Halloween is a good holiday for restaurateurs looking to scare up business, according to the National Restaurant Association.
NRA research found that 20 percent of Americans said they expect to order takeout or delivery from a restaurant while they wait for trick-or-treaters to visit.
That figure rises to 33 percent for younger adults ages 18 to 34, and 28 percent for families with children.
Meanwhile, the NRA said 16 percent of adults plan to celebrate Halloween over the weekend or on Oct. 31 by patronizing a restaurant. Younger adults ages 18 to 34 are more likely to go out — 25 percent — than older adults.
“While not a traditional holiday for dining out, Halloween is clearly an occasion where restaurants play a major role in celebrations, according to our new research,” Hudson Riehle, the NRA’s senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group said.
“One fifth of consumers say they plan to use restaurant takeout or delivery on Oct. 31, signaling to restaurant operators that Halloween specials and promotions around off-premise options might be a good idea.”
And, because this year Halloween occurs on a Monday — the industry’s weakest day — restaurateurs may get “a welcome sales boost in this continued challenging economic environment,” Riehle said.
When queried about what they consider to be the most important factor in choosing a restaurant or bar for Halloween celebrations:
• 32 percent of those polled said an operation with happy hour or other pricing specials was their first choice
• 22 percent said a restaurant that encourages Halloween costumes or competitions
• 16 percent said a place with activities for families and children
• 15 percent said a restaurant or bar near activities, like Halloween parties, parades, or haunted houses
• 7 percent said a location with Halloween-themed food and drinks and decorations
The NRA surveyed 1,116 American adults Oct. 20-23 about their Halloween plans.
— Contact Paul Frumkin