With the cost of living high, success in the hopsitality sector this summer will depend on venues in the UK being able to make the most of key drinking and eating occasions.
We’ve put together some tips on how to get value from the huge number of sporting events that are coming up this Summer.
Take a look at our ‘winning strategy’ for making the most of sports occasions.
1. Select what games or events to show
With more major events this year than normal you have a wide range of live events to choose from this summer. Picking which games or competitions to play and which to skip is an important choice given that you may lose out on customers who prefer music to Martin Tyler’s commentary.
Think about what demographics make up your customer base. Patrons across the UK are most likely to visit venues to watch football, but this depends heavily on age, gender, and other social factors. Are there any sports that dominate in your local area, that could attract groups for team outings and set your venue apart? The time when the games are happening could also be a factor. You also may want to select games or events that occur during a period that would normally be quiet for your venue anyway and make the most of the increased traffic.
2. Formulate a game plan
It’s important to consider your approach to organising and promoting the event. Using social media, especially targeted at local sporting and community groups on Facebook, could be an effective way to get your message out. According to research by CGA, 70% of consumers who visit venues to watch sport, or ‘sporting consumers’ get some or most of their information about new venues from social media.
It’s also worth thinking about whether you’ll require bookings for sporting occasions.
3. Create the space
According to CGA, 67% of sporting consumers cite atmosphere as the most important factor in enjoying live sports in a venue. Elements like audible live commentary, event-specific drink deals, and ad-free games can be included in promotional posts and materials to entice sport-lovers to your venue. Event-specific POS and decoration in team colours can help add to the atmosphere of excitement and anticipation.
Before the game or event, you may also want to consider table placement which allows for easy table service, and visibility of the TV. While it can feel like a bit of a game of Tetris, particularly if you have limited space, putting thought into this before the event could save you a big headache down the line.
4. Get the mix right
Sporting consumers, according to CGA have a strong preference for a lager, making up 44% of drinks consumed during sporting occasions, followed by cider, ale, and craft beer.
One way to both simplify your menu and maximise profit is to pare down your offering during sporting occasions. With the knowledge of what often sells well among sport lovers, you could offer a single lager, Ale, craft beer and cider along with classic mixers and some basic serves, like Pimms cup or Aperol spritz. Physical menus and promoted drinks specials sitting on the table are a powerful tool to prompt sales, especially when table service is in action. Use this to drive customers to the products in every category that offer strong margins for your business.
It’s also worth keeping in mind the event itself when choosing your menu. Tennis fans watching Wimbledon games might like to indulge in sparkling wine garnished with a strawberry, while football fans watching Liverpool and Real Madrid battle it out in the champions league could enjoy an ironic or sincere jug of sangria.
5. Stock up
For any event ordering the right amount of stock to meet demand is a challenge. Requiring customers to pre-book does make this process a little easier, as does looking at similar events in previous years. CGA data shows that 1 in 4 consumers in the UK watched a live game for the Euros in 2020, suggesting that demand to watch sport in the on trade remains strong.
It's no secret that costs are high in every sector right now. In the lead up to game days keep an eye out for promotional offers from suppliers that will help you keep costs low and maximise the profitability of your sporting occasions.