impersonators leading up to the event, you’ll have a bar filled with people trying to out do one another and the vibe will be lively and fun!
- Haunted house or pumpkin patch packages. Purchase some tickets to local haunted houses, corn mazes or pumpkin patches. Leading up to the holiday, hand these tickets out as either daily drawings or to customers that spend a certain amount at your restaurant. This will create loyalty and get everyone in the spirit of the season.
- Take advantage of Halloween cross promotions. People love to wander on All Hallows’ Eve to show off their costumes and get that trick-or-treat feeling of their youth. Partner with other restaurants and bars within walking distance to offer specials throughout the night and create a Halloween scavenger hunt where items can be found at participating businesses. Customers will post photos of the items to social media with your chosen Halloween hashtag and everyone will want to be part of the fun! At the end of the evening, participants can turn in their scavenger card for chances to win gift cards and other goodies and you’ll have their contact info for future promotions.
Don’t be afraid to come up with your own hair-raising Halloween themes. We’ll help you make the right choice in a point of sale system that can help with your restaurant promotions and marketing campaigns, so you can have a frightening good time. Contact a SilverEdge representative for an appointment. We are ready to help make your business richer!