Operators who don’t make an effort at Halloween could lose out, firms say
LICENSEES are missing a trick if they don’t get involved in ghostly antics at this time of year.
The Halloween season, drinks firms say, is the perfect time for spirits but also a chance for pub and bar operators to dress up their premises and get seasonal with drinks.
This year Halloween falls on a Friday which means operators can capitalise on a whole weekend of scariness, boosting their revenues at what is traditionally a quieter time of year.
Amy Ledger, marketing manager at Continental Wine and Food, suggested providing warming autumnal drinks like mulled wine at this time of year.
“Seasonal events such as Halloween offer publicans and bar owners the chance to give customers a reason to celebrate and to generate what will be much needed additional revenue,” she said.
“Halloween has really taken off in the UK; adults in particular are enjoying the opportunity to get kitted out in fancy dress and let their hair down.”
Keeping things simple will pay dividends for pub and bar operators.
Planning in advance is vital for the success of any event and Halloween is no exception, particularly for pub owners who want to encourage people to enjoy food or snacks as part of the evening.
Ledger said it is advantageous to stage a ticketed event where food and entertainment are on offer.
This allows the publican to determine the expected turn out in advance of the event, and it can also allow operators to capitalise on seasonal food and drink pairing opportunities.
“Keeping things simple this Halloween will pay dividends for pub and bar owners,” said Ledger.
“Source from your wine supplier a really keenly priced but good quality range of house wines and link them to a menu choice to then pitch at a reasonable offer to attract.”
Spiced rum brand The Kraken is also capitalising on Halloween, which a spokeswoman described as “one of the most important party events of the year”.
She said it had an impact on sales and offered great opportunities for marketing in the on-trade and on social media channels.
“To make the most of Halloween, a themed event is just as important as the right serve,” said the spokeswoman for The Kraken.
“The more visual the activation is – from staff fancy dress to back-bar displays – the more memorable it is for customers.
“This doesn’t just have a positive impact on sales, but fantastic marketing opportunities for the bars – the social media opportunities are endless. It’s one of the key times of the year that can really be brought to life in bars.
“Kraken has some really engaging artwork that lends itself well to Halloween; we’ve seen great enthusiasm from operators, staff and a healthy uplift in sales when working closely with operators in making sure it’s executed properly with the right POS and drink serve.
The more visual the activation is, the more memorable it is for customers.
The firm behind ready to drink brand WKD is also encouraging operators to embrace Halloween this year and will be promoting WKD Halloween cocktails in participating venues.
Debs Carter, marketing director, alcohol, at SHS Drinks, said: “We’ll be bringing some themed theatre to outlets by providing WKD Cocktail Cauldrons to serve special WKD Halloween cocktails.
“The moulded cauldrons are complete with authentic-looking feet to keep them stable and a pouring lip; they are perfect for groups of friends to share.”
The brand will also provide a range of four cocktail recipes to give to groups of friends.
They include WKD Pumpkin Grin (WKD Iron Brew, whisky, lime, lemonade, ice) and WKD Zombie Zinger (WKD Red, vodka, lime cordial, cola, ice).
“Halloween parties provide the opportunity for both staff and consumers to dress up and give an outlet a real party feel,” said Carter.
“WKD consumers love a theme and an excuse for a night out and they are always keen to support well-run events.
“With the 31st falling on a Friday this year, the key decision outlets need to make is whether to hold an event on the night itself or on the next day, a Saturday.
“If licensees are planning big parties and fancy dress for staff then SHS Drinks suggests planning ahead early.”