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Halloween Marketing Ideas for Restaurants

Halloween Marketing Ideas for Restaurants

While it may seem like the holiday season is still a long way off, these things have a way of sneaking up on you. If you want to start the holiday season off with a scream, now is the time to start planning for Halloween. Spooktacular Halloween theme events and a seasonal menu will give you a great financial boost. Here are five Halloween marketing ideas for restaurants you can implement.

Pick a Spooky Theme

First, you need to select a theme. Whether it’s Zombies, Aliens, or Ghosts and Ghouls, there are no wrong answers. Pick one and go with it. Then, on October 1st, decorate your restaurant according to that theme. Next, invite your front-of-house staff to dress up in that theme all month long. Encourage them to be creative!

Halloween Marketing Ideas for Restaurants

Seasonal Menu

Now that you have the theme, you need the food to go along with it. A good seasonal menu has 2-3 apps, 4-5 entries, and a dessert or two. Pumpkin is always a good flavor to incorporate into this menu. But if creating a new menu is too expensive or time consuming for you, then you can alter current menu items to create your Halloween menu. Try adding some dry ice, using squid ink to turn parts of the dish black, and switching to black rice in rice-heavy dishes. And, of course, have fun naming these scary new dishes!

Also, adjusting your menu doesn’t have to be a hassle. Using a digital menu board allows you to seamlessly ‘witch’ up your menu to reflect your latest enchanting offerings. Total Merchant Supply has state-of-the-art digital solutions to make your holiday celebrations fun and effortless.

Costume Contests

If your employees can dress up, so can your customers. Host a costume contest a week or two before Halloween and let your customers show off their outfit before the big day. Consider holding costume contests in a few different categories, such as men and women, couples, groups, kids, pets, etc. Give away gift cards to the winners. Don’t forget to promote the contest on social media!

Halloween Marketing Ideas for Restaurants

Pumpkin Carving

You can also host a pumpkin carving contest. Have your customers drop off their pumpkin submissions at your restaurant. You can display these submissions in your restaurant or set up a shelf out front to display them. Have your servers pass out a voting submission card with each table’s check. As with the costume contest, the winner gets a gift card. You get free Halloween decorations and your customers get a chance to win a gift card. Win-win!

Community Event

Don’t forget to look outside of your restaurant for more Halloween involvement. See if the town or city you’re located in is hosting a Halloween event that you can take part in. Are there any local Halloween traditions or lore you can take advantage of? If your restaurant has a sizable party or back room, you could offer to host a local actor troop for a Murder Mystery event or a Rocky Horror Picture Show screening. This could lead to a new tradition your customers look forward to every year!

With these Halloween marketing ideas for restaurants, you can ensure a memorable Halloween experience for your staff and customers while starting off the holiday season with a scary good financial windfall. Don’t let this Halloween pass you by. Pick a theme and jump in.