Whether you love or hate Halloween, this time of year is great for business – especially if you run a fancy dress store, sweet shop, pub, bar or restaurant. From sugary treats and scary costumes to pumpkins and paraphernalia, consumers spend a lot of money in preparation for Halloween parties.

And according to freshly published research, this spooky fun holiday really does pay off for British SMEs. Retail payment processing company Worldpay conducted a study last year into spending patterns in the UK around this period.

The findings revealed a considerable boost in trade; an 18% increase in takings for restaurants, 15% for pubs and bars, 17% for off-licenses and 11% for sweet shops. On top of this, statistics show that Halloween spending has continued to rise year on year. While consumer spending was around £12 million in 2001, this figure is expected to be in the region of £320-330 million for 2014.

There are so many ways food and drink businesses can cash in on the Halloween hype. Cafes have Halloween-themed cakes and coffees (pumpkin spice latte anyone?), bars put on fancy dress events and drink offers, and party shops create eye-catching window displays to tempt in passers-by.

Lucky Friday

Dave Hobday, Worldpay UK Managing Director, believes Halloween is becoming increasingly popular in Britain. The fact that it falls on a weekend this year, when people have more time to spend cash and attend events, provides added opportunity to make money.

He said: “Bar and restaurant owners should go all out to take advantage of the fact Halloween falls on a Friday night this year. 

“Whether that means hosting a fancy dress night, or simply offering a haven from trick-or-treaters, the savviest local restaurant owners and landlords should market themselves heavily to compete for the pumpkin pound.”