People of all ages look forward to Halloween as it can be a holiday for people to relax, let loose, and embrace their creative side. While not a statutory holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, we always find time and ways to celebrate, from trick-or-treating with younger relatives to staff costume parties. In fact, nearly 25% of Americans say Halloween is their favorite holiday! This desire to celebrate is a great opportunity for restaurants and other entertainment businesses to maximize profit for the short term and increase your customer pool for the long term.
There are many ways for you to get your business primed and ready the spooky season and make it just as profitable as the traditional holiday season in November/December.
While any holiday has its own set of decorations, Halloween can be described as having some of the most iconic and beloved decorations. Along with Christmas, it is one of the few holidays where decorations are used for both commercial and personal use. Decorating your business does more than making it feel like a part of the season: it helps set the tone for your customers while putting them in the right mood. From going all-in on the spooky theme with skeletons and cobwebs to embracing the chillier fall months with pumpkins and colored leaves, having beautiful and thematic décor with bring your restaurant to life.
When setting up the decorations of your establishment, you can also discuss and create theme for your dress code. Rather than have everyone dress in mismatched costumes, decide on a singular idea that everyone can get a costume for. This will help bring both staff and customers further into the Halloween experience while providing a fun opportunity for a seasonal social media campaign.
Just like the décor, a restaurant’s music helps set the tone and ambience for your customers, but holiday music can be tricky to get right. Practically every business will have some sort of seasonal playlist on the go, so choosing which songs to play throughout the day will be important. Your playlists should be fun, unique, and interesting to keep your customers engaged and loyal to your business over others. Luckily, we see an endless stream songs and reinterpreted classics being made and uploaded. While there is nothing wrong with playing the classics like “Thriller” or “Monster Mash”, customers will appreciate the extra time and care you put in to spicing up your playlists.
As a restaurant or bar, every holiday should come with its own specialized food and drink options. With Halloween landing in the middle of autumn, there are countless seasonal ingredients that can be used in making fall-themed dishes and drinks. Seasonal specials will help bring out your creativity and that of your team to come up with fun and unique menus specifically for this time of year.
Beyond the ingredients, your new items can be thematically and aesthetically connected to the holiday as well. New drink and dessert items in particular work well when incorporating a Halloween theme. From pumpkins and squash to apples and cinnamon, using seasonal ingredients for both food and drink specials will elevate your business during the holidays.
Every smart business will have holiday-related promotions to entice new customers and reward returning ones. The actual night of Halloween is an interesting holiday, as it is not an “official” holiday, but there is still the main event for kids and families: trick-or-treating. Using this time-honoured tradition to your advantage for various promotions, such as family discounts or having kids in costumes eat for free. You can also partner with and help promote other local businesses by taking part in the trick-or-treating. Something as simple as stamp cards distributed between various local vendors will help bring customers’ eyes to your business whenever they come to collect their treats. This kind of cross-business event can also be used as a useable coupon when filled out so that these one-time trick-or-treaters become return customers.
Halloween, when marketed properly, can be a boon for your business, increase your profit and customer base without any need for a little witchy magic and hocus pocus.