A Double Celebration
The royal wedding and the FA Cup final both take place on Saturday, 19 May. With TV coverage starting in the morning and an extended drinks licence being granted until 1am, the potential for a captive audience presents a clear opportunity for operators of all sizes to drive additional footfall and generate revenue.
A wedding that everyone’s invited to, the people’s party prince and his glamorous Hollywood fiancée are sure to bring about the same excitement as Kate and Will did seven years go. When they tied the knot in 2011, 2,000 people enjoyed a wedding breakfast at The Quad, University of St Andrews, and royalists and revellers enjoyed around 5,000 street parties up and down the country including one at Manchester’s Printworks who featured the ceremony on a big screen complete with food samples from restaurants, free face painting for the kids and live music.
Last year’s Emirates FA Cup Final (Crystal Palace v Manchester United) had a global reach of 88 million and was broadcast in more than 100 countries and territories. It was watched in UK homes by 11.1 million, so this is a fantastic chance for operators to encourage them to watch the game in the pub instead. “Major sporting events, like the FA Cup final, provide a great opportunity for pubs to get people through the door,” said Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association. “One-off sporting events can contribute as much as £5 million extra revenue to the pub trade, active promotion by publicans and licensees will maximise the benefits seen. This year, pubs may be able to take advantage of extended opening hours, which we called for, as the cup final falls on the day of the royal wedding.”
What to do
• Get into the spirit – decorate your premises with bunting and Union Jack flags and speak to your supplier for football-themed POS material.
• Entertainment – provide games, hire a bouncy castle and set up a BBQ outside (weather permitting) – you could consider hiring a screen to show the football outside. Make sure your outdoor areas are clean, tidy and all furniture is in good condition, and you have stocked up on plastic cups. Think about a marquee or gazebo for a place to shelter in case the weather lets us down.
• Be fully staffed – arrange for extra staff to cover in the kitchen and front of house.
• Opening hours – consider opening earlier than normal to screen the build-up coverage of either (or both!) events and be prepared for a rush of visitors after the wedding has finished.
• Have a pre-celebration – the extended licensing hours are for Friday as well as Saturday so why not start the celebrations early? Drink and food offers will attract custom.
• Advertise – post your event on your social media pages, website and posters in house. Use A-boards to alert passing customers of your plans. If you are holding a big event, contact your local press to see if they’ll give you coverage to help spread the word.
What to serve
• Breakfast – from Champagne breakfasts to brunch, breakfast is big business so it’s worth opening up earlier or adding this to your menu for the day. Read takestockmagazine.com/wake-up-toprofit/for ideas.
• Lunch – cucumber, smoked salmon or egg mayonnaise finger sandwiches with the crusts removed keep in with the royal theme. Away from that, toasties, pasties or burgers and chips are quick
and easy to serve. Attract customers with a strong offer such as two dine for under £10, or a meal and a pint for £5.
• Afternoon tea – a nice touch for everyone to enjoy. Offer a special deal for those who want a glass (or two) of bubbly.
• Tea and cake – not everyone wants a meal but they may want refreshments. See our tea feature for ideas on how to make it a premium experience and offer traditional cakes such as Victoria sponge or scones with jam and cream.
• Snack menu – finger food; sharing or individual dishes are perfect for these events. Pizzas, nachos, hot dogs and cheesy chips are all quick and easy to serve.
• Bar snacks – stock up on variety and flavours. From nuts – ready salted, dry roasted and more exotic options – to pork scratchings and crisps – smaller bags for children and sharing bags for adults is a must.
• BBQ – with American-style food seeing no sign of losing popularity, ribs, chicken wings, pulled pork, sausages, burgers and steak work great on the grill. Serve with chips (fries or sweet potato), slaw and onion rings.
• Bubbly – stock up on Prosecco to toast the happy couple!
• Cocktails – mix-up some exclusive royal and football-themed cocktails.
• Pitchers and buckets – beer buckets and ready-made pitchers of cocktails or Pimm’s keep service moving and help keep bar queues to the minimum.
• Beverages – not everyone will be drinking alcohol. Both events are family friendly so make sure you have enough soft drinks, fruit juices, bottled water and hot drinks available.