Halloween 2009

What’s your prediction for this year’s Halloween? Here are some comments we’re hearing from other pizza operators: 1.) A lot busier than last year due to pent up demand and cash-strapped parents wanting to do something special for their kids 2.) Slower than last year due to bad economy 3.) Slower this year since it’s on a weekend and parents have time to cook

1.) What do you all think? Slow? Just another weekend? A lot busier than last year? Obviously this is all depending on your specific market. So far this year we’re down 30% on weekend sales but it’s slowly picking up again. Last year our sales tripled (based on regular weekend sales) on Halloween night.

2.) What are you doing to prepare? We’re thinking of continously making few large unbaked pepperoni and bake them when ordered. Also we’re thinking of keeping completely cooked breadsticks and keeping them in our warmer to free up oven space. Will this tremendously hurt quality? The bread will obviously be a tad dry.

3.) How are you marketing? We already dropped direct mail pieces mid this week. I’m thinking of doorhanging morning of the 31st.

Any other tips? It’s our second year and we want to be a lot more prepared and better than last year.

Sorry to be a wet blanket … but … I HATE HALLOWEEN !!!

It is a tradition in your country but it has been adopted here purely as a marketing ploy by confectionary manufactures and the supermarkets to sell more sweets.

Halloween is not embraced here as it is in America for what it is, but as a means by unruly youths to cause havoc, mayhem and damage amongst the community under the guise of having fun.

I am not looking forward to Saturday night where we will be getting youths either driving by or on foot “egging” the shopfronts. Sunday morning will see the remains of egg shells on the ground and splattered egg contents on our windows.

Heaven help the poor householder should a group turn up (and not even in fancy dress) and “demand” treats and turn them away empty handed. They will find plants ripped out of the garden, eggs splattered on their front door or cars, not to mention verbal abuse for not giving anything. These young thugs have no belief or any idea in what Halloween is about but just use it for an excuse to cause mayhem.

So I am not looking forward to it at all, but best of luck for all you people where Halloween is part of your annual celebrations and hope that you get that sales boost we all like to see.

Our shopping centre management is running a Halloween Family Fun Day on the 31st and I am not participating at all (I am usually first in with other marketing days). Because I am totally against it and what it represents here I am withdrawing any support from our business, as are a couple of others for similar reasons. I don’t believe in it and I don’t see why I should support it for the problems outlined above.

For me … I AM THE FUN POLICE ON HALLOWEEN :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

:twisted: Dave

This will be our 11th Halloween. It has never been any kind of special event for pizza around here; just another night.

We usually don’t do anything in the way of marketing for Halloween. The last few years we have been so busy on that night that we have had to call in extra help or get one of the waitstaff to help in the kitchen. For us it is mostly take-out that gets busy. This will be our first weekend that halloween falls on so I’m not sure what to expect. But luckily for us we will be fully staffed anyway seeing that it is Saturday.

It may be too late for this but here is what I do. On trick or treat night (thursday) we give away a small drink or slice of pizza to everyone that comes in costume. Usually around 250 kids. They bring their parents and their parents buy dinner. We have always shown a 50% increase in sales that day. Maybe you could give something to them and start a tradition as we have done.

free hot cocoa here…with marshmallows

Halloween is typically our busiest day of the year.

However, I don’t expect much this year - for 2 reasons. First, it falls on a Saturday, and second, our local school system is out Thursday and Friday, making it a 4 day weekend and many people will be out of town. In fact, tonight is slower than normal I assume for the very reason.

Always the busiest night of the year for us. We require all employees to work. Starts around 4pm and we usually have 20-30 advance orders of people wanting their pizzas at a specific time so they can send their little trick-or-treaters with a full stomach. Around 7pm…usually nothing but the sound of crickets and employees begging to get off to go to parties.

We are expecting a record day. Football all day on T.V., pre-trick or treat rush 4-6:30 p.m. Florida-Georgia game on T.V. 3:30-7:00. Halloween parties, packed bars from 11:00p.m. until close.


Last year Halloween was on a Friday and we did Super Bowl type numbers . Since its on a Saturday I would expect the same if not better.

Last year it was the busiest day of the year for us but that’s not that hard considering Friday is already the busiest day. Like others have said, it starts out early and dies out early.

Our week days lately have been very slow while our weekends have been incredibly busy. Yesterday (Wed) was our slowest day in months. Its still been a great month overall but I don’t like the trend. . .

Several restaraunts in my area are advertising kids in costume eat free. With it falling on a saturday I am not sure what to expect. Trick or Treating has really seemed to fall off in my area. I live in the North East and for whatever reason kids don’t seem to got out as much. Last year we were slow. Even though it was Friday. I get busy on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving but am wondering if that will hold true this year.

what do you all do differently prep wise to prepare for this larger rush? Do you think baking the breadsticks about 30 min before being served a good idea? And keeping unbaked LG pepperoni an hour before served? We want to be efficient with production and reduce our 15-20 minute wait for a night like this. On a normal rush we can get a customer out the door every 7- 10 min.

Also I’m curious what sizes normally sells? The typical 14" or 16"? Since it’s usually for a party or just a nice family meal. Last year our 16" was the most popular but this is due to a special promo. Our current promo is mainly pushing our 14" and 12".

All the prep is done, time to see what kind of ride we get tonight. Most years hve been insane but we have had a couple of years that were busts too.

Dave I think you statement should read:

It is a tradition in your country but it has been adopted here purely as a marketing ploy by confectionary manufactures, the Egg marketing board and the supermarkets to sell more sweets and eggs???

It’s a bust here in the Poconos. There is no one at any restaurant. I made a Sam’s Club run and passed about 10 restaurants, the most cars in one lot was Applebee’s with 5. We are running very large deliveries and pick ups but in house is dead. Wasn’t setting my sights too high, gonna be an average Saturday which is fine with me. Good luck guys!


We are dead now, as is everybody around us. Sonic, Burger King, Popeyes chicken, subway, Zaxby’s and chinese place within sight of our store are all slow. Hopefully we get a good late rush.

In the last couple of years the churches in our area have been doing festivals on Halloween to give the kids safe alternatives. According to the drivers all these places are packed. The church behind us has their parking lot and the adjacent high school lots full of cars. Probably a couple thousand people at minimum.

Even the Beloved South Carolina GameCocks Football game is not perking things up.


Still no in house guests, but deliveries and pick ups are way up from last year just had a 500$ hour, woot!

From my general restaurant delivery view, we did incredible business tonight while the restaurants we picked up from were dead. Halloween is definitely a delivery business night. :smiley:

The best Thursday, Friday, Saturday sales total we have ever had. Did a hair less than 12k in those 3 days! Trick or treat was Thursday here. Oh and we don’t deliver!

Really did not do anything different than what we normally do in terms of marketing and prep work. We have been around a long time.

To answer the original post I think that as you establish yourself in your community you should always give your customers the best product and service you can. Play around with marketing to find what works best for you throughout the year. And always show your customers that they can count on you for a great pizza or any other menu item you may have.