This year my partner wants to dress up for Halloween at our restaurant. She thinks it would be "cute". I think it´s ridiculous. I am an owner. I don’t think I should be running around in costume. Are we supposed to dress up, give candy away, and become known as the restaurant that gives away candy to every kid in town? How do we handle this? My partner says go for it, I say ignore it. What´s your take on this celebration?
Scary Thoughts in Des Moines.
Why are you booing your partner´s idea? Don´t be chicken to live out of the box. You don’t have to wear a mask if it bothers you. Do you have some unknown fear that you want to discuss? Why not go asHumphrey Bogart in Casablanca?
Think about it – you´re in the entertainment business-no matter what anyone says about great food, wonderful ambiance, tremendous wine lists, culinary art awards and sommeliers, if you don´t entertain, you have not fulfilled one of the principles of ownership.
A standup act may not be the road to take. Don´t call any jugglers. Offering a laugh on occasion wouldn´t be the worst thing you´ll ever serve.
Promote your restaurant every chance you get. Is Halloween something you should celebrate? Absolutely. Just make sure that you focus on the style of restaurant you have. Put some thought into what the customers might enjoy.
Halloween is often a very slow night. Keep your staff enthused. Suggest they dress in costume.Make a point that their dress should not interfere with the food service, preparation or their agility while prancing through the dining room as a ballerina.
Customers enjoy theater while dining. Offer it to them. Buy candy for the kids. There’s one in each of us. Put a bowl of candy bars on the bar or the hostess stand- make sure you use the big bars, the very big bars, not those miniatures that may make you look stingy or cheap. Offer them to your customers when they leave, offer them to the few kids who may come through the door. Enjoy the night.
You could add a bit of spice to your menu. Possiblky a squash soup served in small pumpkins would do the trick.
Put some thought into the calendar. Promote as much enjoyment as you can.
Next year you may want to have a Bogart night- you could dress up in a white dinner jacket, have a sax player in the corner, and invite everyone to come in costume. Not a party- just a theme.
But this year just enjoy the evening. Remember, you got into the business to have fun, make a living, build the restaurant into a group, sell it for a substantial amount of profit and move to a warm climate where you can enjoy dinner out most nights.
This Halloween, don a mask, scare a few guests, make others laugh, and have some fun"?¦that’s why we do what we do.
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