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How to Get Your Hospitality Business Ready for Halloween

Lauren Valensky
15 Sep 2023

It's no secret, that handling an influx of customers during any holiday season can be a scary task. And with hospitality businesses having to consider factors like decor, age appropriateness, and entertainment expectations, preparing for Halloween, in particular, can feel like a real nightmare. 

But don't fear! With some careful planning, you can make sure that your customer-based business is ready and able to provide a spook-tacular experience for all of your guests over this busy period. 

To help make things easier, we've put together some simple steps you can take to make the most of Halloween... our treat!

Why is Halloween beneficial for hospitality businesses?

While the extent of Halloween celebrations might vary drastically from country to country, this holiday specifically provides several staple benefits for any hospitality business, regardless of where they are in the world. 

These include:

Boosting employee morale

Employees in the hospitality sector are likely to engage more with their role if they feel there's an element of excitement and the freedom to express their creative side in the workplace. Since Halloween is all about getting creative, with elaborate decorations, themed menus and cocktails, and costumes encouraged, this holiday is a great opportunity to get your team to come together and have some fun.

Not only will this improve employee morale, but it can also result in greater engagement and motivation in the workplace overall. In fact, studies have shown that happy employees lead to happy customers, so it's a win-win situation!

Encouraging repeat business

The surge in footfall that comes with Halloween, (with people actively looking for things to do during the holiday), provides hospitality businesses with a great opportunity to boost their profits, repeatedly. If you can tap into this increased traffic and provide a unique experience that your customers enjoy and remember fondly, they'll be more likely to return repeatedly for Halloween, as well as other future holidays and events. And since increasing customer retention by 5% is seen to increase profits by 25-95% it's not a strategy your business can afford to ignore[1]!

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Extending reach

As well as providing an opportunity to increase profits, the theatrical nature of Halloween also provides a chance for hospitality businesses to generate some positive publicity. If you can pull off a memorable Halloween event, then you're likely to receive some great coverage from both local and national media outlets as well as from your customers across social media. Unsurprisingly, this can help to attract new customers that perhaps wouldn’t usually engage and grow your business.

How to ready your hospitality business for Halloween

Now that we've established how important it is for hospitality businesses to make the most of Halloween, let's take a look at some specific ways in which you can get your business prepared for the holiday rush:

Plan your decorations early

One of the most important aspects of getting your hospitality business ready for Halloween is to make sure your decorations are sorted well in advance.

This will ensure that you have plenty of time to get everything set up and looking perfect before the big day, avoid you dealing with any nasty surprises if anything goes wrong, and gives you the time to attend to other important preparations. 

In terms of decor ideas, think cobwebs, pumpkins, bats, skeletons and other eerie accessories. Of corpse, you can go as big or as small as you like, but make sure your decorations are appropriate for your business - no one wants to be greeted by a gore-fest when they're trying to enjoy a meal!

Assess and support your workforce

As we mentioned earlier, one of the benefits of celebrating Halloween in the hospitality industry is that it can help to boost employee morale. However, this will only be the case if your team is fully on board with the idea. So, make sure to communicate your plans early and get everyone excited about the prospect of celebrating Halloween at work! If your footfall increases dramatically during Halloween, it might be beneficial to introduce some training or extra staff to help cope with the demand.

Put thought into promotion

If you want your Halloween event to be a success, then you need to start promoting it, promoting it well, and promoting it early. This will ensure that people are aware of what's going on and give them plenty of time to make any necessary arrangements to attend. 

Traditional forms of marketing, such as flyers and posters, can be effective, but don't forget to take advantage of social media platforms too - they're a great way to reach a wider audience, especially with their various paid advertisement features.

Heavy on the seasonal

If you really want to stand out from  the crowd and give your guests a Halloween they'll never forget, then your seasonal theming needs to extend past your decor:

If you're running a hospitality business, then chances are that food and drink will play a big part in your Halloween celebrations. As such, it's important to put some thought into a Halloween-themed menu in advance. While spider sandwiches might be a step too far, you should consider providing some seasonal specials. For example, you could create a Halloween-based cocktail, pumpkin-based bites, or even offer a discount on certain dishes if they're ordered in costume.

As well as your menu, your seasonal entertainment should also be on point. Whether you're a restaurant, hotel or bar, there are plenty of ways to make your hospitality business feel more Halloween-y. For example, you could create a spooky playlist, hire a tarot reader for the evening, or even have a Halloween-themed quiz. Live music, DJs, magicians, and other performers are also a firm favourite for creating a truly unique atmosphere.

Keep your customers at the forefront

While Halloween is considered an especially fun holiday for you and your staff, it's crucial to assess your business, customers, and staff to make sure that everyone can, and will, actually enjoy the event. After all, not everyone is a fan of Halloween - so you don't want your customers to feel uncomfortable or like they're being forced into the holiday spirit!  

For instance, while heavily stylised Halloween decor might work in an 18+ bar, if you're running a family hotel, it may not be appropriate to have cobwebs on the floor as a trip hazard, or extremely gory decorations which might distress children or those who don't engage in the festival. You can gauge interest in advance by simply asking your customers either through social media polls/posts, by email, or even in person. 

So there you have it -  everything you need to help you get your hospitality business ready for Halloween - not a trick, it's just really that simple!

Resurrect your business with a powerful POS system 

If you want to create a scarily good Halloween for your customers that keeps them coming back each year, Epos Now can help. Our state-of-the-art point of sale (POS) systems handle things like sales trends, customer profiles, and loyalty programmes to help your business achieve its goals. 

  • Access detailed analytics and reports on online engagement, foot traffic, sales and trending products or services.
  • Connect with market-leading CRM and loyalty apps through the Epos Now App Store.
  • Access multi-award-winning inventory management systems that sync online sales and in-person sales for the most up-to-date stock levels.
  • Save customer contact details and shopping preferences for targeted marketing.

Dying to discover more on readying your business for the holiday surge? We'd love to hear from you!


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