The big events to drive your 2023 drinks sales

Although 2023 is lacking the major sporting events of 2022 and recent years, there are still lots of opportunities to tap into a new customer base by focusing on a glut of new and different calendar events to attract interest and footfall.

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From various national days like Valentine’s Day, to the coronation of King Charles III on 6th May, there are dozens of events in 2023 which can help to drive customers through the door and increase sales.

MAY: The Coronation of King Charles III

Many foodservice and licensed customers understand the business benefits of tapping into major Royal Family events and so need little excuse to celebrate the Windsor family’s key milestones.

On 6th May, Charles III will be crowned King which will result in a UK-wide bank holiday on 8th May. It is expected the Coronation, just like his mother’s the late Queen Elizabeth II, will be broadcast live. This is the perfect opportunity to string up some bunting, roll out the projector and set up the outdoor screens to make your customers feel like they’re a VIP at the ceremony.

Consider creating food and drink packages with a mix of soft drinks for the children such as Fruit Shoots and quintessentially British tipples for the adults like fruity G&Ts made with Britvic Indian Tonic Water.  This is also an opportunity to upsell different serves to create elevated experiences to mark the occasion.

Go one step further by creating and promoting King Charles III cocktails to celebrate the occasions and serve it in the run up to the event and on the day itself. For the drink, take inspiration from Charles’s love of nature and British produce, by utilising seasonal ingredients in the drink and as garnishes. For example, elderflower comes into season from May, so mix up a spritz with Teisseire Elderflower syrup.

JUNE: 123rd US Open Championship

For golfing fans, the 123rd US Open Championship will take place at the Los Angeles Country Club between 15-18 June.

Get your team and customers into the golfing spirit with a series of themed food and drink offers including round bar snacks like arancini, gourmet Scotch Eggs and falafel. Pair these with green coloured drinks that are a nod to the sport, such Midori spritzes.

JULY-AUGUST: FIFA Women’s World Cup

The popularity of women’s football grew substantially last year during the UEFA Euros, with over 365m tuning in or turning up to a match to watch[1].

This year’s Women’s World Cup is likely to be just as popular as consumers and sports fans seek to satiate their appetites for major sporting events. While long alcohol drinks, such as lager and cider may be perceived as the usual tipple for such matches, soft and mixed drinks also have a role to play.

Core drinks like Pepsi Max™ and lemonades play a key role during busy sporting events as consumers look to hydrate and sip something non-alcoholic while they enjoy a game. Consider providing offers such as ice buckets filled with glass bottles of Pepsi Max or unlimited draught Pepsi.

For drinkers, seek to understand if your regulars would appreciate a spirits bottle and soft drinks offer, for larger groups of eight or more, so they can mix their own drinks at the table. Not only does this provide added value to your venue, but it also alleviates pressure on the bar.

[1] UEFA

OCTOBER: Disney turns 100

Not the usual pub attraction, but almost all UK consumers will have an affiliation with or a fond memory of Disney. Be it a favourite film or a theme park trip, Disney is a name known and admired across the world.

As such, venues can take advantage of Disney’s 100-year anniversary on multiple levels, like with family occasions where children can meet real Disney princesses and characters, or heroes and villains fancy dress evenings for adults.

For a child-friendly event, book a series of local Disney princess actors to come to your venue for a ticketed day of fun. It is advised you vet and meet the actors prior to the event to ensure no disappointments.

Ticket prices could include a magical lunchbox with premade sandwiches, a Fruit Shoot and snacks as well as trinkets. The event could end with the screening of a Disney film, so long as the relevant licensing rules have been followed.

Other special dates to consider in 2023

It can pay to go off the beaten track when it comes to generating business boosting events around special days. Consumers are interested in more than Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, so look at the dates below and see how you’d create an event around the likes of National Walking the Dog Day or World Puppy Day.

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