Marketing, Restaurants

5 spooky restaurant promotion strategies for Halloween

Want to ramp up your restaurant marketing this Halloween season? Check out these 5 spook-tacular marketing strategies for your restaurant.

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about revamping your restaurant to get into the spirit of Halloween. 

Halloween is arguably one of the spookiest and most exciting times of the year. People love getting dressed up and celebrating, and as a restaurant owner, you need to convince them that your restaurant is the place to be this Halloween.

But there’s more to Halloween marketing than just putting up a bunch of fake cobwebs and skeletons around your restaurant. This year, take things up a notch by going all out for Halloween. The more excited you seem about it, the more excited your customers will be to dine with you. 

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of spooky strategies that you can use to switch up your restaurant promotion this Halloween. Use these to give your customers the full Halloween experience.

Let’s dive in!

1. Make a special Halloween menu

As a restaurant, your main attraction is obviously your menu. So for Halloween, make a unique Halloween menu that looks both scary and delicious. 

Play around with colors. Use darker tones – a combination of purple and orange or green and black would look ideal. You should also consider using darker versions of your official restaurant colors so that your brand is clearly visible on your menu.

Introduce new dishes and drinks, and mention that they’re only available for a limited amount of time. These should include Halloween-themed foods, such as:

  • Candy apple desserts
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Pumpkin flavored drinks 
  • Bloody Mary cocktails
  • Mummy dogs – these are hot dogs wrapped in pasta to make mummies and trust us, they are delicious!

You should also include some popular regular menu items, but for Halloween, change their names to something just a little more festive. For instance, spaghetti can be renamed to slimy snakes, or cheesy pizza can be renamed to melting flesh (unless that’s too unappetizing, but you get the idea!).

If you’re concerned that making a new menu would be a tedious process, worry not. PosterMyWall has tons of templates for a Halloween themed dinner menu. Simply choose what you like, customize it by adding your dishes, and voila! Your Halloween menu is ready. 

2. Send out Halloween emails

If you don’t have a list of customer emails that you can use to market directly to people, you have to make one well in advance of Halloween. According to one study, email marketing is 40 times more effective than social media. At the same time, it incentivizes people to take action immediately. 

Here are some ways you can collect your customers’ emails:

  • Put out a fishbowl and do a raffle – one lucky winner would get a free dinner
  • Ask people to sign up for your newsletter on your website and social media
  • Get email addresses through your reservation system
  • Ask people for their email addresses on comment cards
  • Have servers collect email addresses when bringing the check

Once you have your email list, start promoting everything you’ve planned for Halloween. But as sports bar owner Mike Marcolin says, remember to prioritize quality over quantity. Don’t spam your list with unwanted emails. 

In your emails, invite your customers over to your restaurant for Halloween. Offer special discounts for people who come dressed up. Send out your Halloween menu and encourage people to try the new and exciting items. Send people a Halloween-themed trivia quiz and ask them to solve it for a free prize when they come to your restaurant. 

3. Run a spook-tacular social media campaign

On the days leading up to Halloween, ramp up your social media promotion so everyone knows what you have planned. Instagram, with its 1 billion active users, is the perfect place to center your marketing. 

Put up tons of exciting posts regularly, and then share them on your stories. You can make Halloween Instagram posts in minutes with PosterMyWall. Simply choose a hair-raising template, customize it, and upload it directly to your grid. 

You can resize these posts and repurpose them for other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. Make sure to time your posts so that they get the most traction. These are the best times to post on social media:

  • Instagram: 11 am – Wednesdays
  • Facebook: 8 am to 12 pm – Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Twitter: 8 am – Mondays and Thursdays

Host giveaways in which you entice people to share your posts, tag their friends, and get a chance to win a free Halloween meal at your restaurant. Moreover, make a unique Halloween hashtag for your restaurant.

Ask people to use it to share their Halloween looks. The person with the scariest look should get a prize, such as a free meal. 

Another exciting way to promote on social media is to have a pumpkin carving contest. Once again, ask people to use your hashtag to share pictures of their carved pumpkins. The person who does the best job should win a pumpkin themed dessert, such as a free pumpkin pie. 

4. Offer free tickets to other Halloween events

Do some research and find out what exciting Halloween events are happening around town during Halloween (preferably at a location that’s close to your restaurant). Buy a bunch of tickets for corn mazes, haunted house tours, ghost tours, you name it. 

If you buy these tickets in bulk, you can get them at a discounted price. And they’ll help you bring in more customers i.e. more money, which will more than make up for the costs of the tickets. 

Offer your customers a free ticket if they order a specific dish or spend a certain amount of money at your restaurant. 

You can even host your own Halloween event, like a scary movie screening, and offer tickets to that in the same way. This is something that the Stanley Hotel, which actually inspired the horror movie The Shining, does regularly. Every Halloween season, they host ghost tours, fireside story sessions, and magic shows. 

5. Spook up your restaurant decor

Lastly, get into the Halloween spirit by making your restaurant spook central. Hang up jack-o-lanterns, leave around bowls of candy (label the bowl with “trick-or-treat yourself” so people know they can help themselves to the candy), play scary music, and dim the lights or cover them with orange translucent papers. 

Take things a step further by having your servers dress up in scary costumes and play their characters when serving the customers. Give people the full Halloween experience – something that keeps them excited throughout their meal.

Also, use your space to advertise all your Halloween promotions and events. Hang up a Halloween flyer or two around the entrance, and have someone (a creepy looking butler, for instance) point customers in the flyer’s direction. Also put up flyers outside your door so passers-by can see what you have to offer. 

If you’re looking to create the perfect Halloween flyer, look no further than PosterMyWall’s Halloween flyer template options. Customize these templates by adding spooky fonts and images, and paste them in the area around your restaurant. 

Final thoughts

Now that you know what you have to do to make your Halloween restaurant marketing a success, it’s time to get right to it. These strategies will help you bring tons of customers through your doors, and if you’re lucky, they’ll all be in costume.

Remember to stick with the theme, because that’s what this promotion is all about. Whether you’re making a new menu, sending out an email, posting on social media, or making changes to restaurant decor, remember to do it with the Halloween spirit in mind.

New to PosterMyWall? Start working on your Halloween promotion by browsing through our range of Halloween menu templates, social media templates, and flyer templates to create something truly ghostly.