It is October, and Halloween is around the corner. It is the perfect time for restaurants to exceed their targets and ‘scare’ their customers. Restaurateurs can use the holiday to offer something special and different to their customers. It is the time to go all guns blazing with special promotions and offers. We look at different ways that restaurants can leverage Halloween to their benefit.
8 strategies to use for Halloween for your restaurant:
- Halloween specials:
Get the attention of your guests by creating Halloween drink specials. You might not have to create a new type of drink. You can change a few of the drinks to a more Ghoulish name. Take inspiration from Instagram and come up with interesting cocktail ideas for the night. Drinks that are specially curated for the grand night will surely be a hit.
Ensure that you spread the word about your Halloween specials via social media and email newsletters. You want to outline every detail about your specials to pique their interests.
- Halloween parties:
Do you know that you can easily gain footfall on the Halloween night by organizing a party at your restaurant? Yes, it is as simple as that. People are always looking for ways to embrace the little child in them, and this is the perfect opportunity for restaurants. Start creating flyers and social media posts about your Halloween party. Get the who’s who of the town and target them to capture a big chunk of their market, if yours is a fine-dining restaurant.
Make sure that it is a costume party and is ghoulish in nature. Host games to make it interesting for your patrons. Spice up the night by conducting games and contests. Experiment with dry ice, fill the restaurant with scary elements such as skeletons and caricatures or posters of pop culture horror. Tombstones, scary looking lights, cobwebs, jack-o-lanterns, skulls, hanging bat banners, etc., are great additions.
Your patrons will appreciate the effort you have put in to making their dining experience Halloween-y.
- Offer Halloween tickets for every purchase:
Here’s another way to cash in on Halloween. It is a great time to build a community of patrons. Run a promotion at least before a month. Your customers during this period can get a free ticket to the Halloween event that you are hosting. Customers who love Halloween will surely want to be a part of it, and will spend more to be eligible to get the free event pass. The event could also be outside at a place which is known popularly as a haunted place. Ensure that the venue is filled with your restaurant’s branding elements. It will draw the right crowd, and you can also serve your restaurant’s specialty at these places.
It isn’t a lot to do for your business’s growth, right? Some of the strategies that we have outlined here are simple to commit, and doesn’t require a lot of time or investment either. Ensure that you have all the necessary accessories such as carved pumpkins, Halloween-themed candles, etc., to transform your restaurant into a place that people will remember, long after Halloween is over.
- Do Halloween promotions:
An easy way to get into the Halloween spirit is by coming up with special promotions for an entire week. Here are a few ideas for promotions that will go down well with your target market.
- 31% off on every drink
- Free dips and sides with every order
- Buy one drink, get one free
- Free desserts for everyone wearing a costume
- Halloween Happpy Hour
Make sure that you promote the offers on every channel you and your customers are present. Ensure that you don’t miss out on traditional marketing strategies either– flyers and signage does work for local restaurants.
- Murder Mystery Meal Kit:
How does a murder-mystery themed dinner sound? Fascinating, isn’t it? You can also expect a lot of customers staying in at home and enjoy a quiet evening. Cater to them too by preparing a go-to meal kit that has Halloween written all over it!
Here’s how you can create a murder-mystery meal kit:
- Select your most popular entrees, drinks, sides, desserts, and appetizers that can be a part of the meal kit.
- Use the murder mystery parties that you have hosted over the years as inspiration. Change the instructions to accommodate it for those who are dining from home. You can also use references from classic murder mystery movies to make it more interesting.
- Make sure that there are several portion sizes to accommodate the needs of your customers.
- Add your game instructions on a separate sheet along with the meal kit. Make sure that the instructions don’t get damaged by mixing with the food.
- Make them come back to your restaurant by adding a promotion for those who win the murder mystery game.
You can also hire a murder mystery company that will take care of the setup. If you are doing it at your restaurant, they will also provide you with props, story line, and characters. You can host a murder mystery based on a popular movie or a 1950s setting. There is no limit to what you can plan.
- Plan a Halloween social media takeover:
Pause your traditional posts during the Halloween week. Indulge only in Halloween-related posts. It doesn’t have to be only about your promotions, you can pass interesting Halloween-related information that piques your customers’ curiosity. Come up with spooky content that will keep your customers hooked.
Make sure that you also keep your followers updated about everything that you have planned for the holiday. Request your customers to share your page to generate more traffic to your restaurant.
- Host a party for children:
Do you want to have cute little kids frequenting your restaurants along with their parents? Of course, that is a ‘yes.’ Halloween is a time that children’s love because they can dress up, go to their friends’ places, and collect candy. What more does a child want?
Here are a few strategies on how you can organize a Halloween party for kids:
Host the kids’ Halloween party in the morning as that is when you have less patrons in the restaurant.
- Give various sweets, candies and treats for free.
- Host competitions for kids where everyone gets to participate.
- Dress up the employees in Halloween-y costumes.
- Add a lot of Halloween decor to the place
- Use unusual menu items to grab the attention of kids.
- Decorate the place with balloons of the colors orange and black.
- You can even organize a cooking session of Halloween dishes for kids and their parents.span>
- Have a costume contest for the kids.
- Prepare food kits for children. It makes the party a bit more easier to organize since you have the adults’ party in the evening.
- Organize simple games and contests to keep the kids engaged.
We are sure this will be a super hit among your patrons. Your main goal is to keep the kids begging for more. Let them have a gala time– something that they will never forget for a long time. How wonderful would it be to be a part of something like this!
- Use gift cards and loyalty program as a treat:
One way to use Halloween for the future is by offering gift cards to your patrons during the promotions. Even after the holiday is over, it will entice customers to come back to your store. Gift cards can be used online too. One way or the other, your customers are going to use the gift card. It has win-win written all over it.
Since customers are willing to spend a lot of money on gifts and parties during the holiday season, you can be sure that they will frequent your restaurant again, because of the gift card. It is a big opportunity to impress them once more and make them your loyal customer.
Go a step ahead and put them in a loyalty plan. Apprise them of every promotions and offers to keep them interested in your restaurant. You cannot find a better time to put your new customers into a loyalty program.
Halloween is a great business opportunity for restaurants. It can be leveraged to increase your revenue and loyalty. You need to promote your special discounts and offers for Halloween if you want a full house. Let the trick-or-treaters know that this is where they need to stop by. Make sure your existing customers know.
If you are looking to increase loyalty, it is best to do that with the help of a loyalty program. Fret not, get in touch with the team at 99minds for a easy-to-use, plug-and-play Gift Card and loyalty platform to set up your loyalty program for creating personalized campaigns.