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Getting set for the 6 Nations!

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It’s one of the biggest events on the sports calendar and one of the most prestigious events in rugby. Making sure your venue is ready is key to maximising those sales!

With many people choosing to stay in with big screen TV’s at home and visiting the supermarkets with their ongoing alcohol offers, it is tougher than ever to entice customers out to watch live sport. Ensuring you have the right plans, products and activities will help drive those customers through the door and make their visit a profitable one for your outlet.

Preparation

Training and preparation before a fixture are paramount to an athlete’s success and preparing your outlet for the big sporting events should take top priority too.

  • Stock - It’s going to be a busy few weeks so make sure you increase your orders so you don’t run out of key lines.
  • Screens - Ensure all screens are in full working order and positioned for optimal viewing making sure you have comfort for the smaller events and lots of space for the big crowds at the larger events. And check projectors prior to big events to ensure no last-minute disappointment.

Starting the hype

  • Advertising - It’s never been easier to create awareness that you’ll be showing the games. With interior and exterior chalkboards, posters in outlet and via social media, which in the digital age we are in is a great tool for communicating with your customers.
  • POS/Merchandising - Get some good POS to show your outlet is ready for the 6 Nations. Our design team have prepared some templates for a quick turnaround.
  • Social Media - If you have Facebook, Twitter or any other form of social media, start messaging out countdowns to the tournament and inform customers of the offers you will be putting on. Social media sites are an excellent and free advertising tool to drum up interest to events. If you are yet to have an account register today and talk to us about the social media training we provide with Inapub.

The warm up

Data from MatchPint suggests Rugby fans are the most lavish spenders in the On-Trade when watching sport and this tournament offers a bumper selection of big matches. During the fixtures, those 80 minutes are going to be the busiest and most exciting for both you and your customers. Getting ready for the action will add value, so here are some ideas for before the game.

  • Staff preparation - Your staff will need to be the winning team in your outlet so make sure they are ready for the busy period. Have your rota done well in advance and have staff in the right areas of your bar. Also have separate staff for stocking up and glass collecting. Make sure you brief your staff so they know exactly where they should be and what they should be doing.
  • Food and drink - Put on some good food and drink offers to entice customers into your outlet well before the teams kick things off.
  • Table booking - Allow your customers to book your best tables in advance. This can be done free of charge but you can also charge a set fee, and this fee could include drinks.

Kick Off

During the match people won’t want to take their eyes off the screen but will still want to have a drink and even some food. So what can you do to make sure people get to the bar and away with a drink or food order quickly?

  • Mobile bottle bars - Divide your bar area to accommodate a fast lane where a member of staff only serves bottles products to speed up service. Or if you have the space why not have a mobile bottle bar near your screen or even in the garden (licence permitting). This can ease pressure on the bar at busy periods and can easily be created with a small table and ice filled tub.
  • Shared drinks - Serving draught beer in pitchers and bottled beers in buckets can be a great way to increase sales and ease pressure on the bar during the busy periods. Not only that, but it will ensure happier customers as they will be queuing at the bar less.
  • Plastic glasses - On the big matches when you are at your busiest there is a chance you can run out of glassware, or have only freshly cleaned warm glasses available. Having plastic cups not only helps with this problem but also allows glass collectors to carry a huge amount more per trip around the bar.
  • Being proactive - Many sports fans will wait with an empty glass for the half or full-time whistles before attempting a trip to the bar. If the bar is quiet get staff to walk around and take drinks orders.

What about France v Italy?

With the 6 Nations, every game is usually well worth a watch. That said, not all games are going to attract a full crowd. Italy v France springs to mind but depending on where you're located, some of the home nation match-ups might also be bypassed by some Rugby fans. Here are some top-scoring ideas to add more excitement and get more customers to your outlet.

  • Themed food menus - International teams mean international food. Why not try a match special food offering to tie in with the game. Escargot anyone?
  • Table service - Many people will watch the quieter games at home so why not give them a reason to come out by offering table service. It gives people a real treat and they don’t have to get up whilst watching the match.
  • Scoring raffle - Have a selection of tickets with number 1-80, and hand them out to people who buy a drink before the match. If a try is scored in that minute the customer wins a drink or a prize of your choice.
  • Sweepstakes - Have customers pick a name out of a hat and if that player scores during the game they win a drink or a prize of your choice.
  • Half time snacks - Try having a selection of handheld food ready for halftime. Customers who are hungry at half time will not want to wait long for food. At a set price a member of staff can walk around the outlet with a box selling them. Quick profits at the same time as keeping customers happy! Hotdogs are an easy choice!

Post-match

So what about when the final whistle has blown? Some customers will want to keep the excitement going, others may think of going home, so having some things on in your outlet could really add a reason for people to stay and watch the later fixture, stay to dance the night away or even come back for the next match.

  • Quizzes - Hold a rugby-themed quiz with prizes for the winning teams.
  • Live music – Get a local band to play and keep the lively atmosphere going. You will need a PRS and PPL licence which you probably already have if you play any music in your outlet. These can be obtained at www.prsformusic.com.
  • Show an old game - Why not put something on the big screens that people will enjoy after the match? Jonny Wilkinson's drop goal from 2003 on a loop for example, although perhaps only for our English customers! Remember if you are showing DVDs you will need a PVSL Licence, you can obtain this at www.filmbank.co.uk.

Getting them to come back

  • Table bookings - Informing customers they can book tables for the next game while they are still reeling in the excitement of the match they have just watched can increase future footfall.
  • Great atmosphere and service - Be it during a sports event, a busy Saturday night or a quiet lunch time, consistent and good quality service mixed with great atmosphere is essential. If the customer feels they have received both from their visit they are more likely to make a return visit.
  • Discount cards - Try offering food discount vouchers for the next fixture if they buy another drink. This keeps them in your outlet longer and attracts them back. Loyalty cards are another great way to get customers back into your outlet.

However you decide to celebrate the 6 Nations in your outlet, our fingers are crossed for all of the home nations! You can find more information about us hereClick here to place an order online now, or here to request an account with us; and don’t forget we’re here to support you with everything you need to ensure that your range is a success, from free menu design and print services to bar equipment.

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