Cashing in on Sports Events
You don’t have to own a pub in Cardiff or Cheltenham to know there are some special sports events going on during the week starting March 11th. You’ll be in no doubts if your bar is full of would-be prop forwards and amateur referees chasing down pints of Guinness with meat pies, or if your restaurant is glittering with the chattering classes as they sip champagne and watch their favourite on a big screen thundering up the hill to the finish.
That week is, of course the sports event double to end all doubles – a magical combination of the final round of the Cheltenham Festival and the Six Nations Rugby Championship. And it’s not just a feast for sports lovers, it’s also a fantastic opportunity for pubs to cash in on the instant atmosphere generated by these great sports events and add some real value on those quieter midweek afternoons; and of course, to create some potential long-term business.
Check your Kitchens
All you need is a big screen TV (don’t forget it needs a separate licence) and a little imagination. Look at the timing of the sports events and how you can theme them; create dining opportunities, whether it’s a champagne tea or a pint and a ploughman’s. Of course you must make sure your bar is well stocked and your cellar has plenty of ale and fizz. Check your kitchens are all in order – the last thing you need is an oven breaking down just at a crucial moment. If you don’t have an A C Services maintenance contract for your Rational oven, it’s a good idea to get all your major equipment checked over before you hit the chef with an order for 100 meat pies!
The week starts with Champion Day at Cheltenham on Tuesday March 12th. Racing each day starts at 1.30pm through to final race at 5.15pm. Wednesday is Ladies Day which is all about dressing to impress – and girls just love a chance to put on the glad rags. So create an event especially for them. Thursday is St Patrick’s Day, another great opportunity for a themed afternoon and evening and time to stock up on the Guinness that’s also going to serve you well for the next sports event, the rugby on Saturday.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup, probably one of the greatest sports events of the year, runs at 3.20 p.m. on Friday 15th March; a great opportunity for a themed luncheon culminating in the great race itself. And why not make the most of it by hosting a post-race party in the evening.
Then it’s over to the boys. Saturday is the Six Nations fifth and final round with the awesome spectacle of England playing Wales at the Millennium Stadium at 5pm. That’s preceded by Italy taking on the Irish in Rome at 2.30pm and, the last match of the championship, when last year’s winners, France, invite the Scots to an evening in Paris, at 8pm.
The Cheltenham Festival and Six Nations final round promises to be a week of memorable sports events and a week of great opportunity for landlords and managers who are prepared to harness the excitement and add a little pizzazz of their own.