The World Cup vs The Festive Season – do pubs need to choose between the two?

Megan Lipscombe

Megan Lipscombe

Marketing Lead

Christmas 2022 was set to be the first ‘normal’ Christmas for pubs since 2019. But with the World Cup running from 21st November to 18th December this year, hospitality businesses are set to see a big clash with the festive season. Can the two be juggled? Or are businesses going to need to choose one over the other? 

Yes, I know it’s over half a year away, but December 2022 is something pubs should be thinking about now. Here we discuss some of the factors to consider when planning for this year’s festive season…

Decor – Football flags vs fairy lights 

Typically by the beginning of December, Christmas decorations have been up for a good few weeks. But before you pick out this years’ decorations, you might want to have a bit of a rethink. Will fairy lights, Christmas trees and tinsel be replaced by football flags? Or is a mash up on the cards? It’ll probably depend on what you decide on in terms of…

Entertainment – Christmas parties vs World Cup coverage 

Are you typically a ‘football pub’, the ‘go to venue’ for celebrations… or both? With the timing of the 2022 World Cup you’re going to have to make sure you’re clear on the approach you want to take. Are you showing all games? Just the England games? Only the final games? Only the weekday games? Just the games before 5pm? Or none at all? Whatever you decide, make sure people know what to come to you for, and when. 

Food menu – Roast dinner vs bar snacks 

Your menu during a World Cup would traditionally be very different to your festive menu, so what do you do when the two events overlap? Menu choices will most likely be dictated by your choice of entertainment. Pub grub for the football matches and festive delights for the Christmas parties. Or perhaps the best approach for you is to find a middle ground and put a festive spin on your bar snacks. Think pints of pigs (in blankets), bowls of roasties and sides of stuffing balls. 

Offers – Free match day pint vs mulled wine

If you’re considering running a special offer, make sure you tailor it to the crowds you’re wanting to draw in. Look at what has been successful for you previously, during either a major sporting event or the festive season. And pay attention to what others in the industry are doing. Having knowledge of the two should help you come up with offers your customers will find enticing. As is the case with all of the other points in this blog – there’s nothing to say you can’t combine the two and come up with a hybrid offering. 

Ultimately you’ll know better than anyone which approach is going to work best for you. But make sure you take a look at past data too. Even though this is a unique situation, it’s worth comparing bookings and revenue during past sporting events, to the influx you see over the festive season. Whatever you decide, start promoting your offering early so that your customers are clear what they can come to you for and when.

For more information on how Rotaready can help you with your demand forecasting, get in touch via live chat or email team@rotaready.com. Alternatively you can check out the feature page here.

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