Next weekend’s FA Cup Final, followed by Liverpool flying the flag for England in the Champion’s League Final next weekend, and then this summer’s FIFA World Cup, could provide a much-needed light at the end of a long tunnel for the hospitality industry.
Our members are expecting to see a surge in sales, which will be a very welcome boost to the industry.
It starts on 19th May, with the FA Cup Final, which is also the day of the Royal Wedding. The Government is allowing pubs and restaurants to say open later than usual, so hopefully this – sandwiched between two Bank Holidays in May – will signal the start of a brighter summer.
Liverpool making it to the Champions League Final on 26th May provides another opportunity for English football fans to share the experience of a live match on the big screen in the atmospheric company of fellow fans.
Then the World Cup starts in the middle of June, and many of our members within the hospitality industry are hoping football fans will come out in force, no matter what their nationality, to watch live matches on the big screen.
It’s been a challenging period for pubs and restaurants, because of a wide range of factors including new levels of taxation, rising business rates, continuing pressures around the minimum wage, the exchange rate, insurance premium tax, rising food costs and the on-going uncertainty around Brexit.
We had started 2018 by warning that it could be the most challenging year for Britain’s pubs and clubs for at least a decade.
Then the prolonged cold weather saw people stay at home and cancel restaurant bookings, which provided a further blow to the sector.
But the ‘summer of soccer’ could provide a welcome boost.
Research from CGA, the definitive market measurement, data and research consultancy, says around 22% of British consumers visit the on-trade to watch sports, and that sport fans spend 10% more than the average customer.
More than a quarter of publicans told the CGA that showing sports provided a very positive return.
As always, we will be working hard to ensure we secure the best support for our members, so that they can make the most of the World Cup, and that their businesses can salvage something from what has been an extremely difficult year so far.