Drinkaware advised operators on how to trade profitably and safely during the football tournament, which is taking place in Qatar from 20 November.
Business development and partnership director Adam Jones said: “For venues in which sport is a central element of their trading style, things don’t get much bigger than the men’s football World Cup and many outlets will be targeting football fans so they can end a challenging year with a flourish.
“Cheering on a team together or renewing old sporting rivalries is an important form of socialising in the UK and valued by many."
Drinkaware’s tips to help customers moderate their drinking:
Have jugs of water freely available and accessible for guests to help themselves to
Create an interesting alcohol-free drinks offer that could include a special menu reflecting the countries in the tournament
If you put on competitions or sweepstakes, offer prizes that don’t include alcohol or require them to return at a later date to dissuade them from drinking more alcohol that day
Where and if possible, make food an important part of your offer
Steer clear of running promotions that encourage visitors to drink more than they might otherwise
If you’re planning on showing the tournament outside, ensure staff are on hand and visible to help anyone who may be vulnerable
Due to the time difference, some games will be played earlier in the UK such as at lunch time. Organising sittings could be one way to ensure people don’t drink all afternoon and evening while watching the matches.
He added: “Creating a space where people can enjoy themselves safely and in an inclusive way, is an important role hospitality has always played in the beautiful game’s greatest showpiece.”
Hospitality operators can help set the tone for how celebrations are enjoyed and how disappointments are handled, according to Jones.
He said: “The highs and lows of sport can provide some challenges so early planning is essential for the World Cup and regular promotions such as booking ‘the best seat in the house’, football quizzes and family shoot-out competitions will all play their part in building up the atmosphere and expectation.”
Safe and enjoyable
Research from the alcohol education charity highlighted the importance of stocking a good range of alcohol-free options to help encourage those who aren’t drinking into the venue as frequent drinkers revealing they choose booze-free or low-ABV drinks in situations when they would normally drink alcohol.
“This is because it looks, tastes and feels like alcohol. This often seems more sociable to them than having a soft drink and they think other people are less likely to notice or question why they are not drinking,” Jones said.
“You may not be able to influence the results in the sporting arena but taking a few simple steps can help customers have lots of fun at this fantastic event – with all its ups and downs – safety and enjoyably.”