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This year the Rugby World Cup is taking place, with the first game happening in September and the following fixtures going right through to November. For pubs, it’s an opportunity to capitalise and extend summer footfall into the autumn and winter months. The pub is the ideal place to enjoy the atmosphere created by live sporting events so read on for our top tips on how to get your pub ready for the tournament.
The 2019 Rugby World Cup begins on Friday 20th September with the final scheduled for Saturday 2nd November. Japan is hosting the tournament, so you’ll have to contend with the 8 hours’ time difference. UK times for each match can be early so amending your opening times to show live games for your customers is something to bear in mind.
If this isn’t possible, think about promoting high-quality highlights instead. It could be an essential feature when it comes to providing your pub-goers with the games later on in the day. With 48 matches in total, there are plenty of opportunities to capitalise on this famous sporting event.
All the home nations are competing, so there’s going to be a great atmosphere around the whole of the UK. The pool stage of the tournament is where you should aim to capitalise on offers as footfall and investment will be at its highest. England’s first game is on Sunday 22nd September, when their campaign begins against Tonga at 11:15 UK time.
Planning ahead of the build-up in advance is essential to get your customers in the mood and capture the excitement and anticipation. Start with a rugby-themed quiz night to spark interest or why not have a pub sweepstake. With 20 participating teams this a great way to get your customers involved and invested at your pub.
Target specific fixtures which will prove the busiest and get them on your chalkboards and posters to help get the information to your customers. Capturing the mood is a get way to enhance your pub during the games, so having that instant feed across social media is great to showcase. The environment and energy your pub will create are one that customers won’t be able to replicate at home.
When game time kicks off, you’re looking at 80 minutes playing time with a 10-minute halftime. That’s before the 15-minute extra time if it’s needed. Your average customer stay is guaranteed to lengthen, so take the opportunity of all the added customer interactions and how you can increase your trade further and ultimately keep your customer engaged with both your pub and the rugby.
Multiple screens are what customers will expect if you’re advertising the games. Having a selection of screens will make the viewing experience more accessible, and you’ll also be able to split your capacity up. With ITV having exclusive rights to showing the tournament be sure your pub is up to date with a TV licence. It’s good to think about every aspect, so having a perfect sound system, providing a clear commentary can give a realistic game experience with the bonus of the expert insights.
It’s vital to provide and manage an excellent service to paying customers during popular events. On busier game days, having a well-staffed bar with perhaps a shift team to share out the workload can be an effective approach. Make your team part of the action, and give them all a competing country to represent. It introduces an element of fun along with encouraging positive team spirit which can help with the running of your pub, especially when it’s busy.
Make sure your staff are aware of the tournament schedule so they can anticipate questions from customers, know when key games are happening, and keep themselves up-to-date with any key information as the tournament progresses. If your team has this knowledge, they can make the most of their interactions with your customers.
It’s a lengthy sporting event, so plenty of opportunities will be available to pubs aiming to increase trading figures and attract customers. Remembering the 2018 football World Cup and what made it a successful period is something to think about. Get your pub ready for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and you could see some high returns.
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