5 spooktacular Halloween ideas for pubs & bars

Megan Lipscombe

Megan Lipscombe

Head of Marketing

How is it that it feels like just yesterday we were in the height of summer and now we’re talking about Halloween?… spooky 👻

On that note, in this blog I’ll cover a few ideas to help your pub or bar make the most out of Halloween 2023.

Devilish decor

Let’s start with the obvious. Everyone loves a well themed venue. And the best bit is, adding a spooky look and feel to your pub or bar can be done pretty easily and at relatively low cost. Think carved pumpkins, skeleton dummies, spiders and fake cobwebs. You might also want to consider dimming the lighting in your pub or bar and utilising candles to help add to that spooky atmosphere, and encourage your team to embrace fancy dress and face paint to help add that extra fright factor. 

If you have a slightly higher budget, you might want to invest in some more elaborate decorations and think about setting up an impressive backdrop for your customers’ photos. This will help encourage social media shares and interactions. Which leads nicely onto our first point…

Spooky social media

As is the case with anything, it’s key to promote any events you’re hosting both in the build-up and during the event. Not only will this encourage people along on the day, those who can’t attend are more likely to consider your pub or bar for future events, if they can see what they’ve missed out on previously. 

How you choose to promote your event is up to you, but user-generated content tends to work best; with 84% of consumers saying they trust peer recommendations above all other sources of advertising. With this in mind, you should encourage your customers to share photos and feedback of their experience with you. Utilise local and topical hashtags to increase the reach of those posts, and consider incentivising customers to tag you. For example, you could run a prize draw for those who tag you, or real-time offers such as a free drink every hour for someone who tagged you within that hour. 

Terrible timing

Halloween 2023 falls on a Tuesday. Your immediate thought might be that this is less than ideal and you’ll likely want to focus on Friday or Saturday as the main days for celebrating Halloween. However, with the day itself falling on a Tuesday, you do have the opportunity to increase footfall on what might typically be one of your quieter days of the week. Yes, it’ll take a little more than it simply being Halloween to encourage your customers through the door, but by running a well themed event – think ‘Boo’zy bingo or a ‘haunted pub quiz’; or offering a custom menu, you might be giving your customers the excuse they were looking for to head out for a drink or two on a Tuesday night.

Ghoulish games 

Depending on the set-up of your pub or bar, you could run a few games or competitions over Halloween weekend. Apple bobbing is always a hit, so consider an apple bobbing competition, where the person to retrieve the most apples from their bowl of apples in the given time, wins a prize of your choice. Or perhaps play on the tradition of ‘trick or treat’ and run a prize draw where anyone who enters either wins a prize or suffers some sort of forfeit. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you promote it well and drive interest ahead of the event. Remember, Halloween events will run throughout the weekend, with the biggest ones likely to fall prior to the day itself; so make sure you carefully select the days you want to run your events and promote accordingly. 

Monstrous menu items

With seasonal events it helps to keep things as relevant as possible, so you may want to make some changes to your menu. Whether it’s small tweaks to your existing menu items, or something completely new, relevance is key. So get creative with new menu items and cocktails. 

Any other thoughts?

If you have any terrifying tips that you’d like to share, then let us know at comms@rotaready.com and we’ll be happy to add them to this blog (poorly Halloween themed headings, 100% necessary).

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