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Haunting Halloween Helpful Hints

October 10, 2012 By: Kristen Santoro

With exactly three week left to prepare for one of the biggest nights of the year — Halloween — you should already be thinking of ways to attract those ghouls and goblins to your bar.

Strategic marketing can get those devilishly spooky characters to choose to celebrate the frightening holiday with you. Now, not all owners or operators like Halloween giving the liability issues that surround the holiday however we all need to make money. And there is no better time to make some fast cash than with a Halloween promotion.  

So, if you don’t have any plans in the works just yet, or even if you just need to add a little something special to your batty bash, we have some helpful hints that you should be aware of.

  1. Liability – Checking IDs can be a challenge, even on a normal night.  Therefore, always make sure that patrons remove their masks, even partial masks, before entering the venue.  Encourage your bartenders to re-ID anyone that they suspect might not be of the legal drinking age. Refresh your staff on responsible alcohol service and other tactics that identify overconsumption. In addition, make sure your door personnel are aware of approved props that can accompany ones costume.  You don’t want accessories that could be used as weapons inside your venue. Have a security plan ready and enough staff at the door throughout the night.
     
  2. Staff Involvement – It’s always a great idea to get your staff involved.  Think about what you can do together as a team. Allowing them to dress up or decorate for this special occasion not only gets them excited but builds morale.  However, make sure to provide guidelines to your team in order to make sure that their costumes and ideas are appropriate and practical for a shift.
     
  3. Get Creative – Halloween is all about fun! So be creative with your decorations both inside and outside of your venue.  If you’re a venue with two separate areas host a “Heaven and Hell” party where the decorations reflect this distinction. On a smaller scale go out and get some edible eyeballs and make some spooky libations. Your patrons will appreciate your temporary transformations.
     
  4. Contests – Your patrons spend a lot of time and money on the right costume, so reward them for it. But make sure that it ties into your overall theme. In terms of prizes there are a slew of things that you can do to make it worthwhile for the patrons while keeping the cost down. Charge a cover and give half to the winner or offer a free bar tab for a set amount of money that can be used on a future date. Also, make sure that the winner is announced at the right time.  The point is to keep the patrons there all night spending money.

At the end of the night the main goal it to create a guest experience that is unlike any other. Guaranteeing that they will return, creating more opportunities to drive revenue for your bar or club.


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