This summer offers great potential to boost business with two major sporting events, kicking off with Euro 2024 from 14th June to 14th July followed by the Olympics in Paris from 26th July to 11th August. With both events taking place in Europe, the time difference is favourable for hospitality establishments across the UK and Ireland.

“Football will always draw crowds so investing in extra screens will usually pay for itself in excess revenue,” says Jane Pendlebury, CEO of the Hospitality Professionals Association (HOSPA). “Even if your venue is unsuitable for showing sport on TV, you can offer special promotions such as 2 for 1 cocktails for the hour after the game finishes.”

It’s important to tailor events depending on the type of outlet and customer base. Chris Dutton from Incipio Group, which runs several London venues, says, “A pre-game bottomless brunch party at The Prince for Euro 24 would work well, while sangria specials for Spanish games at The Palm House feels more suitable. At The Libertine, sport is never shown in the main restaurant and bar, so we’ll offer a bespoke exclusive viewing experience in the private dining room. It’s all about finding the perfect fit and experience for each space.”

If your venue has semi-private areas, pre-bookable packages for key interest games are a good idea, says Dee Sturgess from Bums on Seats. “This would include table service, great food and drink and the best screen views. Ensure you add your new sporting events onto your websites and booking systems.”

At Three Cheers Pub Co, a menu of summer spritzers will be on offer, paired with food at a set price, which includes a seat to watch Euro 24. Mark Reynolds, founder, says “It’s good value for customers, upfront revenue for us and it means they are going to show up, solving the problem of no shows. We’ll have a different approach for each pub. The Bedford is a big venue, so we’ll split it between a ticketed event and a walk in one which we find works well. For smaller community pubs like The Abbeville, we’ll take bookings.”

The approach to the Olympics will be different. “We’ll be doing special dishes, but it can be hard
to get crowds in as there are so many different events,” he says. “We’ll have it on screens, but it’s not the same as a 90-minute football match. People don’t necessarily go to a pub to watch the Olympics, but it will be on for those who are interested.”

Establishing partnerships with local sports clubs can increase footfall during the Olympics and promote loyalty. Antony Woodcock, owner of Parliament House Hotel, Edinburgh and managing director of Gig and Staff Hive, says, “This is particularly relevant for several Olympic sports that often don’t get the recognition. Can you partner with the local cycling, swimming, or hockey club when these sports take centre stage?”

As always, making sure staff are well prepared and shifts accommodate peak times with plenty of breaks will help your sporting events go smoothly this summer.