October has arrived, the leaves are falling, and spooky season has officially begun. With Halloween-related spending hitting $9 Billion in 2018, and 175 million Americans reporting that they’ll be participating in the festivities this year, Halloween provides great promotional opportunities for your restaurant to attract new diners through your doors.
With over 20% of restaurant staff reporting that Halloween is the busiest holiday at their restaurant, you shouldn’t shrug off the spooky season. We’re here to provide you with an extensive list of promotional ideas to capitalize on the Halloween-y festivities—with more than just cobwebs and skeletons.
Here are thirteen Halloween promotional ideas your restaurant and bar to boost sales this October, and for all the Octobers to come.
Halloween Specials and Menu Ideas for Restaurants and Bars 🧛♂️
One of the easiest ways to bring the Halloween spirit into your restaurant or bar is with the food and drinks you serve.
1. New spooky food and drink specials
Unique, Halloween-themed food and drink specials are one of the most common ways bars and restaurants can spookify their business. October is the month of pumpkins, spice, and everything nice—so adding seasonal specials to your menu can go a long way to delight customers and get them talking about your restaurant.
Here are a few ideas for Halloween restaurant specials to offer this holiday season.
Halloween food specials
- Pumpkin dip: a fall favorite that can be served with vegetables, tortilla chips, or naan bread. Serve it in an empty pumpkin for a final touch!
- Ghost pizza: A regular margherita pizza can be turned “ghostly” with the right cheese shape!
- Mummy Brie: brie cheese mummified in puff pastry
Halloween bar snack ideas
- Pumpkin dip with vegetables or tortilla chips
- Bowl of Worms (gummy worms)
- Witches’ fingers
Halloweeny drinks and brew specials
- Brain Jell-O Shots
- Mystery drinks—creative cocktails with a creepy crawler inside! (fake, or real!)
- Manchurian Scorpion Glow Shots
- Black lemonade
The [Halloween promotion] we have seen the most success with are our Manchurian Scorpion Glow shots, which I think would be a fantastic promotion for just about ANY bar. For 200 dollars we sell 250 scorpions, as well as the black light flashlight (as scorpions are bio-luminescent). The scorpion on the shots typically raise the cost of the shot by 2-3 dollars.
Your menu is a great piece of in-house marketing material you can use to emphasize the Halloween vibes. Changing up your regular menu (without creating new dishes) with naming and design is an easy way to adjust the menu to fit the festivities.
Swap regular dish names with a spooky version
Change up your menu names to give a new, creepy vibe to your existing dishes. This way, you can skip the hassle and costs of testing out new dishes, and keep your menu consistent with what your diners already love.
Simply changing menu items and descriptions to give it a new, Halloweeny-twist can be an easy way to “get spooky” at your restaurant or bar. Here are a few examples.
|Regular menu name
||Halloween menu name
||Vampire Blood Bowl
|Omelette / eggs
||Seasoned scrambled brain
||Crispy bat wings
||The devil's eggs
|Chips and salsa
||Bones and entrails
||Dracula's healthy delight
||Haunt dogs or Halloweieners