Hong Kong Sevens: How restaurants are gearing up for rugby season

How can Hong Kong restaurants capitalize on this rugby weekend filled with local and foreign fans looking to have a good time?

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TableCheck

Mar 23, 2023 - 3 min read

Hong Kong Sevens: How restaurants are gearing up for rugby season

A widely-celebrated sporting event across Asia, the legendary rugby seven tournaments Hong Kong Sevens’ is back. World-class rugby sevens teams will compete in a high-octane, high-pace style in a thrilling 3-day tournament from March 31 to April 2 in Hong Kong.

As the city gears up for rugby fever, fans from all over the globe are expected to descend on Hong Kong for a weekend of rugby and entertainment.

The stadium is expected to be packed for all three match days. Organizers are expecting to draw at least 30,000 people daily to the Hong Kong stadium to watch the event.

Meanwhile, restaurants throughout Hong Kong are ramping up preparations to welcome home fans and visitors alike. There can be no revelry without delicious food, and Hong Kong's wide variety of restaurants is sure to delight gourmands with even the most discerning palettes. 

What makes the tournament more exciting this year is the presence of the most incredible women’s rugby seven teams. Hong Kong women’s rugby team will join rugby giants like Australia, Canada, Brazil, Fiji, Japan, Great Britain, Ireland, France, New Zealand, Spain, and the United States of America.

With this excitement at hand with Hong Kong's premier rugby event, here are some ways that restaurants can increase their profits during the tournament to take full advantage of the sports-filled weekend:

Watching sports in a restaurant

1. Screening matches for fans of the game

The ideal conditions for a fun viewing party for rugby enthusiasts are large high-definition screens, chilled beer, and tasty bites. Restaurants with a large seating capacity should put several TVs to accommodate more visitors. As these patrons tend to be rather boisterous, some eateries may find it advantageous to designate a separate section of the establishment specifically for them.

2. Upgrades to bar food and special drinks

On match days, restaurants can anticipate a high volume of business since that guests often gather in groups of all sizes to watch the game and, make large meal and drink orders. Creating a special appetizer menu or a signature rugby cocktail would amp up the mood and get the orders flowing and the cash register ringing.

3. Manage walk-ins with tech

Because of the large number of people expected to visit restaurants and bars throughout the rugby weekend, many establishments will find that the waitlist function of TableCheck is an indispensable tool for handling walk-ins. When guests book a table, they are free to roam around or head out to the bar while they wait for their table to be ready. This revolutionary addition means restaurants will no longer lose business to rivals on hectic evenings while also enabling them to increase their sales of high-margin items at the bar while customers wait. Guests will be sent an SMS notification when their seats become available, which improves customer service and frees up staff time by eliminating the need to manually contact those on the waiting list. 

4. Encourage restaurant reservations through marketing

Restaurants can make a lot of money during sporting events, much like they can during the festive season, so it’s essential to make the most of the influx of customers. A restaurant that is hosting a watch party or offering some other special event in honor of the tournament should publicize it via email and social media. They should encourage customers to make reservations through emails and social media posts to ensure a full house.

For example, the renowned Grand Hyatt Hong Kong has been offering a Hong Kong Sevens Room Package alongside its array of chic cafes and restaurants for rugby enthusiasts.

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5. Get advanced payment and consider no-show fees

Restaurants should make sure to get those payments and reservations in advance for busy game nights, so they don't get too many bookings or end up with last-minute cancellations. Notifying guests that a no-show may result in a charge is another preventative measure restaurants can take to avoid losing money on reservations that aren't used. Luxury-dining restaurants can benefit from implementing this feature primarily if they serve cuisine that is expensive and has hard-to-source ingredients with restricted seating.

RELATED: TableCheck Cancellation and Pre-Payment feature

6. Special decor and on-premise activities

To show match day enthusiasm, decorate the premises with banners and jerseys commemorating the event. Fans of the tournament are more likely to visit a restaurant or bar that has been appropriately decorated for the event. Additionally, face-painting or even a quick trivia during the short 2-minute halftime would take up the ambiance by several notches. The establishment can also demonstrate their support for the home team by wearing their uniform jerseys.

7. After-games party

For the entire duration of the match, the crowd would be on its feet and the atmosphere would be electrifying. However, with a DJ and dance celebration, restaurants can keep the energy up long after the game has ended. Fans on both sides of the outcome could end the day on a high note with some dancing, great music, and great drinks.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong boosts tourism initiatives

Interestingly, recent months have seen a significant increase in Hong Kong's promotional activities aimed at attracting more tourists. Beginning in March, Hong Kong will be giving away 500,000 airline seats in an effort to increase tourism. The offer, which is part of the Hello Hong Kong publicity campaign, is timed perfectly with the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens competition and other cultural happenings set to take place in March.

Throughout the year, more than 200 cultural and business events will be held in Hong Kong.

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