Tips for showing sports at a restaurant

Iina Huikari
Minutes to read 3
Jan 22, 2024 2:11:58 PM

We previously wrote about why it's worth showing sports in a restaurant. Displaying sports is indeed a fantastic way to increase sales, but many restaurant owners give sports a red card due to the challenges that come with game days. To ensure the game doesn't end prematurely, we've gathered tips for showing sports in a restaurant. In the first part of our two-part blog series, we delve into the importance of planning and creating a comfortable sports viewing environment.

The atmosphere takes you to a sports restaurant

Emotions understandably run high during sports matches. Unfortunately, to the restaurant owner's dismay, this is also reflected in the customer experience, as the passionate sports crowd can get annoyed by even the smallest things. For this reason, we decided to investigate the experiences of sports fanatics and asked them what appeals to them and what annoys them in sports restaurants. The responses were very consistent and clear

The most important thing for customers in a sports restaurant is the atmosphere.

Customer experiences at sports restaurants.Customer comments on the good and the bad of sports restaurants. Responses obtained by interviewing restaurant customers. 1/2021.

Collecting customer feedback is an effortless way to identify successes and areas for improvement. Even small changes can bring about improvements. A positive experience also entices the customer to return to the restaurant again.

Smoothness enhances comfort on both sides of the counter.

Investing in the smoothness of game days is profitable because customer comfort increases both the time spent in the restaurant and the quantity of products ordered. Poor experiences highlighted by sports enthusiasts often emphasized errors in spatial planning and problems caused by the restaurant's congestion.

It may be challenging to modify the layout of screens afterward, but the matter can be approached through table arrangement and the installation of additional screens. Surprisingly, the volume also emerged as a crucial factor, which is easier to control. Good planning and staff guidance support the improvement of customer experiences. It's advisable to place upcoming matches and tournament schedules in advance where the staff can see them, such as in their own calendar.

How about a couple extra tables?

The temptation to bring in as many customers as possible is significant, but considering the overall picture, it's advisable to avoid it. Congestion creates a bad atmosphere for both customers and staff. Reservations should be favored, but adding extra tables and chairs causes dissatisfaction among customers:

"It ruins the mood when you've reserved a table for six, but you end up with a table meant for four, equipped with additional chairs. Some of the group ends up sitting in the aisle, and it's impossible to walk in the restaurant."

Calculating customer numbers and planning table reservations in advance clearly enhances comfort. Sports fans appreciate comfort in sports restaurants and don't necessarily seek the same intense atmosphere as the stadium itself.

Avoid long queues at the counter

Good food and drinks play an important role for sports fans, and this is evident at the bar counter as well. Before the match, it's worth considering which would work better: taking orders from tables or from the bar counter? The decision can be eased by experimenting with both strategies or even combining them. The busiest times usually occur before the start of the match and during halftime. It's a good idea to try to encourage customers to order game-day treats in advance; various advertising campaigns or the option to pre-order with table reservations can be helpful for this. Before the halftime break, consider making a round of tables to ensure customers' glasses are filled before the break, avoiding the worst congestion.

Entertain even when there isn't a game on

Organizing side activities outside of major matches might sound unnecessary, but from the customers' perspective, it has surprisingly significant importance. For customer satisfaction and general smoothness, it's good to add entertainment for other times as well. This also entices customers to come to the restaurant well before the start of major matches. The congestion decreases, the atmosphere grows, and the cash register rings. Side activities can be anything from a billiards table to a sports-themed pub quiz. Make the most of sports packages by showcasing sports even when it's not a major game.

Mind relaxes while watching sports, so heck it. I think I'll order one more!