Dotted over the course of the season, there will be 10 matches kicking off at 8pm on a Friday night, so you need to make sure that you’re prepared for the extra customers this will bring in.
Confirmed Friday night matches
Manchester United v Southampton (19 August, 8pm) - Sky Sports
Chelsea v Liverpool (16 September, 8pm) - Sky Sports
Everton v Crystal Palace (30 September, 8pm) - Sky Sports
First and foremost, licensees should do some research to make sure they know when the matches are on to put the necessary extra staff on for the evening or prepare some extra food.
On the day itself, it is likely that there will not only be the standard football crowd heading up to the pub for the match, they will be joined by the sport enthusiasts among the after-work crowd. Rather than thinking about heading home for dinner at around 7pm, a lot of those after-work drinkers will now be looking to take a place at a table for the football.
This means it is a chance to capitalise on football. Some 80% of those who have had a drink while watching sport in a pub have also purchased food. That means the kitchen needs to be ready for both the pre-match scramble to order food and the half-time rush.
Come the end of the game, there will be cause for celebration for some of the fans and cause for commiseration drinks for the others. Up to 38% of people that have watched the match are likely to stay in the pub after the game, so make sure staffing levels don’t drop off just as the Friday night celebrations are getting into full swing.
Friday night football has not been without criticism – namely from Southampton fans that will travel to Manchester on Friday 19 August. Yet it can only be a good thing for pubs with the extra crowds it is bound to result in.