Are you the owner of an independent restaurant, bar or coffee shop? If so, does making money over the Halloween weekend send shivers down your spine? You needn’t give yourself any unnecessary fears. If anything is going to scare you this Halloween, it should not be your cashing up figures!

Spark some Friendly Competition

Customers love a good freebie, whether they are first timers or are returning to your restaurant. Better still, customers understand that nothing is really free, and they’ll enjoy contributing to their prize one way or another.

1. Run a competition on social media, instructing your customers to tag and share a post, or to like your page. This will provide you with `word of mouse` advertising at very little cost. Simple tasks work best, such as `Give us your best zombie face, and we’ll give you two free cocktails`. If the competition losers still like the look of your place, you will stick in their mind when making plans.

2. Ask your most bubbly member of bar staff to distribute leaflets outside when trading is quiet. Offer discounted drinks tokens, or a freebie for your first 20 customers. Don’t forget to encourage your employees to wrap up warm!

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SHARING IS CARING: Run a competition on Facebook

Up Your Game on Social Media

Creating a fuss on Facebook is key to driving traffic to your restaurant, both digitally and by foot. Have fun with it, and don’t be afraid to play on your unique selling points. After all, independent businesses are known for their charm and character.

1. Put yourself in an outsider’s shoes- what would draw you to a restaurant? If customers can see your staff having a good time, they will trust you are a fun loving brand and will want to get involved.

2. Allow a savvy member of your team to schedule a bulk of posts using a tool such as Hootsuite. A young voice will brighten your presence online, and will enable your business to jump on new trends.

3. Utilise any multi-media opportunities made available to you. This might be a quick Snapchat, an impromptu podcast or a short promotional video created by your team. If an image says a thousand words, imagine what Instagram Stories will say?

4. Team up with a complimentary local business, such as a bakery, for some mutual free marketing. Not only will this bring you free traffic, but it will strengthen business relationships.

5. Most importantly, always join in the conversation when customers are talking about you, and be attentive when they talk to Engage with them and really show your personality.

 

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Keep an Eye on Your Competitors

According to Marketing Donut, competitor intelligence is something few businesses do well. So if you don’t know the price of a pumpkin spiced latte down the road, or how many covers the cute bar opposite you takes, don’t panic.

1. Offer seasonal drinks at competitive prices. Many independents have their coffee promotions listed on a board outside; make a point of purchasing one on the way past to see what you are up against. Throw in a chocolate spider or etch a pretty design in milk foam- you want your products to be Instagram worthy.

2. Get crafty with decor, and really bask in what your business is all about. Play around with candles, and don’t be shy to use handmade pieces.

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INSTAGRAM WORTHY: Seasonal drinks will get tongues wagging

Shake-up Your Specials Board

Creating a seasonal menu is a great way to attract customers to your place; nothing says Halloween quite like pumpkin soup and beautifully coloured cocktails. Arrange a tasting session with your chefs and front of house staff; they will appreciate being involved in the process (and the free food of course).

1. Raid your stock cupboard for discontinued or rarely used spirits. Remember that bottle of flavoured Sambuca you bought last year? Jazz it up with some grenadine, chuck in some Haribo sweets, and voila! You’re Halloween ready.

2. Host a spooky afternoon tea, complete with smoky Earl Grey and `finger` sandwiches. Afternoon teas are bang on trend, and you can have lots of fun with them.

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TANGY: Nothing says Halloween like pumpkin soup

Host an Event

Putting on an event is a sure fire way of increasing customer spend; especially if you don’t charge on the door. Customers will be more inclined to spend money inside your venue if they are not forking out beforehand. So what will it be- a pub quiz hosted by your team, or a gig featuring local bands wanting some exposure?

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DOORS OPEN: Organise a low cost family event

Commercial Cover with The Insurance Octopus

As a business owner of a licensed or non-licensed premises, you are at risk of potential incidences such as malicious damage or theft, which will need to considered when looking for a personalised business insurance policy.

At The Insurance Octopus, we can help you with options to find the most efficient and cost-effective business insurance policy tailored to your needs.