All Hallows’ Eve is just around the corner! This occasion, unlike other special days of the year, presents truly unique opportunities for restaurants to shake up their in-house operations and offerings and infuse a lot of creativity into their marketing. Below we explore three scary easy ways to make Halloween a success at your restaurant!
Host a Costume Contest
Showcase your restaurant’s company culture and employees’ personalities by hosting a staff costume contest! Encourage servers, bar staff and your hostess(es) to embrace the spirit of Halloween by dressing up in full costumes or adding fun accessories to their uniforms, like a witch hat or butterfly wings. Incentivize participation by rewarding the most creative or unique look! This is a fantastic way to enhance engagement among your team and stimulate morale. It’s also a great opportunity to generate new content for your social media pages that serves to humanize your brand and highlight your restaurant’s playful side.
Invite your visitors to join in the fun by encouraging them to dress up, too! By hosting a costume contest for guests, you can situate your restaurant as the destination for adults looking to celebrate! Recent statistics show that 85.3% of consumers ages 18-24 plan to celebrate Halloween, along with 76.5% of 24-34 year olds and 71.3% of 35-44 year olds. Capitalize on this festive occasion by attracting adult patrons with a Halloween costume contest that allows you to give out prizes that drive future visits, like vouchers for a free appetizer or dessert, or a grand prize of a dinner for four.
Offer Tricks & Treats
Holidays and special occasions are ideal for running limited time offers. Treat your e-newsletter subscribers and social media followers to online exclusives for spooktacular savings on Halloween weekend. Online promotions driven by coupons specific to each channel allow you to track the success of your campaign and uncover which digital avenues convert the most. Use the insights from your Halloween campaign to refine your next occasion-inspired promotion efforts. For instance, if you find that a greater number of people redeem the coupon code from Facebook rather than your e-newsletter, you will have a clearer idea of how to strategize and allocate your marketing resources for Christmas. It’s a constant process of testing, monitoring and pivoting!
Halloween is also the perfect time to offer limited time beverages and dishes that celebrate the day. Create on-theme names for food and beverage offerings that entice all those who love Halloween – adults and children alike! Think a Mini Monster Submarine Sandwich for the little ones (fill with meatballs and fashion them to look like eyes) or a red Vampire Kiss Martini for the adults featuring blood orange juice, vodka and a dash of grenadine and bitters. Have fun and play around – it’s the perfect day to really stretch your imagination and take creative risks!
Kids Eat Free
Stimulate family visits by inviting children to eat for free! This can be a particularly powerful strategy if your operation is in a geographically dense area that families are likely to pass, or can easily access, on their trick or treating route. Be sure to promote the offer in the weeks leading up to October 31st for maximum impact! This is a high value offer that can make your restaurant the first stop of the evening for trick or treaters and their parents looking to fuel up before their big night. Parents can wind up spending a lot on costumes, candy and decorations, and will be enticed by this substantial offer.
Halloween is unlike any other day of the year. Make the most of this special opportunity to attract patrons and drive sales by supercharging your culinary and marketing creativity! Drop us a line on Facebook or LinkedIn to let us know how your restaurant is celebrating this boo-eautiful chance to shake things up!