Happy Halloween! It’s everyone’s favorite dress-up holiday and it should have the creative juices of every owner, operator, bar manager and promoter flowing. Costume contests, drink specials, signature drink creations, murder mysteries, live performances, in-depth decorating and themes… This is the time to go absolutely bonkers with your promotions, cocktail creation and decorative abilities. Here are 6 ghoulishly great promotions to help you get inspired.
Micky’s WeHo RESURRECTION West Hollywood, CA
If you own a bar or restaurant that with an outdoor area that overlooks a bustling street, take a page out of Micky’s WeHo book. The bar will be opening its doors in the early afternoon to begin the Halloween festivities early. From 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, the bar will offer drink specials and allow patrons to register for a costume contest featuring $1,000 in prizes. Their patio areas allow for excellent people watching since they’re located in an area famous for a wild Halloween parade. Encourage your guests to show up early, host a costume contest and offer drink specials, which works no matter where you’re located.
Halloween Haunts Murder Mystery at Maggiano’s Little Italy Las Vegas, NV
Own a restaurant? A pub? Halloween lends itself to all things macabre so why not host a themed murder mystery? For $75, Maggiano’s in Las Vegas is hosting a Halloween murder mystery party. The ticket price includes a 3-course family-style dinner with 1 bar drink ticket and, of course, interactive entertainment. You can adjust the murder mystery theme in terms of dinner courses or small bites, number of drink tickets or drink discounts, prizes for figuring out clues and solving the mystery, and prizes for costumes.
Heroes & Villains Halloween Pool Party at The Surfcomber Miami Beach, FL
Some of you operate bars in cities that, even in October, are enjoying tropical or otherwise warm weather. In that case, promotions like the Heroes & Villains Halloween Pool Party, hosted by DJ Irie, the Irie Foundation and Surfcomber (a Kimpton property), can work well for you. Should you have access to a pool, the beach or just an accommodating outdoor area, consider a costume party that starts in the day and goes into the night. Even better, encourage couples and groups to come dressed in either heroic or villainous costumes. This theme definitely motivates guests to interact.
The Godfrey Haunted Hotel Chicago, IL
Another Halloween promotion hosted at a hotel, I|O Godfrey and Chicago Scene are presenting a haunted hotel theme for Halloween at The Godfrey. Guests can book tables, outdoor booths, rooms and suites or a simple general admission ticket. Any bar or nightclub can host a similar party, offering VIP entry and seating, food and beverage packages and a haunted theme. Bar owners can have a lot of fun with this concept, creating a haunted backstory and running with it.
Halloween Crawl with Crawl in Boston Boston, MA
If there’s one holiday that just screams pictures, it’s Halloween. With all the people dressing up in costumes and everyone so attached to their mobile devices, partiers will constantly be posing for pictures. Crawl in Boston’s Halloween Crawl is getting into the spirit by offering not only access to a photo booth but also selfie sticks. That’s right, the ticket price (there are $25 tickets available now and $28.30 last call tickets will be available later) includes a drawstring backpack, candy, a koozie, beverage mitt, photo booth, selfie stick and, obviously, drink specials at each bar. This crawl will take place in the Faneuil Hall area of Boston. You can offer something similar, either teaming up with a crawl organization in your own city or hosting a Halloween party complete with a photo booth, drink specials and selfie sticks for guests to take photos of their costumes.
Sky High Halloween at Hudson Terrace New York City, NY
Another great way to draw costumed Halloween revelers is to offer an open bar and enforce a dress code. Hudson Terrace on West 46th Street in NYC is requiring guests to come in costume to gain entry and rewarding them with an hour-long open bar (10:00 PM to 11:00 PM). Hudson Terrace will also provide live entertainment along with their Halloween theme (3 Rooms of Terror!) in the form of Nina Sky. There’s no reason you can’t do the same inside your bar, restaurant or nightclub, going hard with a Halloween theme, either whimsical, campy or terrifying. Feature an open bar for a limited time, drink specials the rest of the night, require guests to wear costumes, and reward them with a great live performance.
For more great promotion ideas that you can use year round, attend the 2016 Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show, March7-9 to hear what gets people through the door from industry experts and operators like you! Registration is now open at www.ncbshow.com.