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How to Start Preparing for the World Cup as a Hospitality Business

Team 365 finance

Written by Team 365 finance

Help and Advice

The FIFA World Cup is set to take place next month. As the highlight event for international football, the tournament will generate huge revenue opportunities for hospitality businesses. The global competition will even roll into the festive season, giving you an extra chance at getting customers in the door.

If you’re keen to start preparing for the World Cup, this guide is for you. We’ve summarised the main Qatar World Cup business opportunities up for grabs and outlined easy ways you can get ahead before the games begin. Read on to learn more and discover new opportunities to grow your business.


What are the Main Qatar World Cup Business Opportunities Up for Grabs?

As a hospitality business, the World Cup is the perfect way to invite customers in and support their favourite team with friends and family. The Qatar World Cup will be the biggest event for international football since the Women’s Euro 2022 Final, so fans will have plenty of appetite to get together and celebrate.

The World Cup is also a great time for your business to experiment with decorations and themed food or drinks. In addition to serving customers their usual favourites, offering imported drinks and national dishes ahead of matches can ensure customers stay longer and make additional purchases.

What’s more, if you demonstrate your business can deliver great hospitality to lots of people, customers might also think about booking you as an events space at a later date. For example, couples might want to host their wedding reception in your venue or ask you to provide catering for birthdays. So, if you play your cards right, the World Cup offers long and short-term business gains.

How to Start Preparing for the World Cup

Start Early

The Qatar World Cup begins on 20 November, which is a little over a month away.

Unfortunately, businesses are still grappling with supply chain disruptions, with extreme weather events and backlogs affecting everything from food production to manufactured goods. That’s why it might be a good idea to place orders soon for your most popular goods, so you’re not caught out down the road.

Similarly, you should also start marketing your venue in the weeks leading up to the tournament. Even if your pub or restaurant is the local favourite, customers will still consider watching matches at home to try and save money (particularly in the lead-up to Christmas). However, you have something they don’t: the unforgettable atmosphere of watching live sports with other people. With matches set to start in late November, a cosy pub or restaurant will be the perfect place for them to stay warm, dry and catch all the highlights.


Keep an Eye on the Favourites

It can be difficult to plan for the earlier stages of the World Cup since there are lots of qualifying rounds. Especially if you’re trying to offer themed food and drinks since you don’t want to risk having too much left over as teams get knocked out.

That’s why you should check in on how bookkeepers and seasoned commentators are talking about the tournament. They’ll be able to predict which teams are more likely to make it to later stages — and which national food or drink you’re able to order more of as a result. This way, you’ll be able to provide customers with interesting food and drinks without creating too much food waste at the same time.

Get Your Staff Involved in the Celebrations

Hospitality is famously a cross-cultural industry, with servers, chefs, hosts and managers often coming from a range of different countries. Letting your staff show off their heritage can be a great way to engage customers during the World Cup.

For example, your staff can advise on what the best drinks are to source from your suppliers and which national dishes would go down best with your customers. Then it comes time to serve, your staff can lead with interesting facts about their home country and guide customers on what they might like to try.


Watch Out for the Time Difference

With the World Cup being held in Qatar this year, you’ll need to account for a two-hour time difference. Although this doesn’t sound like much, you may find your alcohol licence needs to be adjusted so customers can have an alcoholic drink while they watch the match. Specifically, Qatar is two hours ahead of the UK, so kick-off times are earlier than usual.

Likewise, you may need to check your staff’s availability and amend your rotas around match times to ensure customers get the service they need. Some of the earliest games begin at 10 am, so you might need to account for a rush of customers around breakfast and lunch.


Other World Cup Pub Ideas

As you can see, there are plenty of things you need to think about ahead of the World Cup. However, there’s so much more to the global football tournament than themed food and drink that you can do as a hospitality business.

Below are some other World Cup business ideas for your pub or restaurant that will ensure your venue stands out as the place to be throughout the tournament.


Offer Discounts and In-Game Competitions

Customers are always keen to save money, so introducing discounts can be a great way to catch their attention. For example, you can offer deals on food and drinks, so customers buy more and stay longer in your venue. Just make sure your deals are permitted since you may need to adjust for minimum unit pricing laws on any alcohol sales.

You could also host loyalty schemes centred around the World Cup. For instance, if customers attend enough games in your venue, you could offer a discount or freebie as part of their next qualifying visit. Moreover, you could even provide discounts on pre-bookings and gain a clearer picture of your daily covers.

Another idea you could try is to offer match-related deals, such as discounts every time a certain team scores or in-game competitions, like sweepstakes on the number of yellow cards or substitutions in a single match. The general aim here is to excite customers and make the highlight of the international football season even more memorable.


Host Post-Match Live Entertainment

Just because a match ends doesn’t mean customers’ fun has to as well. The latest World Cup matches will finish at around 10pm this year, so many customers will be eager to stay on a little longer before going home.

By hosting post-match entertainment, you can help customers’ celebrations go on for a few extra hours. For instance, you could host musicians, comedians, or karaoke sessions and give customers a night to remember.

You could also invite personalities from football-themed podcasts and host post-match analysis sessions on the games. Recent surveys show that interest in football-themed podcasts has risen in the last few years, so this World Cup could be the time to try out something new in your pub or restaurant.


Don’t Forget About the Festive Season

The 2022 World Cup will last until 18 December, which is right before Christmas. This means you’ll have an extra chance to engage customers with festive-themed deals, like roast dinners (with all the trimmings) and workplace Christmas parties.

You could even try blending some of the ideas mentioned above. For example, you could throw on a playlist of classic Christmas songs at the end of each game and invite customers to sing along. This way, you’ll be able to maximise your revenue by capitalising on the World Cup and festive season at the same time.


Access Flexible Financing with Fixed Fees from 365 finance

At 365 finance, we love to help small businesses grow with our flexible financing support. That’s why we offer revenue-based financing options with manageable payment terms. Repayments are always based on your monthly income, so you don’t need to worry about falling behind if your monthly sales happen to dip.

Whether you need some extra cash to make orders a little earlier than usual or book a band a few nights a week, we can help. We offer up to £400,000 in revenue-based financing, so you can invest in your business how you see fit. Best of all, there’s no interest rate or APR. Instead, you’re charged a fixed fee so you know exactly what it’ll cost you ahead of time. Applications have a 90% approval rate and are processed in as little as 24 hours.

Speak to our team to find out how we can help and apply today without affecting your credit score. To find out more, head to our website.