World Cup 2022 Fever: How restaurants are gearing up for football season

Restaurants in the Middle East are ramping up their preparations to provide great dining experiences to fans and locals

TableCheck

TableCheck

Nov 2, 2022 - 3 min read

World Cup 2022 Fever: How restaurants are gearing up for football season

World Cup ever fever is now on! And with the opening match set in just a few weeks away, many restaurants in Doha, Qatar, are accelerating all their preparations to cater to different fans and visitors. More than 1.2  million football fans are expected to descend to the country during the World Cup, one of the most anticipated global events happening in the region after post-COVID. 

As the first World Cup taking place in an Arab country, football fever is also spreading in the whole Middle East. While the Qatar government will have 130,000 rooms to provide during the tournament, many fans may not be able to stay in Doha during the month-long event. Fans and other visitors may be shuttling back and forth from other Middle Eastern countries like Dubai, Saudi Arabia, etc. to watch the match in Doha. 

Dubai catches football euphoria

For those who aren’t able to obtain tickets, Dubai is the next best choice to stay and watch the matches due to its proximity to Doha. Aside from that, it  is an international hub with more than 580 luxury hotels sprawled across the city and 115,000+ hotel rooms that can accommodate football fans and VIPs, and even locals and Dubai ex-pats who decide to have a month-long staycation watching the World Cup.

And did we say that Dubai has 13,000 restaurants serving up all kinds of fare from fine dining to even casual restaurant venues? That’s more than enough to satisfy hungry fans and adrenaline-seeking football aficionados.

"The World Cup is a great opportunity to bring the international community together in an expat-dominated country like the UAE. Restaurants will be the perfect stage to coronate this reunion and therefore we can expect the industry to be at its peak in this period, in terms of both covers and revenue. This event will also give the chance to many venues to establish a legacy and increase in popularity, hence why it is so important for F&B establishments to get this right," says Chiara Rosato, TableCheck Business Development Manager.

To ensure that restaurants in Dubai are ready to ride high this soccer season, here are some top tips to maximize operations, drive profits and provide a memorable 2022 for guests. 

Let’s kick it off with the following:

1. The more screens, the better

Fans who are unable to be on the ground are booking places and restaurants to watch the event with their friends. Make sure to maximize each corner of your venue with high-quality screen and audio – it can get pretty loud with fans!

Large TV screens in a pub or bar

If the restaurant has a lot of outdoor space, consider creating a fan zone so guests can enjoy the live streaming of games in open air while having their cocktails, eating their favorite snacks and enjoying the World Cup euphoria.

2. Eyes on the bar bites

Who doesn’t love messy fries and croquettes with its beer? 

With games taking place throughout the day and evening, bar bites are a fan’s best friend. Ensure that the menu is filled with them and provide a whole bunch of variety too to appease hungry appetites. 

Plan the meal ahead of time, and try to upsell seasonal items too to add to the restaurant’s revenue stream, or better yet, concoct new themed cocktails for the month-long fest. Anyone whose on the side of the winning team will be willing to try some of the restaurant’s exclusives.

3. Get advanced payments & reservations on the busy game nights

We all know what the popular games will be; ensure that that there’s a minimum spend on fully-booked nights to avoid late cancellation and not max out on reservations. For the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, have special offers on foods and require minimum fee per person.

Lo-Cale at Crowne Plaza Marina does this right with individual reservation links per game, to ensure they maximize their capacity.

TableCheck can help restaurants to reduce cancellations and no-shows via its credit card deposit and prepay feature. Learn more about this TableCheck feature.

4. Bring out the decor 

Allow the guests to show their love to their favorite teams with gadgets like flags, face painting, or photo props. It will spike up the mood and contribute to your guests making exciting memories of your venue. 

In fact, get creative too with the restaurant staff. While your staff needs to wear their uniform kits during work hours, get them to wear colorful hats to go along with the festive mood. Happy staff means happy guests!

5. Half time is games time

Keep the momentum going and take advantage of the halftime to bring out your best games.
 Here are some examples:

  • Half Time is Shots Time: shot rounds at 30% less than the usual price

  • Penalty Time: Two For One Promotion on Bar Bites

Get your DJ involved in the announcement of the offers and get your crowd excited!

6. After-games mania

Keep the momentum and bring on a DJ to ramp up the after-party vibes. Winners can cheer and those who lost can recover with a drink and a dance.

Why not gift a branded bag of goodies to the winners? It will hit two birds in one stone: entertaining guests and restaurant brand recall.

7. Maximize on no-game days with football tournaments

Do you have an outdoor venue or a beach? Time to make use of it and rent it as a friendly football tournament field!

However, if you have don't have enough open air space for a football game, consider taking it inside your venue, but just make sure you create some partitions to ensure that your other clientele can still enjoy their dinner quietly.

8. Use Technology: TMS (table management system)

In such high-paced operations, technology is your friend. Using a Table Management System like TableCheck helps you in so many ways during the guest journey:

  • Use customized booking links to customers across the platforms to book a specific game

  • Make it easy for guests to book specific seat tiers with potential minimum spend

  • Send automatic prepayment links, especially on key book-out dates

  • Utilize specific table plans that may or may not be the same ones you use generally

  • Recognize your guests efficiently and build a meaningful CRM

  • Communicate with your built database your promotions through powerful EDM email marketing campaigns to bring back your crowd

  • Use your TMS platform to forecast demand, prepare on stock, and plan your staff rostering to ensure you have enough servers during matches

Whether it is the World Cup or any themed event, TableCheck helps restaurants optimize their restaurant operations while providing award-winning experience to guests.

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