Did you know that Halloween is a more popular search term than Christmas? Sure, it does vary from country to country, but Halloween is no longer just an American Holiday. There’s a lot to win from treating your guests to Halloween-themed events and menus!
When you’re planning your restaurant’s Halloween events and promotions consider how to make them match and emphasize your restaurant brand. Stick to a seasonal celebration with lots of pumpkin dishes on the menu, keep it subtle and classy, or go all the way with staff and guests in ghastly costumes.
Halloween offers the perfect opportunity to introduce your guests to restaurant events with prepaid tickets. Plan a set menu with 3 or more courses where the dishes and cocktails have Halloween-themed names, colours and ingredients.
If you’re not already a Halloween geek, a quick search on Google will provide you with a good list of names and concepts to choose from. Classic horror movies are great as inspiration if you want your event to be both classy and horrific.
Films such as Rosemary’s Baby, Nosferatu, Frankenstein, The Omen, and John Carpenter’s 1978 cult flick Halloween are all full of horror tropes you can build your event and menu around. And then there are all the creatures lurking in the dark: werewolves, vampires, zombies, headless knights, scary clowns and white ladies.
Ask your supplier about good wines and beers with spooky labels, and pair these with your Halloween menu.
Here are a couple of ideas if you want to offer a cocktail menu:
Your cocktails will be extra spooky if served in a bowl of dry ice. Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide which gets colder than regular ice. So don’t forget to use gloves and tongs when picking it up to avoid frostbite. Use dry ice sparingly and in well-ventilated areas to prevent the vapours from building up.
Buy a bunch of playing cards or ask your team to bring the oldest ones they have. Spread them on the tables and hang them from the ceiling with a fishing line. Cut the top of small Hokkaido pumpkins, scoop out the seeds (toast the seeds in the oven to make a tasty kitchen snack) and place tea lights in them.
Other suitable decorations are dried flowers and grass veiled in fake cobwebs, lit candles in candelabras or wine bottles, top hats filled with apples, and raven figurines.
Serve cupcakes, small pies, pumpkin snacks and other bite-sized delicacies. Pair with drinks such as high-quality teas, champagne, and colourful drinks in potion flasks. Use your menu and concept as a starting point to create a tea-party menu that’s unique to your restaurant.
Want to give your guests the ultimate restaurant Halloween tea-party experience? Have your team dress up in dark costumes and black and white skeleton-like face paint.
Why not make a competition with a prize for the most creative or scary costume? People love getting the chance to win something, especially if the thing they have to do to participate is fun. The prize can be everything from a cocktail to a gift card for lunch or dinner at your restaurant.
When we finally get the chance to wear fangs, masks, and wigs this needs to be documented and shared with the world! That’s why hosting a costume event is a sure way to make your guests’ Instagram feeds glow with pictures from your Halloween event!
When you host a Halloween event you can be sure guests will share pictures during and after their visit to your restaurant. Creating a hashtag for your Halloween event will help you get even more out of all the shares and likes. This is effortless and effective marketing — the best kind!
Create a unique hashtag that’s relatively short and easy to write (even after a couple of cocktails). Write it on cardboard, your menu blackboard and other visible places in your restaurant.
Mention the hashtag in your restaurant’s social media posts leading up to your event, and use it when you share teasers before and during the event. If you want to share pictures of guests remember to ask for their permission first.
#YourRestaurantsNameHalloween (best for restaurants with short names)
If your restaurant’s name is too long for a hashtag you can make a shorter version
Restaurant name: The Raven’s Gourmet Tavern
Don’t forget to check if the hashtag is already in use somewhere. If so, it’s better to create another one.
Follow the hashtag before and after the event so you can like, comment on and share posts from your guests. There’s no better way to strengthen the community feeling and reach more potential restaurant guests!