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17 May 2024

A common-sense checklist for pubs during Euros 2024 

A common-sense checklist for pubs during Euros 2024 
©Photocreo via Canva.com

The 2024 UEFA European Championship is just around the corner, promising to be a massive event for hospitality businesses across the UK. As fans gear up to support their home nations, pubs have a unique opportunity to boost revenue and create memorable experiences. 

Here’s a common-sense checklist to ensure your pub is fully prepared to make the most of this exciting summer period. 

Safe, staffed and secure 

Anticipate higher footfall by hiring additional staff for peak times or incentivising part-time team members to work additional shifts. Ensure they are well-trained to handle the rush, deliver excellent customer service, and manage any potential issues that arise during busy match days. 

With larger crowds, consider bolstering your security team. Effective crowd control is crucial for maintaining a safe and enjoyable environment. Brief security staff on procedures for handling overenthusiastic fans and any disturbances that might occur. 

If you don’t have security at your premises, make sure your staff are trained in handling rowdy customers and big groups, escalating any problems and crystal clear on where the line is in terms of acceptable behaviour in your establishment.  

Keep it clean 

Maintain high standards of cleanliness, especially in high-traffic areas like bars, bathrooms, and dining spaces. Increase the frequency of cleaning shifts during peak times to ensure the pub remains inviting and hygienic. 

When staff are flat out, cleaning areas away from the bar can sometimes fall by the wayside. Make sure your teams stay accountable for your pub’s toilets and other areas being used by the general public, and that drinking water is topped up and readily available.  

Consider placing hand sanitising stations at entrances, exits, and near the toilets to promote good hygiene practices among customers and staff, and have some blue roll ready to go for the inevitable goal celebration spillages.  

Keep your eyes on the clock (and the score) 

Be prepared for games that might go into extra time or penalties in the later stages of the competition. Stock up on extra supplies of popular food and drinks to avoid running out during these extended periods and ensure your closing times don’t mean a potential clash with fans eager to see the game in full.  

Pubs can open until 1am on match days if either Scotland or England reach the semi-finals. Following a consultation at the end of last year, Home Secretary James Cleverly confirmed that pubs will be able to stay open until 1am on match days, should one – or both – of the teams reach the semi-finals or the final.  

As both England and Scotland have successfully qualified for the tournament, these extended hours will allow fans to cheer on their team, while boosting the country’s hardworking hospitality industry.  

As UK Hospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls says: “Euro 2024 is set to be a huge event for hospitality businesses this summer, as fans pack pubs and bars to cheer on the home nations. We support the Home Office proposals to extend licensing hours for the semi-finals and final, should we reach that stage of the tournament.  

“Major sporting events provide a huge revenue boost, and extended hours are essential to allow venues and fans to take full advantage.”  

Make sure to check local regulations and apply for the necessary extensions in advance if events are looking positive for the two home teams.  

Conduct a staff tech check 

In many pubs the TV system can be an inexplicably complex one, with multiple remote controls and various channel subscriptions on offer. While it can often be left to the manager (or someone who just knows ‘the knack’) to hop channels, it can be a helpful time saver to give your team a quick run through of your TVs and sound systems ahead of Euros season.  

Quick troubleshooting during busy periods can prevent any disruptions and keep the viewing experience smooth. Make sure you also have a backup plan in place in case of technical difficulties. This could include spare cables, remotes, or even extra TVs to replace any faulty equipment. 

Switch up your seating 

Many pubs will be reconfiguring their seating for the Euros 2024 season. Make sure you’re prepared for larger groups, corporate reservation requests and a mix of customers standing and seated. 

If possible, offer a mix of high tables, bar stools and larger tables for big groups, while keeping in mind sightlines for the television(s). Even if your pub or bar generally doesn’t offer the ability to reserve tables, it can come in handy for crowd management and keeping on top of larger groups.  

Get creative 

Consider adding some themed specials or popular match day snacks to your menu, making sure to combine them with popular drinks or creatively named cocktails (Bellingham Bellini anyone?).  

Introduce some fun games or opportunities for customers to predict elements of the game for the chance to win fun prizes. Embrace any initiatives or merchandise from breweries or other suppliers that you work with.  

From staffing and security to cleaning and extended hours, every detail matters in creating a safe, enjoyable, and profitable environment for football fans. Embrace the excitement, plan meticulously, and get ready to provide an exceptional experience that will keep customers coming back long after the final whistle.  

Here's to a successful tournament! 

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