17 02 2023 / 5 mins read

How Sports Help Drive Footfall To Pubs

How Sports Help Drive Footfall To Pubs
17 02 2023 / 5 mins read

How Sports Help Drive Footfall To Pubs

Spring is maturing towards summer, and the sports tournaments keep on coming. Pubs continue to be the key on-trade venue for match viewing when the court-side seats aren’t an option. So here’s what you need to pay attention to this summer to maximise footfall and dwell time in your venue. 

To help you get started on a summer sports menu we’ve even included some excellent margin cocktail recipes that are easy to replicate, no matter if you’re a complete cocktail novice, created using the FUNKIN COCKTAILS Mixer range.

Live sports in venues

We’ve seen the size of the prize that is o­­n offer for operators if they can deliver on, or exceed, the expectations of their customers. Driving both footfall and revenue over the summer is possible if operators can hit the mark when it comes to what customers want. The quality of the live sport on TV is already there, waiting to deliver the excitement, the glory, and the heartbreak, with a mix of the Six Nations, Masters, FIFA, more thrilling Formula 1 and international cricket. There is enough sport to get the blood pumping, and this is only just a selection of the events that customers are most looking forward to this summer:

“The top 6 sporting events that will drive footfall to venues”



How customers decide on the venue for watching sports

Sports seasons translate as footfall for all pubs. But the real question here is, how to keep the footfall all year round and how to make customers stay longer when they do come to your pub or bar. 

So firstly, to make sure that your venue is primed and ready to catch the attention of hungry and thirsty sports fans you need to make sure you’re providing the services and facilities that they want. Sports fans are often looking for a venue that:

“How customers decide where to watch sports”

The big three

Aside from the checklist above, ultimately, you should be focusing on three key aspects of your venue and these are: the atmosphere, facilities/equipment, and menu. Finding the sweet spot of these key drivers is sure to encourage and retain footfall. 


The atmosphere is one of the key drivers

According to KAM x Sky TV report, nine out of ten pub managers agree that atmosphere plays a big part in bringing footfall and half of customers say they are looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere in the pub during the upcoming summer of sport.

As an operator, plan how you are going to create the best atmosphere possible, whether it’s asking your staff to wear event-specific clothes, rearranging the indoor seating, or organising outdoor seating (where allowed), especially since the warm weather may lure more people outside to enjoy their drinks. Promote the occasion both in and outside the venue, and by posting on social media before and throughout the event for extra visibility. 

The sporting event matters, but the decoration may be just as important. Trying not to lean toward a specific sport and covering multiple teams can be very beneficial - the customers will appreciate the inclusive attitude and range of all types of sports that are available! 

Showcasing both your pub and the experience you can deliver will help you generate customer loyalty and future footfall for the rest of the year and beyond. The summer of sport can be a catalyst for a profitable second half of 2022 for your pub or bar.


Gear up the space and staff

Firstly, let's not forget that lots of sports fans expect to watch their matches in their favourite bars. Hence, gear up by installing multiple flat screens or a single large screen as the main attraction with several flat screens to show other matches or sports. Two in three operators believe that having multiple screens in their venues attracts more customers meaning that it can pay to invest in kitting out your pub with more than one.

Remember, it is impossible to please absolutely everybody. If there's a conflicting sporting event schedule then it's up to you to choose which match will be on the main screen. The key is to read the mood and satisfy the majority and it is important to bear in mind that the loudest people in the room don’t always represent the majority.

Your staff can have a big impact on the overall feel and atmosphere in your pub, as mentioned previously asking staff to wear relevant sport outfits can help to lift the mood for customers. Speak to your local sales reps and seek advice regarding available point of sale, and don’t forget to browse through marketing material available on Funkin Cocktails Trade Hub (we have posters, digital tools and other nifty assets to help you promote cocktails on sport event days). As well as this, ask staff to stay active on the business social media accounts at appropriate times to promote the venue and event. They can post snippets or reels to show the service and ambiance. This visibility will convince more people to visit.

Introduce new food and drinks to your menu

43% of operators use the summer of sport to introduce new food and drinks to their menus. All sporting events are a chance to either have a special menu only for the event or introduce a new menu altogether. Similarly, holding sporting event specific promotions can also be a great way to lure new sports fans to your venue and that’s why over a third of operators (34%) will be holding promotions specific to the summer of sport. For example, ‘15% off food and drink during match time’, means that customers are encouraged to be in your venue during the game, and once they’ve seen your fantastic multi-screen setup and sports dressed staff they won't want to leave, or even better - they’ll come back next time another sports game is on.  Furthermore, over half the pubs in the UK offer cocktails on the menu and ⅔ consumers expect their local to serve cocktails (CGA Q1 2022). Promotions are more important than ever now that traditional pub goers might be tightening their purse strings.

When introducing new food and drinks to your menu it is important to think seasonally. Since it's summertime, cocktails are at the height of popularity since people will enjoy something fruity and boozy.

Let's take Wimbledon as an example. As a summer Grand Slam, customers enjoy drinking cool and refreshing cocktails whilst watching the tennis matches. And as you can expect, their preference list hails strawberries as the summer fruit. Strawberry is also No.1 most liked flavour in cocktails (CGA Q1 2022). Consequently, operators see an increase in strawberries and champagne or sparkling wine-based drinks during Wimbledon week. 

Anyway, new cocktails don’t have to be a completely brand new invention. In fact, they can be a twist on classic cocktails or even serve your most popular cocktails in a larger format - like a pitcher, a carafe or a cocktail tree.Most importantly, cocktails don’t have to be complicated. FUNKIN COCKTAILS Mixer range enables you and your bar staff to make cocktails in 3 simple steps.

Check out some of our favourite cocktail recipes you can serve this summer and beyond! 



Wimbledon - Strawberries and Cream Martini

50 ml FUNKIN COCKTAILS Strawberry Daiquiri Mixer

50 ml FUNKIN COCKTAILS Pina Colada Mixer

50 ml Vanilla vodka 

Method: For a boozy mix on the classic strawberries & cream recipe, shake all the ingredients together and strain into a coupe. Garnish with whipped or squirty cream and a strawberry on the glass rim.


Cricket and Golf - Spiced Pimm's Cup

50 ml FUNKIN COCKTAILS Passion Fruit Martini Mixer

50ml Pimms

Ginger beer to top



200 ml FUNKIN COCKTAILS Passion Fruit Martini Mixer

200ml Pimms

Stir with ice and add Ginger beer to top



Football - Passion Fruit Spritz

50 ml FUNKIN COCKTAILS Passion Fruit Martini Mixer

50 ml Aperol




200 ml FUNKIN COCKTAILS Passion Fruit Martini Mixer

200 ml Aperol

Build over ice and top with Prosecco


Head over to our cocktail recipes page to find even more inspiration for fruity and refreshing drinks you can serve at your pub this summer of sport.





*KAM x SKY TV Summer of Sport 2022 Report

*CGA Cocktail category performance in the on-premise 2022 

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