A firm favourite in the American hospitality calendar, Halloween is now a dominant force in the UK, with Britons spending over £110 million pounds on all the Halloween trimmings. An impressive figure, still dwarfed by US spend, sitting at a scary $8.4 billion! Regardless of which side of the pond your business sits, we’ve pulled some terrifyingly good tips to keep you ahead of the competition.
Hold an eerie event
Holding a Halloween themed event is a perfect way to encourage customers, new and old, to come into your business. You know your business best, so choosing the type of event to appeal to your target market is crucial to pulling it off successfully. This year, the 31st falls on a Tuesday, which means most will be celebrating Halloween the weekend before.
In recent years, Halloween has become the second biggest party night in the UK after New Year's Eve, which is great news for licensees. Ticketed events are a good way to make additional revenue and create exclusivity around events, just be sure they’re deserving of the hype and think carefully about ticket costs-you don’t want to price people out! Eerie music, spooky lighting and decorations are a must. Check out Pinterest for some cost-effective DIY decoration inspiration!
For a more low key event, why not hold a Halloween themed quiz or screen a cult classic film. Use social media and in-store marketing to promote the event. Epos Now’s Tyg Tickets integration helps manage all your promotional and ticketing needs.
*Pubs & Bars: Don’t forget to check the terms of your license and post a Temporary Events Notice (TEN) in good time of any event.
Partner with other local businesses
It might go against the grain to partner with your competition, but working together can generate more revenue all round, great news for you and the local economy! Pub and bar crawls are a great example of this, as people will often go from one place to another in quick succession. Featuring on an organised pub/bar crawl guarantees you the business of several drinking groups. Work with other local businesses to coordinate the crawl and get in touch with local student groups and businesses to promote it.
Another, more family-friendly option, is to be a trick or treat stop-fantastic for hospitality businesses that operate in the day, such as cafes or pubs. This is a good way to get parents engaged with your business. Why not team up with the local ghost tour operator? With every meal bought in your restaurant, you could offer complimentary tickets.
Offers and promotions are tried and tested ways to generate revenue all year round, and always a popular option with customers. People like to feel they're getting a good deal, so offering meals and drinks promotions feels like good value, but costs relatively little. It can also encourage people to spend more as they believe they’ve already made a saving. Think ‘2 for 1's’, ‘buy one get one free’ or complimentary starters/desserts/coffees. When offering drinks promotions, ensure they don’t advocate irresponsible drinking.
Loyalty schemes are an effective way to reward your regular customers and boost customer retention. Why not incorporate a Halloween promotion targeting your existing customers? Epos Now offers a range of loyalty schemes which can encourage repeat business and allow you to send out personalised offers to your loyal customer base. Check out the Epos Now AppStore for more information.
Themed competitions are useful ways of building your social media following as well as creating a buzz around any Halloween promotions or events you're holding. Choose prizes which will encourage people to enter and are appropriate to your business. For example, coffee shops might offer free coffee for a week, or restaurants might offer the chance to win a meal for 2. Think pumpkin carving, fancy dress or colouring competitions for kids. Remember, competitions, raffles and games that require your customers to share their contact information are reliable ways to build your email lists, which can be used to generate revenue all year round. Our Mailchimp integration allows users to create professional emails with minimum fuss, reaching out to your customers with effective advertising, events, special offers and competitions.
Sweet treats & seasonal menus
Themed food and drink has the power to catch the eye, capture the imagination and appeal to the palate, which is great news for all kinds of hospitality businesses. Seasonal menus and themed sweet treats are always popular, especially with children and adults who can’t help but love the novelty. Cafes and coffee shops can opt for the traditional pumpkin flavoured produce and restaurants and bars can offer an array of creepy cocktails.
Homemade touches can go a long way in improving the customer experience. Research has shown that leaving giving a mint with the bill can increase the chance of the customer leaving a tip by up to 23%. Why not swap out the mint for some homemade Halloween themed confectionary, minimal expense, maximum effect! There’s plenty of inspiration on the internet, so get stuck in!
Businesses embracing Halloween and all its trimmings will see an increase in customer engagement and brand awareness, with the potential to drive revenue in the weeks approaching the 31st. It needn’t be expensive or time-consuming, especially when utilising Epos Now’s integrations to send out targeted promotions, newsletters or incorporate spooky designs into your website! Happy Halloween!