A spooktacular venue for your guests this Halloween

Halloween is fast approaching and so, as a restaurant or venue owner, you’ll undoubtedly be getting ready for what is set to be an extremely busy time of year. The following blog aims to give you some ideas to make sure your venue is Halloween ready, including your commercial outdoor furniture, restaurant interiors, décor, menu and some promotional ideas added in for good measure. After all, it’s important you take advantage of the extraordinary £320 million us Brits are anticipated to spend this Halloween.

Your menu
What better way to get into the spirit of Halloween than creating a tailored menu around the end of October. Whatever your setting, be it a restaurant, café or bar/pub, you can doctor your menu to ensure it’s fitting for a Halloween theme.

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Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants are a great example of really dining out on this time of year and spanning all the way through to Bonfire night on the 5th November. On offer he has sow’s head croquette canapes, in shell roasted scallops with squid ink, whole roasted suckling pig and spiced pumpkin cake.

More often than not, restaurants will feature a special Halloween menu separate from the main offering and so even if your actual food isn’t particularly Halloween inspired, you can make it sound as though it is. For example, a tomato soup could be pitched as ‘hot vampire blood’ and could be served in laboratory tubes instead of a bowl. Basically, it’s time to up the imagination anti and offer food and drink that you already have on the menu, but the decoration, scary names and special pricing on these items will make them even more attractive for your customers.

Instead of serving in glasses, why not serve in small cauldrons or skull themed glasses. Use an array of colours to ensure your drink ends up a disgusting green sludge colour and adorn with jelly worms and spiders. Think zombies and flaming dragons and any cocktail you can ignite prior to serving to give a dramatic flair (obviously combining fire with alcohol can be dangerous so please ensure the safety of both the bartender and patrons).

Of course, not all of your drink options need to be alcoholic. They can, in fact, be mocktails and hot drinks. In fact, we found a great spread from BBC food, we think offers the perfect examples of the types of drinks you could feature in your bar or restaurant: Spooky drinks menu.

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Venue decoration
It goes without saying, you won’t be purchasing new commercial outdoor furniture for your venue, just for Halloween, however, you can certainly get creative when it comes to accessorising…..Orange and black are the colours everyone associates with Halloween and nothing more so than a pumpkin – So, it’s time to get carving – Replace your usual romantic candles on your tables for two with a small pumpkin, carved beautifully.

Turn the lights down and make a mysterious atmosphere. Dowse the room in cobwebs, from the ceilings to the walls and make sure spiders make an appearance (preferably not real ones however!) You could also think about the music you’re playing and the effect this will have on the atmosphere. You could go all out and even choose to play various Halloween themed music like the Ghostbusters, The Adam’s family or even some Thriller!

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Your staff
Your staff should be in character and they will play an important role in creating a scary atmosphere. Think skeletons, witches, Frankenstein, Dracula – the list is endless. Costumes, wigs, face paints and even the way they act with your guests. You can push the boundaries as far as you think fit. What we would suggest however, is that you tread carefully if you’re a family establishment, as you don’t want to scare the little ones and this would actually be a way of losing custom!

If you have an email database, you can start getting the word out in advance and offer your email recipients some kind of VIP experience or offer for attending. It’s a great way to create a buzz around your event. Team email marketing with social media on all of your usual platforms and use print marketing such as flyers in support. You may even be able to get your local press to cover the event and gain some ever valuable PR.

You could encourage your little (and big) guests to dress up in fancy dress and offer a prize and utilise this to promote within your marketing materials.

As you can see, there’s so much you can do to make the most of this time of year. The Great British public love getting into the spirit of things and kids can partake too – Great fun for all the family. So, make sure you adorn your restaurant and commercial outdoor furniture with cobwebs, conjure up a halloween themed menu and get your staff on board to add to the spookiness. 

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