Trick Or Treat! How You Can Capitalize On Halloween Hijinks

Ah, Halloween. It’s the day that reminds people how many days are in October (and by nature, November and September) and that the fall and winter months of “not being able to worry about your diet” trifecta of holidays begins (followed by Thanksgiving and the December holidays and parties). This is the day that, unless you’re particularly throwing large celebrations in your restaurant, you might see sales slip a little. It happens to everyone; parents with kids are taking their children trick-or-treating, twenty-somethings are drinking and enjoying their parties, and at a certain age, many adults just simply stop caring about the holiday.

There are tricks to getting customers in your doors on Halloween, and yes, they usually involve treats.

Look At How Chain Restaurants Do It

The traditional treat with Halloween is candy. By the pound or package, these sugary sweet  snacks are the highlight of the day, which means the aforementioned diets tend to go out the window. Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes, theoretical purveyors of healthier food (focusing on salads, soups, and sides) is offering free meals to children 12 and under this week, Brand Eating reports (with the purchase of an adult meal). Outback Steakhouse has a free children’s meal on Halloween with the purchase of an adult meal as well. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Sonic is offering corn dogs for 50 cents all day. For a little bit of work, if you arrive at Krispy Kreme in costume, you’ll get a free donut.

USA Today has an article about the world of Halloween offers, and they tend to revolve around similar concepts.

  • Reward costumes. It’s a sight, and many of your customers will already be dressed up. Encourage them to not worry about changing back in appropriate clothes and visit your restaurant. Free snacks, drinks, or even whole meals have been comped for those in costume.
  • Simple discounts on Halloween-related items can work. Half-off desserts to dissuade people from tracking down candy bars is a start, or if you sell milkshakes with candy pieces in them, knock of the price of the candy bars (or even offer to mix up candy they bring in).

If anything, you can revise your menu temporarily to feature many more Halloween-inspired cocktails or dishes.

One thing you may want to do depends on your location. If you’re in a strip mall or other sort of business where you’re within feet of other businesses, you may want to combine forces with your neighbors and purchase candy for trick-or-treaters, encouraging them to come by your location. If you don’t want to buy candy, see what sort of meals and items you carry that could work well for snacks for children. If you have children visiting your shop for Halloween, a little container of french fries can both help break up the sweets they’re receiving and send a little goodwill (and advertising) to your community.