As we approach the next major championships,  you’d think that you could sit back, just turn on the games and watch the customers roll in, right? Wrong, it doesn’t always work like that. Why should fans choose to watch the game at your bar, instead of a competitor’s bar or not bother to come out at all and instead, watch it in the comfort of their own homes? What are you doing to compete against other bars and what are you doing to make it more appealing to leave their house?

Look at what you’re offering, look at the what your competitors have got and to pardon the pun.  “Think out of the box if you want to grab customer’s attention.

“This year is particularly important for the home nations with England, Wales and Northern Ireland, all having qualified for Euro 2016, meaning there are more matches and more opportunities for pubs. Licensees must capitalise on this as an opportunity not to be missed.”

Take advantage of brewery promotions.

This year a number of breweries and brands are offering all kinds of promotional kits, ideas and giveaways and your competitors will capitalise on this, and so should you. Check out all the brands and speak with your reps this week and get what you can before it’s too late.

Give the best viewing experience.

Do you have enough screens and can you get some more if needed? Make sure that their viewing experience is as good as it is at home. Do you have enough tables, chairs and stools and if not get some? People hate standing for hours without being able to lean on something, sit down or rest their drink.

Make sure the sound quality is there. I was in a pub in Swansea during the England Wales six nations match and the sound quality was shocking and won’t be going back again.

Extend you public space.

Can you get a marquee onto your carpark or in your beer garden? Install a temporary bar or why not see if one of your suppliers will sponsor the bar for cash or product to pay for it. Not only will you extend your capacity but increase your revenue.

Make sure you add good seating and tables and the screens / sound quality is good

You could sell it out at a premium as a VIP area. Make sure you upsell it with a food offering to maximise its revenue.

Staff and Sales.

Make sure you have plenty of staff and get them dressed up in the football theme. My pet hate with any hospitality venues are managers obsessed with the wage percentages instead of simply making sure there are enough staff to give a great service. Not only will you get happy customers, but the bars spend per head will increase too.

Put on a waiter, waitress service with the tools to not only serve, but to upsell your offers. You’re perfectly placed to sell snacks, chicken wing specials, nachos, or whatever you have on offer. They would snack at home and you will sell stacks of it if you take it out to your customers.

Change and add items to your menu that speak to football fans. Make it fun and visually appealing. You could do this to your cocktail list too

Put on an incentivised pre-football menu to get fans in really early

Social Media

Crate a hashtag and use a social media twitter screen to get your bar hashtag trending and encourage your customers to post. You can get daily rates on software such as Tweetwall

Get yourself a sponsored background like they do on post-match interviews. Get a brand to pay for and add your venue’s name and web address. Use it as a selfie wall and encourage customers to take and post pictures live form your venue, on Facebook, Instagram and snapchat.

If you don’t normally have a DJ, or MC then use one to promote your products and activities and to whip up the atmosphere.

Build Loyalty

Make sure that you give something to everyone in the venue as they leave to get them back in again for the next match. It could be a drink or food offer or a giveaway form the brewery or brand supplier. Give extra offers to get customers in for non-home nation teams.

You might want to dress up the venue for Ireland or Welsh games and promote to that community.

More ideas

  1. Promotions such as 4 4 2 (four for two) This could be drinks or food

  2. Football quizzing; Creating debate and conversation is a great way of engaging with football fans. Every football fans loves to be the one who “knows it all” but this is sure to separate the men from the boys. Use it with a prize at the end, a VIP seat, meal or round of drinks.

  3. Get your venue and your customers involved in a fantasy league with a great prize at the end. They will keep coming back to see how they are doing and it gets customers interacting with others.

  4. Put a special post-match offer on to keep customers in the venue. It could be a meal or drinks offer based on the number of goals scored or a guaranteed seat for the next match if a meal is purchased after the game.

Use your imagination and look at every opportunity to attract, retain customers and maximise the venues spend per head.

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