Sporting events bring enormous opportunity for the on-trade. This year we are in for an amazing summer of action and athletics, including: the Euros; Wimbledon; the Tokyo Olympics; the British Lions Tour and the Ryder Cup. We are welcoming these events with open arms as they present a great opportunity to encourage customers back into our pubs.
Did you know, football fans often stay longer and spend more on average than other customers? Watching fans have also proven to be extremely valuable to the on-trade, and on average, they spend more and stay longer. So, here at Adnams, we’ve spoken to our managed property and tied estate teams to put together some useful information on how to capitalise on these sporting events and drive your sales during this period. Whether you plan to show the games on screen or just be a part of buzz, check out our top tips below…
Atmosphere is key: After a year like no other, our customers are craving to get back out to our British pubs. Around 26% of consumers rate atmosphere as the most important factor when considering where to watch sport*. There are plenty of simple things you can do to make a real difference and create the buzz, such as positioning screens in well lit, open areas where the most people can view them; making sure volumes are right (not everyone will be there for the game); offering complimentary snacks, or even adding a few on theme decorations.
Get the pint right: It sounds obvious, but delivering a perfectly served, quality pint is essential for driving repeat purchase during events. Make sure all staff are aware of the ranges on offer and fully trained on pouring the perfect pint into the right pint glass. Try and make sure there is always someone responsible for collecting empty glasses and cleaning them quickly to ensure the correct branded glass is always available and able to be used for the appropriate beer.
Food is important: Although many may want a pint during a sporting event, there is research to show there are also higher peaks in food sales when sports are onÇ‚. This research has shown over 51% of customers want food before a game starts when visiting a pub to watch sporting events, and 37% of customers want food after the game≠. It is therefore important to make sure you have something to fulfil these needs, from simple bar snacks like crisps and nuts, to loaded fries or even packet scotch eggs and pork pies. If you’re aiming for something a little more unusual, cockle popcorn has always been a coastal favourite snack.
Communicate with your customers: The pandemic has changed the mindset of many individuals, and some customers are still apprehensive about returning to the on-trade for a variety of reasons. Research has shown, these range from covid related safety precautions to the expense of eating and drinking away from home. Some may to even believe there will be a lack of atmosphereã‚. Do what you can to reassure people of their concerns using your website and especially social media channels. Advertise deals and offers you have on; show pictures of safety precautions and outdoor seating; use social media posts to tell people when you have had a busy afternoon and be sure to let people know if you’re taking bookings or walk-ins only.
Offer the option to trade-up: Often customers are keen to trade up during sporting events, as they are usually in social environments and accompanied by friends. During the world cup in 2018, premium lager share increased by 4.5% in the entire lager category evidencing this*. Make sure you have a wide selection of lagers available, with a premium offering so people can trade-up for those winning moments. Our new lager, Kobold, is a great option and it’s also vegan friendly.
Use your space wisely: If you’re lucky enough to have outdoor space, consider putting up temporary outdoor areas to either screen the match or give other customers somewhere to go if they aren’t watching. Getting your outdoor areas right has never been so important. For more information on how to do this, check out our blog on ‘how to maximise your outdoor space’.
- Be part of the action no matter what: You don’t have to be screening the game to be a part of the action. Even if you do not have the ability to show the games (or showing them is not relevant for your target audience), you can still be part of the buzz. Why not try offering themed food dishes like Wimbledon’s strawberries, cream and sparkles, or introducing Euro-themed evenings such as Italian pizza and Turkish kebabs, ready for kick off on the 11th? Even a simple charity sweepstake can really encourage some friendly competition and excitement!
Sources: *CGA Brandtrack 2019. ^Kantar WPO 2019 Ç‚SP&B EPoS ≠HPI consumer research 2014. ã‚Key trends in gin Q1 2021, TRKR panel.