Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sports and the Bar Business

The World Cup is in full swing again, and America managed to advance to the final 16 teams before being eliminated yesterday by Belgium. While the only thing I know about soccer is that it is completely unwatchable, even I can manage to jump on the bandwagon and pretend like I care for a few weeks out of every four years.

The U.S. versus Belgium game meant that we had to prepare for either a busy night at the bar with foot traffic, or a terribly slow night since everyone would be at home watching. Even if you're not a soccer fan, the World Cup is a great example of a major sporting event that can have significant repercussions on a restaurant business.

Another example: the Chicago Blackhawks have been a Stanley Cup contender for the last 5 years or so, and the crowds change dramatically at our bar during the season.  Same goes with the Chicago Bulls (can't say the same for either Chicago baseball team....but I digress). During these championship or world stage performances, foot traffic rises greatly for people looking to check scores, which means the quick stop for a beer after work to see who's up usually rises. Our business fluctuates depending on who's playing.

Studies show that for every week a certain team stays in during the World Cup, it brings an average of $150 million in additional sales to restaurants and bars nationwide. During this time, many restaurants see a rise in fried foods and finger foods, or something of the like that can easily be held in one hand while a beer is in the other.

Along with this, on most other nights when mixed drinks are readily available, they are the drink of choice... but game day trends show that beer is the drink of choice (which seems obvious).  Reports also show that after a fan's team loses, the amount of alcohol sales typically drops drastically the rest of the night, meaning that losing fans don't want to drink their sorrows away. 

And while you may think that since we're not a sports bar that specifically caters to the extreme sports clientele, you'd be surprised how many late nights we have of fans sitting at our bar to watch the game until the end... or in some cases how dead we can be when the Hawks can't close out a series and take it to Game 7.

But in either case, our bar is always ready to handle your sport-watching needs, whether that be a cold beer or an appetizer - or even dinner - you'll always find the game is on here!

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