Themes

A Halloween theme can really make your pub stand out and there are many quite general theme ideas which can be adapted and given a Halloween twist.  Think about incorporating your theme in your decorations, your menu choices, drink selections, poster designs and activities to increase your guest’s perceived value.

Here are some theme ideas to consider:

  • Witches Den
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Harry Potter
  • Day of the Dead
  • Haunted House

Decorations

Halloween decorations are a great way to change the environment of your pub which will be especially appreciated by your regular guests. Alternatively, you could always choose to decorate your pub with an Autumn theme using fresh or natural items, such as pumpkins, autumn leaves, pine cones and conkers. If you want a real spooky atmosphere or themed decorations, you could look at online party suppliers (check they will arrive in good time before Halloween). Here are some suggested suppliers:

Activity Ideas

You will probably already know what type of promotions and offers appeal to your guests. If you are a wet-led pub you may want to focus on drinks promotions; if you are food-led you may want to focus on your seasonal food selection by adding Halloween specials to your menu. Below are some Halloween activity ideas you may want to consider:

  • Fancy Dress: You may wish to invite your guests to join you on Halloween in fancy dress and include a selection of themed food and drinks, with a prize for the best fancy dress. This could include both adults and children.
  • Halloween Quiz: Put together a Halloween pub quiz with themed questions and prizes. This could be for guests to complete at the table between specified dates over Halloween, or you could hold a Halloween Quiz Night. You could even run a quiz online through social media.
  • Children’s Halloween Menu: Create a themed menu for your younger guests which will capture their imaginations.
  • Pumpkin Carving Competition: Invite guests to enter their carved pumpkins into a competition at your pub. This could also be a great social media competition.

Plan Ahead

No matter what you choose to do, planning ahead is crucial. Follow these top tips on planning and timings to optimise your guest reach:

  • Decide on your theme and offers well in advance to give you enough time to plan, inform your team, and promote what you’re doing.
  • Start promoting on social media and use displays / signage in your pub a month in advance to give guests enough time to make the decision to join you over Halloween.
  • Communicate to your guests that you want Halloween to be special but safe, by reiterating your Covid-19 safety measures.
  • Decorate your pub a week before Halloween to make the most of it; although you may choose to hold some decorations back until the day itself.
  • Consider providing a welcome drink for your guests on their table on arrival. See below for Halloween drinks ideas.

Remember it is important to acknowledge this key date to gain a competitive position in your market, even if this is just with some decorations and a Halloween twist on your food and drinks offer.

Food Inspiration

You can add diversity to your main menu by adding seasonal and themed meals, such as:

  • Roast Pumpkin, Pancetta and Halloumi Salad
  • Butternut Squash and Spinach Risotto
  • Pumpkin Pasta with Rosemary
  • Souper Spooky Pumpkin Soup
  • Sausage, Pumpkin and Sage Casserole
  • Pumpkin Pie/Cake/Cheesecake
  • Toffee Apple Crumble
  • Parkin with Cider and Golden Syrup – for a toffee apple twist

For Halloween food inspiration, visit: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/search?q=Halloween

If you are a wet-led pub, why not consider offering Halloween bar snacks and canapés to your guests.  You can play around with the presentation and names of your serves. Visit https://uk.pinterest.com and search ‘Halloween Snacks’ for food presentation ideas.

Creative Drinks

Look for new punch and cocktail recipes or add a Halloween twist to classic recipes. Presentation is key: think about the colour, names, glassware and decoration of your drinks and make sure all team members are trained on the making and serving of them.

Spookitini

Blood-Red Brew

Spiced Mulled Cider

Promotion and Advertising

WEBSITE – Make sure your website is kept up to date with information, news, and Halloween offers and promotions. If you are creating a special Halloween menu, make sure you upload it to your website.

SOCIAL MEDIA – Keep active on social media to promote your offer and to keep guests engaged. Create an online event on your Facebook page so you can review your attendees. Encourage guests to ‘check in’ write reviews on social media.

E-NEWSLETTER – Contact guests on your database though e-newsletters to drive traffic to your website and to your pub. Make sure you always include links to your main website and social media pages.

A-BOARDS / POSTERS – Create promotional A-boards outside your pub which are eye-catching, but clear and easy to read. Use appropriate, contemporary signage and displays that reflect the theme and style of your Halloween offer.

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