By: Sarah Huda
Halloween is quickly approaching and serves as a reminder of all the holidays and seasons we have missed as we were in the thicket of quarantine. Now that lockdown has eased in many parts of the country, people are desperately craving anything related to the holiday that they can enjoy – since trick-or-treating, gatherings with families, and parties are discouraged.
Popular Seasonal Menus
For a long while, restaurants created menu items that tied into the holiday, which became more alluring to patrons. This can be seen in different establishments – from bakeries to fast food locations.
An example is Papa Johns Pizza, which created a “Jack-O-Lantern” pizza for the holiday; they shaped the dough into a pumpkin and used toppings to create the typical façade of a pumpkin.
Most notably, a dedicated menu change could be seen at the Disneyland Resort each Halloween season. These changes are minimal; taking their traditional macron and using icing to turn it into a mummy or adding themed names to their churros. These simple changes draw customers to the items because it invokes reverence to a holiday they enjoy, as well as knowing it is for a limited time, which motivates them to buy before it goes away.
Updating Your Menu
Creative changes to your menu to adopt the Halloween spirit can be fun, inviting to customers, and something that can be done with ease. As noted with Papa Johns, they played with shapes. The options for shapes allow you to customize it to the menu items you have. For instance, if you sell burgers, you can use cucumbers and olives on toothpicks to mimic a face and cut the cheese to have edges, to ooze out the burger to look like fangs.
Kid’s menus can be creative with cookie cutters to shape sandwiches, burgers, or simply cutting chicken nuggets into a spooky shape. Soups can become a creative option as you either shape dipping bread from cutter or twisting dough to look like snakes! The simplicity of shaping items allures to families and patrons that want something whimsical for the season.
Themed Food Decorations
Decorations are something that can be done with enhance premade products as well, such as baked goods. Items like sprinkles shaped as pumpkins, monsters, or bats can retheme a simple cupcake or ice cream cone into a Halloween delight. This can also be done with gummy worms or other gummy candies that are shaped into spiders. Baked items can be creatively changed with fondant as well; this gives you a blank canvas for drawing tomb stones, spiders, or a wrap for a mummy. Fondant and food coloring can also be played upon each other for blood or recoloring fondant to be colored as the item you are shaping.
As Halloween approaches, there are many ways to rethink your menu items to celebrate the holiday, as well as feed into the public’s desire to embrace anything spooky, scary, or gross (within reason, of course). If you have special Halloween-themed menu items, tag us on social media @lollicupstore and we’ll share your creations.