Lifting spirits


Halloween is a night loved by many, meaning it is a frightfully popular night amongst the hospitality industry. As a venue, you must ensure you’re making the most of this profitable seasonal occasion by offering plenty for consumers in line with fright night. Here’s how to do so…

The importance of Halloween for the on trade has been growing steadily over the past few years (with the obvious exception of last year), making it the next biggest sales period after Christmas, New Year and Bank Holiday.

Because of the fact last October was eerily quiet due to the national lockdown, it will come as no surprise that consumers are keen to make up for lost time. Many will have had their outfits planned for the last 12 months and already know exactly where they’re heading to sip on a creepy cocktail this October 31st.

With its unconventional branding and iconic skull branding, Dead Man’s Fingers is perfectly positioned to help licensees really capitalise on the Halloween occasion. To help maximise this opportunity, the brand have created a range of bespoke Halloween serves incorporating our best-selling flavours and are sure to really stand out. These include the Black Forest Martini – a twist on the classic espresso martini with our new Dead Man’s Fingers Cherry Rum, and the simple Pumpkin Potion with Dead Man’s Spiced Rum a simple Fanta Orange and squeeze of lime.

James Stocker, Marketing Director at Halewood Artisanal Spirits explained: “To help make the most of the Halloween celebrations, in addition to introducing some dedicated Halloween cocktails, we’d also recommend hosting themed events to help get customers into the spirit of the occasion. To assist with this, in addition to our spooky serves, we also have a range of bunting and POS materials available to help licensees give their venues a creepy, Dead Man’s Fingers style makeover.”

Pumpkin Potion

  • 50ml Dead Man’s Fingers Spiced Rum
  • Squeeze of fresh lime
  • Top up with Fanta Orange
  • Garnish: Mint Sprig

Seasonal events give you a further opportunity to showcase the best of your venue! You can reach customers who are potentially new to our venue, but most importantly who are celebrating and ready for a good time, so it’s your duty to make sure we provide the best experience for them. 

Famous Ballpit Cocktail Bar, Ballie Ballerson is based in the heart of Shoreditch and although it already speaks volumes for itself, they always ensure they turn up the dial come Halloween weekend: “We focus on decorating the venue, getting our team into character, offering bespoke drinks and massive prizes.” Said Alysia Francis, Marketing and PR Lead at Ballie Ballerson.

In the past Ballie Ballerson have benefitted greatly from offering a Halloween themed event. We were keen to find out what has been their most successful marketing tool around the spooky season to which Alysia told us: “The all red, blood bath ball pit is our number one unique selling point, as well as the immersive characters we had hiding in and amongst the crowd. It added a real sense of mystery.” Which is key for Halloween, right?!

Offering special Halloween discounts and themed cocktails is a great way to entice clients but shouting about it is even more important. Here are some tips to successful marketing at Halloween from the team at Ballie Ballerson:

Top tips for marketing your Halloween offerings

  • 1. Plan in advance – As with a lot of seasonal events, it’s important to plan and start telling people as early as possible – there’s always one customer thinking about Halloween in August!
  • 2. Don’t miss any detail – Include relevant details about what your event will entail as that’s how you’ll stand out from the crowd.
  • 3. Get it on social media – Use your socials to announce when tickets or events are in the calendar, as these platforms tend to be where customers check for the latest news and of course share anything they like too.
  • 4. Ensure your team are aware – Make sure that your whole team is aware of what’s happening so that any mention of Halloween, or other seasonal event, is met with a response about all the exciting things you have planned. That means they’re ready to talk to customers who might enquire at any point.

It is vital that as a hospitality venue you plan well in advance for Halloween offerings, so if you haven’t already… Pull your finger out. By advertising from the offset, you have a longer lead time to have your brand at the forefront of minds when customers are planning their nights out weeks in advance.

As we already mentioned, detail is key: “You can really work through the details of the event as a team to ensure you’re not adding or taking away from the event at the last minute. This means your marketing of the perceived experience and the actual experience should continue to match well.” Added Alysia.

You’re not the only one offering a special event for Halloween, nor are you the only sector either so it’s always best to get resources, decor and staff organised early to ensure you don’t miss out on the extended demand.

This year Ballie Ballerson have levelled up to entice greater footfall this October as they are offering big prizes for those who attend their Zombie wedding. Guests who are judged as the best dressed will be in the running for up to £1000 worth of prizes on the night. Oh, don’t you just love an incentive!

Halloween is set to be an exciting time for hospitality venues. With consumers taking advantage of the autumnal weather, many embracing the chance to dress up, and the thought friends reuniting for a night out on the town, it’s going to be a memorable one.

October certainly felt like a bigger challenge than normal last year which gives you all the more reason to listen to our expert’s advice. Get ready to celebrate with plenty of treats and hopefully few tricks…

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