How to Celebrate Halloween at Your Bar or Restaurant

restaurants digital menu boards

October is officially here, and that means Halloween is quickly approaching. It’s the perfect opportunity to get into the spooky spirit and come up with themed promotions and events to engage customers and boost business at your bar or restaurant.

It’s no secret everyone loves to dress up and participate in Halloween fun. The hospitality industry would be remiss if we didn’t brainstorm some fright-night themed activities and décor. By incorporating these types of activities into your venue, you can humanize your brand while also spreading the word about events and offers.

Here are three ways to get your restaurant or bar into the Halloween spirit:

Spruce Up Your Halloween Décor

People love a seasonal photo opp for social media, and Halloween is a great one to optimize. Make sure people know you’re celebrating by decorating both outside and inside your main entrance. Start with simple signs that say “enter at your own risk” or other spooky phrases.

Incorporate pumpkins and gourds into your restaurant in unique ways. We always loved the look of smaller ones as centerpieces and larger ones as patio décor. Uniquely carved pumpkins are a fun addition, and even more so if you incorporate your branding… try carving your logo into one!

If you feel pumpkins are overdone, think about other options. For example, adding simple strands of lights throughout your restaurant can create a nice fall ambiance. Spiderwebs and scarecrows also work well.

Encourage your team members to get in the Halloween spirit, too! Narrow down team costumes or makeup to liven up the vibe. Once you’ve enhanced the overall look-and-feel of your establishment and your team, snap some photos to share on social media to get people in the door.

Host Halloween Events

Hosting a seasonal event is a fantastic way to promote your restaurant or bar. Is your restaurant family friendly? If so, try activities like pumpkin painting, a mini pumpkin patch, or photo ops with a scarecrow. You can even just provide candy to those who stop by to trick-or-treat. Test a few of these ideas out and you will be well on your way to enhance foot traffic!

Hosting Halloween-themed activities brings the community together. For example, costume contests or a Halloween parties can generate a lot of buzz. If you already host a recurring event like live music, karaoke, or bottomless brunch, make your events October themed. If you have private event space, offer Halloween packages that include themed decor, food, drinks, etc.

If you run a bar, plan a Halloween-themed trivia night. Trivia nights work for everything from date nights to friend gatherings and are sure to draw a crowd. Create Halloween-focused questions and test your patrons’ knowledge of topics like scary movies, folklore, or history of the holiday.

Spookify Your Menu

Audit your menu items and find opportunities to incorporate Halloween themes. You’ll attract customers who enjoy playful takes and share them with friends. Change up your menu’s design or names of dishes to add Halloween flair without having to change your offerings. For example, revise soup names to be something like “witches brew” or “vampire stew.” Use our digital menu tool to seamlessly update your menu before and after the holiday.

There’s a lot of fun stuff that can be done on the cocktail side, too. (Think red-colored drinks!) Why not treat guests to complimentary “vampire blood” shots in tubes or syringes? If you’re not sure where to start, search the hashtag #halloweencocktails on social media for inspiration. Out-of-the-box options are conversation starters among friends and tend to be highly Instagrammable, too.


Halloween provides the perfect opportunity for restaurants and bars to capitalize on people’s desire for spooky themed fun. Get in on the festivities by incorporating some of these ideas that are sure to be a hit!