Don’t get caught offside: top tips for pubs and bars for the World Cup

bar football

Top tips for pub and bar operators to manage football during the World Cup from the experts at DesignMyNight, now part of Access Hospitality

The FIFA World Cup 2018 begins on June 14 but how are pub and bar operators preparing themselves for the increased footfall? DesignMyNight, now part of Access Hospitality, has used their years of experience helping operators maximise bookings, promoting events, and streamlining reservations to come up with some top tips to manage and drive that all important footfall.

Nick Telson, founder of DesignMyNight and the Collins booking system, says: “This is a great opportunity for pub and bar operators to increase footfall and maximise profits – but how do you attract that all important football customer and get them spending?”

1. Avoid Injury early on

No-shows are an issue for the industry. However, during major sporting events you should be even more cautious of leaving yourself with empty seats on game day. This also goes for accepting large group bookings without implementing pre-payment or card authorisation. Nick advises: “Smart operators are bundling packages together and then using their booking system’s technology to take a booking and payment upfront.”

And this is exactly what some customers are doing, as Sarah Groves, sales and events manager at Young’s, says. “We maximise bookings for specific events by optimising the flexibility of our booking system. We create dedicated booking types (eg “World Cup booking”) which makes it easy for the customer to see we are showing the games and is a clear customer journey from search to conversion.”

2. Your ticket to lifting the cup

Why not take it a step further and create themed viewings to coincide with the matches you are showing? Using event and ticketing technology, creating an event box office is super simple.
These events can help customers feel “exclusive” to your venue meaning they’re more likely to spend not only on drinks, but also on food.

As Anthony Knight, marketing director at Maxwell’s Group, says, “We believe that simplicity is key and will be offering price-per-person packages, flexibility to customise drinks, food packages and premium packages.”

3. Don’t take your eye off the ball

It’s been reported that 65% of customers don’t know what to order when they first sit down, so the opportunity for front-of-house teams to make recommendations, and therefore upsell, is huge during the World Cup, especially if operators are planning themed menus based on competing countries. Smart EPoS technology can prompt staff on what to upsell and record individual staff performance, giving praise/rewards where due.

4. Bridging cultures, bridging technologies

The World Cup has a unique opportunity to unite a nation, but how about uniting and integrating your technology? Nick says: “If you are pre-selling packages or taking deposits, it’s fundamental to be able to integrate the booking system with your EPoS. This enables your team to see who has a booking and what they have paid for and/or pre-ordered making it a far more efficient process freeing up staff to focus on customer service.”

To find out how technology can help your World Cup month be a success, visit

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