The World Cup’s underway and the England players already seem intent on putting the entire country through an emotional rollercoaster (as they do at every major tournament).

For independent restaurants, the arrival of the World Cup might feel like it could reduce bookings as people choose to stay at home to watch the match, or head to a pub.

Thankfully, with these last minute marketing ideas, you can make sure your restaurant appeals to customers who are swept up in all the international footie action!

Host themed nights

Just as each country is hoping to wow the world with its skills on the pitch, you can impress diners with your culinary expertise by running events that focus on food from different regions of the globe.

Why not link the theme of the evening with the games that are taking place that day? Provide Spanish tapas alongside Moroccan tajine, or let Belgian waffles compete with English spotted dick on the desert menu.

You could even keep a running tally to see which nation’s dishes are the most popular, adding a competitive element that will engage customers further and create a real talking point about your restaurant.

Offer Russian cuisine

Russia’s role as host nation for the World Cup this year has attracted plenty of controversy, but for restaurants it’s best to steer clear of the politics and focus on the country’s food heritage. Because it isn’t bad at all!

Russian dishes aren’t especially well known in the UK, which gives them the advantage of appearing exotic to domestic diners, even if they aren’t that complex to create.

From fried blinis and chilled okroshka soup to beef stroganoff and pelmeni dumplings, there are lots of delights from Eastern Europe that you can add to the menu without having to learn an entirely new skill set.

Deliver a refined dining atmosphere for England fans

The best way to get people to book tables at your restaurant during the World Cup is to actually allow them to watch games from their table while they eat.

This is a great marketing tactic not only because it encourages customers to pay you a visit, but also because it’ll grab the attention of anyone who’d rather not spend 90 minutes standing in a packed pub with a pint of cheap lager in hand, jostling for a decent view.

Before you advertise this option, you’ll need to do a bit of rearranging to make your restaurant suitable for showing important matches, of course.

Reconfiguring the tables to give everyone a good view of the action is a good idea. Also, you could buy or rent a screen and projector to make sure that the picture is large enough for guests to see from a distance.

Finally, remember that not everyone will be interested in watching the World Cup; many diners might have booked a table with you to escape the competition altogether!

Because of this, confining your World Cup viewing area to a specific part of the restaurant, or a separate room if possible, could help satisfy everyone.

Wrapping up

The World Cup brings a month of football mania to the UK once every four years, so you’ll need to snatch the opportunity to capitalise on it with these restaurant marketing tips quicklty if you want to earn extra bookings and boost sales.