UK pubs to benefit from FIFA World Cup 2018

This June and July pub operators across the UK look set to enjoy an influx of business, as thirsty revellers cram into pubs and bars to watch the FIFA World Cup 2018.

London pubs have already been enjoying better footfall recently, thanks to FA Cup fever and the Royal Wedding. And, with pubs being an ever popular place to watch sport and the FIFA World Cup 2018 kicking off in just a few days, there is more to come. The key, however, for business owners is to be prepared!

Greene King, the UK’s largest pub retailer and brewer, offers the following advice: “If you’re planning to attract football fans, make sure you have suitable licenses. It is not just a simple TV licence that you need, but also the specific rights to show the games in public and a suitable package to show sports from your TV provider. Check out different providers such as Sky and BT TV as costs can vary. 

“Confirm well in advance the times of the matches, and the exact channels that are involved.  As the World Cup is being held in Russia, the match locations involved are in different time zones so start times can vary considerably from 11 am to 7pm.  Screenings generally start around half an hour before the match itself, and another half an hour afterwards as pundits discuss the match, and show replays of the game.

“Think ahead as to which games you will focus on.  With 64 matches due to be played, it is unlikely that British fans will be interested in every single one.  Identify the key matches, particularly the semi final and final, and any that are held at weekends or evenings when people are most likely to go out.”

Running out of supplies is also a ‘no go’. Make sure you have enough food and drink on the premises to cater for fans who are likely to sit in the pub for several hours. Also ensure you have enough staff to meet the needs of your extra customers, especially to cater for the influx of orders before and at the end of the matches. Consider ways of avoiding queuing, such as contactless payments and table service.

Be proactive with your marketing. Offer incentives, such as table reservations only for groups which will be ordering food. Think about other promotional offers, banners, fliers, and even a special football menu, to encourage people to choose your premises over the nearby competition.

Also remember that not everyone is a football fan, so you may choose to benefit by marketing your venue as a ‘football free zone’; or perhaps offering ‘quiet rooms’ if your space allows it, giving patrons the opportunity to enjoy a pint in peace, away from the football frenzy.

With operators across the hospitality sector facing trading challenges and increased competition, business owners must think ahead and capitalise on all opportunities available to you. It is also essential that you partner with an adviser who knows your industry and can work with you to navigate any challenges and resolve issues which can impact on business performance and success.

At Beavis Morgan, we have extensive experience of working with clients in the hospitality sector and our professionals are acknowledged experts in issues affecting restaurants, pubs and hotels.

Contact Matthew Burge or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner for further information about how we can assist you and your hospitality business.

Click here for a full list of FIFA World Cup 2018 fixtures: group matches, dates and venues