40%* of Brits are now spending money on Halloween and the festival’s growing popularity makes it one of the biggest party nights in the UK for operators.
Decorate your premises
• Look out for POS material from the leading brands – Strongbow’s CarnEvil is a great example of what is available this autumn
• Dressing up kits and POS material are readily available to make your premises suitably spooky. Supermarkets are a great place to find cheap, ghoulish decorations too
• Organise costumes and makeup for your staff
• Use reduced lighting, candles in pumpkins and illuminated plastic skulls to create an atmosphere
Look out for drinks to suit the occasion
Hobgoblin and Doombar to name two. However, party nights are all about sharing, so offer:
• Pitchers of lager, coloured with a few drops of red food dye
• Mexican beers in ice buckets
• Red wine – with devilishly named Casillero del Diablo a perfect choice
Halloween cocktails such as:
• Southern Comfort Voodoo Jam
• Antica Sambuca Black & Green
• Dragon’s Breath
• Devil’s Candy Cane
• Los Muertos
• Midnight Ghost
• Vampire Berry – Espresso Martini
For the drivers and non drinkers offer equally fun and quirky drinks. Mexican Lemonade – a lemonade, lime and coriander combo – is both refreshing and very much on trend for Halloween and the Day of the Dead.
Do something different! There are lots of great ideas in the Devilish Treats feature.
People love to go somewhere where they can eat, drink and be entertained.
• Create a themed fancy dress party
• Offer prizes for the best costumes – a snack filled Piñata would be one fun option
• Hire a makeup artist to paint customers’ faces
• Run themed quizzes – which you can get from companies like Redtooth
• Have games like bobbing apples, pass the pumpkin or a pumpkin hunt
• Bring in a fortune teller for some light-hearted fun
• Have a bonfire, fireworks display or both. See our feature at takestockmagazine.com/guides/bonfire-night-safety
Shout about it
Publicise your events well in advance – costumes take organising!
• Promote via social media, your website and with in-house signage
• Encourage early bookings with drink or food offers and discounts
The Strongbow CarnEvil promotion runs from 23 October to Bonfire night and includes in-premise promotional material, customer prizes and the chance for customers and staff to experience New Orleans – which also celebrates the Day of the Dead. Check out strongbow.com for more details.