With consumer spending predicted to remain flat in the UK this year as job worries persist post-recession, the competition presents a huge opportunity for hospitality operators to drive sales in a flat market.
Brewer Carlsberg has estimated the competition, which culminates in a grand final on 11 July, will add £125m in incremental profit to pubs, bars and restaurants, with an extra 21 million pints consumed throughout.
But while the World Cup, arguably the biggest sports event there is aside from the Olympics, should provide hospitality operators with a leg-up after a tough period, it is not without its risks.
Research from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) released last month said that while the competition, which culminates in a grand final on 11 July, will boost trade at licensed premises, the major benefices of the event are likely to be the supermarkets, with around 80 per cent of consumers likely to watch matches at home.
World Cup boost
David Chubb, partner at PwC, says: “The football World Cup, in combination with summer trade and the staycation, should offer pubs a boost, (but) the pub trade cannot build a recovery just off the back of the World Cup.
“The staycation trend may also benefit some pubs as people postpone their summer holiday to watch the tournament locally but our recessionary culture of staying in will continue to feed aspirational cheffing and catering at home. Ultimately the tournament will benefit the food retailer over the pub.”
Chubb also suggests food-led pubs and restaurants avoid disrupting their usual customer base and turning their dining areas into an extension of the terraces, as short-term gain may harm businesses of this type longer-term, and a reputation as a good operator is hard won but easily lost.
After all, for every football mad fan keen to see England’s first game on 12 June, there will be plenty of people keen to escape the blanket coverage and hysteria the competition always brings, which presents an alternative opportunity of its own for the canny operator.
Tailor your World Cup offer to suit your regulars
As Anna Horsman, events manager at pub operator Geronimo Inns, says: “We’re going in for the World Cup in a big way but very much in a Geronimo style that sits well with our typical clientele. You won’t see our staff wearing football shirts behind the bar.”
All said, with Father’s Day falling smack bang in the middle of the competition on the 20 June, and excitement building (in England at least) there’s plenty of potential for a tailored offer that won’t leave you in Gazza-style tears.
All this week BigHospitality will be looking at how to make the World Cup work for you to help avoid any own goals, with daily advice on utilising space, technology, maximising sales and the legal issues around televising the games.
England group stage games
England are the only home nation to qualify and will play at least three group-stage games. They are:
- England vs USA – 7.30pm, 12 June
- England vs Algeria – 7.30pm, 18 June
- Solvenia vs England - 3.00pm, 23 June
Visit our special feature: FIFA World Cup 2010 section for more ideas and advice.