It's the second biggest party night of the year after New Year's Eve and now pubs are getting ready to capitalise on Halloween.

Falling on a Thursday this year, Halloween represents a significant opportunity for operators to boost mid-week sales, as well as providing outlets with the perfect excuse to extend the occasion into the weekend after and draw in the crowds.

Heineken's Green Paper Report has revealed some interesting findings about October 31.

Did you know that:

  • 60 per cent of 18-34 year-old's visiting the on trade during the Halloween period
  • 20 per cent of consumers will go elsewhere if the venue they were in does not serve stout.
  • Halloween consumers are highly engaged with the on trade and spend 30 per cent more than the average consumer.
  • 50 per cent of drinkers limit their alcohol consumption and 15 per cent saying they are more likely to visit pubs if a broader range of non-alcoholic options were available.

Heineken UK has some expert tips to help outlets lure visitors in from the cold and maximise profits over the spookiest time of the year. 

1. Plan ahead

Family-friendly pubs could capitalise on Halloween night itself by offering Halloween-themed kids' menus, spooky party games, apple bobbing, face painting and so on.

In addition, Halloween consumers show a strong preference towards cocktails and spirits. Pre-batched cocktails are quick to serve and can help reduce waiting times during busy periods.

2. Party perks
Customers love to dress up for the occasion at Halloween which provides a great opportunity to offer a prize for those who are best-dressed, which could help draw punters in.

3. Set a spooky scene
Spooky decorations and themed displays are great for getting customers into a party mood and can also make a strong impact on social media.

Look at trying to avoid the usual ghouls and ghosts and capture people's attention with a more creative theme such as Mexico's Day of the Dead, to open up the celebration into something more. Offering Mexican-inspired drink options can help add to the atmosphere.

4. Moderation
Make sure you have enough options for the growing number of people choosing to moderate their alcohol intake.

Ensure you have a range of no and low options are available in both draught and packaged format to ensure those looking to moderate their alcohol consumption feel part of the occasion.