Heineken's Green Paper report this year revealed these fascinating facts about Halloween in pubs and bars.

Did you know, for example, that:

  • Halloween is now the 2nd biggest party occasion after New Year's Eve for pubs.
  • A petrifying party can deliver on average an incremental £452 more profit for outlets compared to a usual Friday or Saturday evening.
  • One in every five 18-34 year olds will be going out on Halloween
  • They will spend 30 per cent more than the average late night customer.

With pub-goers increasingly looking for "experiences" on a night out it stands to reason that Halloween can be a huge profit booster for licensees who exploit it properly.

With the big event falling today (a Wednesday) savvy licensees will have started the party last weekend and will continue to so through this week, suggests Jerry Shedden, category and trade marketing director at Heineken.

"Halloween provides the perfect opportunity to boost your sales ahead of the Christmas period. As the second busiest party night of the year, consumers will be planning now for places to socialise with friends. With our helpful tips and brand activation, licensees can be confident in their offering, tapping into the latest trends and data, helping their outlet stand out from the crowd and increase sales."

In need of some last minute advice? Here's some food for thought from the brewer:

  • Expect a crowd - With extra business expected, it is important to avoid any long queues or overcrowding issues. Ensure you have extra staff and additional seating available, perhaps even consider table service to avoid congestion at the bar and ensure speed of serve
  • Refine your audience - Halloween is one of the most age targeted celebrations of the year. Lay on a party for younger consumers (18-24) and your family/older diners won't show up. If possible, separate your audiences by using different bars or a function room.
  • What's your big idea? - Remember that customers are looking for experiences, so you need to be original. 
  • Larger serves for larger groups - Halloween and other busy seasonal events cause increased congestion at the bar. To avoid this, think about different drink formats such as jugs and pitchers of beer and sharing cocktails to decrease the number of visits to the till without losing on sales
  • Halloween happiness - With many customers dressing up for the occasions and in large groups of friends, punters are likely to be in high spirits, so brief your staff to encourage customers to trade up to a more premium beer or cider.

Good luck - we hope it's fang-tastic!