World Cup Pub and Restaurant Promotions (2022)

Looking for ways to promote the FIFA World Cup in your bar or restaurant? Here are seven ideas to get the ball rolling!

Posted by Alistair on 30.05.22

The 2022 World Cup

As the FIFA World Cup approaches this winter in Qatar (21st Nov – 18th Dec), our attention will slowly turn towards the strangest and most controversial tournament in the event’s history.

Taking place in a small desert nation during the northern hemisphere’s winter months, it’ll certainly be a bizarre one for football fans at home to get their heads around. Instead of the usual summer beer gardens and al fresco celebrations, we’ll see supporters heading indoors to bars, pubs, and restaurants to escape the dark and dreary conditions outside.

For hospitality businesses, it means looking for ways to manage the regular Christmas crowds while cashing in on one of the greatest sporting shows on earth. And there are very good reasons to make the effort – in 2018, it was found that pub spending jumped by 33% whenever England played a World Cup game.

For more inspiration to promote your hospitality business, see our resources on 10 marketing ideas for pubs and bars and 17 ways to promote your restaurant.

World cup promotion ideas for pubs, bars, and restaurants

  1. Live matches
  2. Themed food
  3. Themed drinks
  4. Games and competitions
  5. Offers and discounts
  6. Decorations
  7. Promotion

Live matches

It may sound obvious, but the easiest way to use the World Cup to help promote your bar or restaurant is to simply show the games in the first place! Whether it’s every single match or just the games of your home nation(s), it’ll be much easier to pull in a crowd if they can watch the football.

If you’re in the UK, coverage of the World Cup Finals is always broadcast on free-to-air terrestrial television – a duty often shared between the BBC and ITV. As long as you have a TV licence, you’re good to go (this 2018 article explains what pubs needed to do ahead of the last World Cup in Russia).

If you have a busy restaurant or eatery as part of your hospitality business, you might want to consider showing the matches in a separate area or function room if possible.

Themed food

If your business offers food and you’re wanting to tap into the football fever that comes with a World Cup, you might consider national themes for your menu items. Since the 2022 tournament is taking place in Qatar, you could look into Qatari cuisine ideas as well as offering dishes from some of the competing nations.

Think Brazilian feijoada, German bratwurst, Moroccan tagine, Danish frikadeller, Cameroonian ndolé, Japanese ramen, and Mexican tacos – all of which can be tailored to meet a variety of dietary requirements.

Perhaps your regular menu is all about offering different toppings for items like burgers or pizzas? There are plenty of fun and creative things you can do to create ‘national’ versions of these to tempt diners.

Themed drinks

Similar to the idea of themed food, you can draw inspiration from the World Cup nations to create a limited drinks offering during the tournament.

Will it be cocktails based on Brazilian cachaça, Mexican tequila, or Ghanaian akpeteshie? Maybe a range of beers and wines from the likes of Croatia, Argentina, and Japan?

There may only be 32 competitor countries to choose from, but they provide a whole world of possibilities to get creative with your refreshments.

Games and competitions

Since we’re celebrating the biggest event in football, why not tap into people’s competitive spirits with a competition of your own? When done right, it’ll drive footfall and keep customers coming back to your pub or restaurant as a go-to venue throughout the duration of the World Cup.

Branded games are a fun and budget-friendly way to do this. Once you’ve added your logo, copy, and other branding elements, they work on internet-enabled devices and are perfect for running a competition with regular prizes, discounts, or vouchers for your players.

Farmhouse Inns, Greene King, Domino’s, and Coors have already used games to entertain their audience, delivering bags of brand engagement while achieving their respective marketing objectives. Could it be the thing that helps you stand out from the crowd and get people in the door during this year’s World Cup?

You could have yourself a ready-to-go game from as little as £695 for a 1-month licence – head over to our Piknik site and play the free demos of Happy Hour Conga, Soccer Skill Shot, and Football Runner to get an idea of how fun they are!

For more ideas on how you can customise games with a football theme, check out our blog on World Cup promotion strategies! ⚽

Offers and discounts

There’s no end to the number of offers, discounts, and special promotions that hospitality businesses can run in tandem with a football World Cup. Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Match-related discounts – offer discounted drinks or snacks for every match that your home team wins
  • In-game discounts – similar to the idea above but for more specific occurrences like goals scored, goal scorers, number of yellow cards etc.
  • Loyalty schemes – reward customers and encourage repeat business during the tournament through stamp cards or other points-based systems
  • Social media competitions – encourage likes, comments, and shares in return for the chance to win football-themed prizes

And remember those branded games we mentioned above? They’re great for supporting a competition that you run alongside the tournament – get in touch today to find out about how it could work for you and your business!

Decorations

Time to get that bunting out! It may sound like another obvious suggestion, but we wouldn’t want you to overlook the simple approach of adorning your venue’s walls with the flags of the competing nations.

You could take a minimalist approach with discreet decorations, or go for an all-out explosion of colour! Don’t forget to also include posters with match times and your in-house promotions, as well as a tournament chart for tracking results as the competition progresses.

Promotion

Whatever your approach to the World Cup, be sure to make people aware of the events and special promotions you have on offer to celebrate.

Use your mailing list and social media channels to get the word out to your followers, and look into local online groups for promoting your business – just be sure to check the group rules and get permission from admins before doing so.

At the end of the day, you’ll reap the rewards of being consistent in your messaging and building momentum before and during the tournament. Believe it or not, we think branded game competitions with regular prize announcements and incentives to play are a great way to do this!

Want more ideas?

We hope this post has helped get the ball rolling with World Cup preparations for your pub or restaurant business! If you’d like to learn more about the wonderful world of branded games, get in touch and we’ll be happy to discuss how a game could work for you.

You can also check out these handy resources on our website:

If you want to find out more about how a branded game can fit into your Christmas marketing strategy, help yourself to our free ebook – Game Time! Your Guide to Christmas Game Success.

Get your copy now!

Cheers and have a great World Cup! 🍻⚽

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