HOW TO HOST A GREAT HALLOWEEN NIGHT IN YOUR BAR
Halloween is one of the most social occasions of the year. A night that involves dressing up, eating, drinking and, without a doubt, lots of ghoulish decorations. Simply put, it’s an occasion made for bars!
It’s the perfect opportunity to drive new customers through your door, excite your regulars and change up the atmosphere for your bar staff. So how do you go about planning and hosting a Halloween night? Check out our top tips—along with some free downloadable menus, posters and recipes to help you get ready for a real spooky night.
How will you host?
There are lots of things you can do to make your bar stand out and give customers a reason to choose your venue!
- Costume: Will you have a themed costume party? You could host a general spooky night, or refine it to a particular horror movie or even decade. This could also be a great bonding opportunity for your bar staff—encourage them to wear fun and creative costumes.
- Food, glorious food: Why not give your usual food/bar snack menu a Halloween twist?
- Punches & cocktail lists: Create Halloween-style punches for groups of friends to enjoy together and offer a limited cocktail list for the night. This will help improve speed of service and consistency of drinks but also gives your theme night a point of difference to any other night in your bar. Need some inspiration? Check out our Halloween recipes or download free recipe cards to get you started.
Promoting the spooky night
Social media is one of the key ways to promote your event and get the word out! Create an “event” on Facebook, tweet an offer out to your regulars and ensure everyone knows about your hashtag for the event so you can track all those #HalloweenSelfies on Instagram, but remember to always ask your customers' permission before posting any photos of them. If you have a customer database, it’s worth emailing an invite to them—they may end up forwarding it on to their friends too. Update your website’s blog or events page to include special offers and your themed menus for the night.
Spread the word early, especially if you’re planning a costume night so your customers can get their outfits ready as soon as they can! Your regulars are likely to be in your venue in the weeks prior to your event, so promote your event and the Halloween serves that will be on offer with posters and themed menus.
Download your free Halloween Facebook banner and menu here.
Get your bar ready
As with any busy night in your bar, preparation is key. Check these four things off your list so you’re confident in hosting a great night.
- Ensure your bar is fully stocked and backups of all products are close at hand and not locked away in a store room. Our “10-Step Workstation Setup” is a great guide.
- Pre-cut garnishes to avoid spending time preparing during service. Place in containers with a damp napkin over them to keep them fresh and ready to swap in once your station has run out.
- Check your glassware for the evening to ensure you have enough, especially, if your theme serves require specific glassware.
- A pre-service run-through is always invaluable. Ensure everyone knows the Halloween serves on offer, can recommend them confidently and knows how to make them.
Maximize the impact of the night
- Photos: Take photos of the event, or commission a local photographer to capture great images of the night. Share these on your venue’s social media channels the next day, or if it suits the style of your venue, why not share these on your wall! Use your hashtag and encourage your customers to tag themselves and their friends in your photos to help amplify the message that a great night was enjoyed in your bar.
- Engage: Your customers are the most important people to your venue. If they’ve taken the time to share photos and posts from your event, a simple like, quick comment or re-post will show you value them.
- Learnings: Try to measure how the event went and learn from it. Look at how many people came, the increase in foot traffic compared to a normal day, or even since last year. Also look at what customers ordered and if the orders delivered incremental revenue (beer switched to spirits) and which serves worked better.
Download your free Halloween posters, recipe cards and social media assets here!