What impact did England v Tunisia have on pub trading?

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Victory boost: What impact did England getting their World Cup campaign up and running with a win have on pubs?
Victory boost: What impact did England getting their World Cup campaign up and running with a win have on pubs?
What impact did England’s opening World Cup match in Volgograd have on the nation's pubs?

'Massive upturn'

Philip Cutter of the Gardeners Arms in Norwich, known locally as the Murderers, commented: "I think all things considered, yesterday was really good but we can do better.

"It was a massive upturn, but we weren't quite as busy as we expected to be. Having spoken to a few of our punters who work in offices, I think some of them maybe went home intending to come back to the pub, maybe didn't get home quite in time and then had tea and stayed to watch it at home.

"But we've got tables booked on Sunday, so I think we're going to be slightly busier. A lot of people I've spoken to have already taken the Friday off work following the Thursday game against Belgium so they don't have to worry about going back to work that week."

Cutter, whose pub has been renamed ‘The Harry’ ​after England captain Harry Kane, saw their namesake steal the headlines with an early goal to put the Three Lions in the lead, and then a dramatic late equaliser to ensure England kept pace with rivals Belgium in World Cup Group G.

"We've invested in a life sized Harry Kane cardboard cut-out and have a World Cup that was donated by Budweiser. There were a lot of people taking selfies which have been popping up on social media today."

Harry Kane

'Pushed sales through the roof'

Joe Marsden of Pub Paradox - the company behind the Prince of Wales, British Oak and Dark Horse pubs in the Birmingham area - saw his pubs at close to full capacity with in excess of 1,000 people watching England v Tunisia across the three sites.

"The World Cup is one of those sporting events that brings people together, everyone supports the same team and creates a great atmosphere. It's great for the pub trade because we sell a lot of beer.

"Mondays are normally your off day, but last night's game created a really good vibe and pushed beer sales through the roof.

"The Premier League is completely different, the whole country watches the World Cup so it's a big deal. It's a different kind of crowd, not your Premier League die hard fans, it's everybody together. If the Government got behind the football team and made them good, think of how much money the trade could make.

"On a Monday you struggle to get people in full stop. But to have something like last night which is pro-community is fantastic. It's really hard in the pub industry at the moment so these things are a massive help.

"After last night's result, we've got at least four games now, I reckon, which will be fantastic for the pub trade. It's all about getting ready for this Sunday - it's going to be huge."

Brought in new footfall

Vicky Martin, Sup & Chow, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, commented: "Our trading was four times what it would normally be on a Monday - obviously Monday nights are very quiet for us generally so it was fantastic to have a strong start to the week, and it was not just our locals who came in but people who haven't been in before.

“We don't normally do food on a Monday evening so it brought in new food trade as well.

"It was a brilliant atmosphere though, a really good opening match - we weren't quite sure how many people would stay at home and watch it, but we got a really good turnout.

"A lot of people who came yesterday have booked now for Sunday and we've already got our regular sports followers booking in for all of the England matches so we're hoping it'll be quite successful for us."

'Busiest game of the World Cup so far'

Paul Eastwood of two time winner of the Best Sports Pub award at the John Smith's Great British Pub Awards, the Famous Three Kings in London, added: "Compared to a normal Monday night we saw 400% growth. We were at capacity by around 6.30pm and expect similar for the Panama game as well.

"We're quite multi-national so we've been doing really well for all the games, but as a one off event, England v Tunisia was our busiest game of the World Cup so far. 

"Everyone was quite well behaved - pretty much everyone celebrated that victory like we'd won the World ​Cup.

“I think there was a lot of relief there and hopefully the tension will be out of the way for the Panama game now we've got a monkey off our back with a first-game victory. Everyone was well behaved but you could tell there was tension."

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'Unrivalled atmosphere'

Sarah Bracey, director at Corey’s Sports Bar in Tamworth, Staffordshire, commented: “We knew we were in for an explosive night after the Euros turnout in 2016, but last night exceeded all expectations. 

“As typical England fans we were all full of hope in this year’s World Cup and, although it wasn’t the most secure win, a victory it was and the celebrations were in full swing during the final minutes.

“Victory beers launched to the sky and shirts were swinging around heads, even the bar staff were spraying beer bottles into the crowd. It was a totally unrivalled atmosphere, something only England World Cup football can create!

“We forecast the same incredible scenes here at Corey’s for Sundays game against Panama but we’re looking forward to warming up all day with some classic football anthems and chicken Balti pies!”

The more the merrier

Lee Price of the Royal Pier in Aberystwyth added: It was a really good atmosphere in the pub, and a lovely spike in trade before and during the game.

"Given the timing of the next match, I think England fans will put in another decent appearance at the weekend, hoping for a good result against Panama.

"The longer they stay in the tournament, the better all round."

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