Using sport to help generate more business is down to your team. You need to make sure your staff members are knowledgeable about sport and motivated enough to keep customers coming back for more.
Choose a team captain
Your team captain will help build enthusiasm from within. Select a member of staff who’s keen on sport and who can encourage the rest of your team to make the most of your sport offering. The captain should become familiar with what’s going on and be able to pass that information on to other team members.
Your team captain will:
- Understand why it’s better to watch sport at your venue – and explain that to all staff
- Know what sport customers want to watch and which teams they support – and pass this on to all staff
- Keep an eye on what the local competitors are offering – check out their promotions and events
- Run through timings and allocate specific tasks to specific people
- Check rota and shifts - stagger breaks to maximise staffing levels
- Remind staff of match day promotions and incentives
- Inform staff about any particular lines you want to push on match day
Create a Sports Diary
To make sure everyone knows what’s coming up, create a Sports Diary. Make sure it’s regularly updated and place it somewhere prominent so that staff can see what’s on. Make sure it contains all the detail that customers might need if they enquire about upcoming sport eg. date and time of next fixture and promotional offers. Provide any details about special seating arrangements or food.
Match day checklist
Make sure screens and speakers are clean and working at least 2 hours before kick-off
Switch sets on well before start of match - check sight lines to screen for best viewing options
Draw blinds or curtains if they are affecting picture quality
Make sure commentary can be heard throughout viewing area just before game starts
Make sure sound controls are easily accessible in case you need to adjust volume
Have helpline numbers handy in case you have a technical problem
After the match get the team together to discuss how things went – what worked and what to do next time to improve things
Remove all out-of-date posters and start promoting the next big fixture
Promote your sports offering
-Communicate what games you’re screening; promote any points of difference e.g. big screens, HD, special seating, etc.
-Let customers know of any special match day promotions e.g. food offers, drink offers etc.
-Use a 'What’s On' board or pavement A-board.
-Make sure you have fixtures posters on display
-Promote the next big fixture; place posters strategically for best effect eg. entrances, exits, by the bar, toilets, near pool table or fruit machines and near your screen; keep all posters up-to-date
-Consider producing a take away fixtures list for customers
-Get staff to talk about the next big game.
-Text or email customers to remind them about fixtures
-Make sure your website is showing up-to-date information about fixtures, promotions and special events
-Use Facebook and Twitter to let customers know about fixtures and events
-Consider advertising games/events in local newspapers or local radio or in local universities and sports clubs
Match day ideas
Match day promotions could include – an extra large screen in your beer garden, drinks offers, food, offers, bunting, flags, whistles, rattles or things like golden goal promotions or special reserved seating. Staff might dress in team colours.
Choose music to suit match – team songs eg. You’ll Never Walk Alone for Liverpool and I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles for West Ham.
Zoned areas will make sure you can put your sports fans in one part of your bar and other customers in another.
Food & drink promotions
Pie with a pint – Bring the atmosphere of the stadium into your pub with every fan’s favourite football meal – a pie and a pint.
Meal and the match – encourage customers to have a meal while they watch the match.
Pitchers rather than pints – promote 4 pint pitchers on match days rather than pints.
Introducing table service for match days can help increase sales by reducing time between customers' finishing drinks and reordering. It will also mean you can accept pre-orders for half time
Get the team going
- There’s nothing like an incentive or two to make sure your team is behind a match day fixture or event. By putting this in place you’ll help generate additional revenue
- Set up a points-based incentive programme for your staff. Issue points for every sale made in each promotion. Then tot up monthly points tally and reward the winner with a prize. For example, the person with the most points built up for match day meals sold over a month takes the prize
- A quick quiz on what’s coming up on is fun and will help keep your team up with fixtures and times. Offer a small reward for quiz winner
- Give the team ownership and encourage team members to share their views. Set up a suggestions box and get staff to put forward ideas for match day themes or how sports days can improved
- Make sure you and your staff members visit competitor bars to see what they do on match days. Get everyone to make notes of these visits and incentivise them with a small drinks tab. Pool all knowledge and use it to compare and improve your venue’s match day experience
- Develop a quick questionnaire for your team members to ask customers with a reward for the person who gets most questionnaires completed.