Your Pub Needs You.. to watch England vs Switzerland

Independent pubs and bars have seen sales increase by almost 10% during England and Scotland games at this year’s Euro championships.

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As if there wasn’t enough pressure on Gareth Southgate, the UK’s struggling hospitality sector is now also depending on the success of the England men’s football team at this year’s Euro championship.

Both England and Scotland games have generated a dramatic uplift in sales for pubs and bars, according to data from Hospitality Data Insights. Compared to the 12 weeks leading up to the competition, sales have grown by an average of 8.5% during home games.

With Scotland having crashed out during the group stages, UK hospitality firms will now be hoping that the England team can beat their next opponent, Switzerland, to keep the good times (and good balls) rolling across the sector.

Independent pubs biggest winners

Despite a universally-acknowledged poor performance in last night’s game against Slovakia, the England team has clearly netted profits for taprooms.

HDI also filtered its statistics to compare pub and bar chains against independent drinkeries. The results show that unbranded pubs and bars have seen the most success from the Euro games, with their sales growing by 9.9% during home nation games.

Patriotism sells. HDI’s data shows that, compared to the previous 12 weeks, sales fell by 4.6%, during non-home nation games as customers preferred to save money and watch the matches from the comfort of their own home.

When they do turn up, some canny establishments are taking advantage of the sales growth seen during home games by introducing surge pricing (also known as dynamic pricing). In this pricing model, the cost of goods is raised as consumer demand increases.

England’s second game against Denmark saw an estimated 6% of pubs and bars raise the price of a pint by 30p. At around 33 pubs and bars, prices rose by over 80p, says HDI.

Pubs 1; cafes 0

It’s not just pubs and bars depending on the team’s success. As fans sink more pints, many are also apparently looking for a postgame kebab or chippy dinner to soak up the alcohol.

HDI analysis also shows that sales at takeaways and fast food joints increased by 2.9% compared to the previous three months.

Conversely, the businesses that don’t have a 90-inch flat screen (or serve drunkards) have seen a fall in spending during Euro matches.

On average, HDI reports that sales numbers have fallen by 1.6% across restaurants, casual dining spots, and cafes during home games.

Hospitality struggles

One thing that hasn’t helped during this year’s competition has been the wet weather. While this year’s Euro competition might be hotting up for England, meteorologists have been predicting this could be the wettest summer in 100 years.

A bad forecast can be enough to keep customers inside and out of pub gardens, hitting customer wallets at a time when hospitality organisations have never needed them more.

Various challenges, including a hiked National Living Wage, and red tape making it harder to hire from abroad, has left hospitality firms in a Catch-22 where skilled labour is simultaneously in-demand, and yet increasingly unaffordable.

HDI analysis suggests that, while England and Scotland’s tense performances have managed to keep punters interested, sales in pubs and bars are still declining year-on-year.

With 3,000 London-based hospitality firms having gone bust since March 2020, events such as Euro 2024 and the upcoming Paris Olympics may be vital for business survival this year.

Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

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