F&B outlets and food delivery platforms score big during World Cup 2022

Food and beverage outlets expect revenues to increase throughout the World Cup tournament. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Food and beverage (F&B) outlets screening live World Cup matches, as well as food delivery platforms, have been scoring big since the World Cup kicked off on Nov 20.

Eight F&B outlets and chains The Sunday Times spoke to said their revenues have shot up by between 8 per cent and 50 per cent so far.

Noting a 50 per cent jump in revenue across its two outlets in Woodleigh Park and Jurong since the tournament began, Cafe Football co-owner Simon Tan said: “We have seen people wanting to catch the games and stay for an extended period. They like our atmosphere and want to watch the matches with us instead of being at home.”

Restaurant and bar chain Harry’s, which is screening matches at all its 19 outlets, is enjoying a 30 per cent rise in revenue on average across all outlets.

“The figures are very encouraging. We estimated that over 20,000 people visited our bars during the first week of this year’s World Cup, which resulted in the increase in revenue,” said its head of marketing Hannah Teo.

The chain’s revenue for the first seven days of the World Cup, which is held every four years, went up by 60 per cent compared with the same period during the previous tournament in 2018, she said.  

The jump could be attributed to the timing of this World Cup, which is being held during the year-end peak festive period, said Ms Teo, noting that the 2018 tournament was held in June and July.

In the first nine days of this World Cup, most matches kicked off between 6pm and 3am. From now till the final on Dec 18, they will kick off at 11pm and 3am.

Ms Immelia Izalena, group marketing manager of nightlife and iconic concepts at 1-Group, said: “With Singapore recovering from the pandemic and opening up, our customers are staying later to watch the matches, as well as a second wave of customers who come in later in the evening to catch the games.”

Revenue across 1-Group’s three bars – Wildseed Bar in Seletar, Yin Bar at Clarke Quay and 1-Arden Bar at Raffles Place – rose between 8 per cent and 10 per cent.

With F&B outlets extending their operating hours and catering to higher footfall, some have had to hire more part-timers to cope during this busy period.

For example, The Social Alley bistro and bar in Lorong Chuan, which extended its operating hours from 11pm to 1am, hired two part-timers on top of its four full-time employees. And each Harry’s outlet has hired two part-timers on average.

Chinese hotpot chain Haidilao, which is screening the World Cup at six of its outlets, did not have to hire additional workers as it managed to cope by leveraging its existing manpower. Most of the six outlets are open till 6am.

Its branding and communication director Yang Xibei said the chain has always had night-shift workers, so staffing arrangements were not affected during this period.

While F&B outlets expect revenues to increase throughout the tournament, they said it is still too early to estimate their profits.

Harry’s Ms Teo said that while the chain will definitely turn a profit, it will know the margin only at the end of the World Cup as it has to consider its operating costs such as additional manpower.

Meanwhile, food delivery platforms, including Grab, foodpanda and Deliveroo, have seen a rise in orders from midnight to 5am. They declined to share figures.

A foodpanda spokesman said the number of late-night orders has more than doubled during this World Cup compared with the last one in 2018.

“This could partly be attributed to customers’ increased familiarity with using on-demand delivery services, especially following the pandemic,” said the spokesman, noting that the number of restaurants on the platform has also gone up since 2018, giving consumers more choices for their late-night supper. 

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