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Bleak Midwinter World Cup Means Restaurant And Pub Spend Set To Drop 17% On 2018

Spending in pubs will be down this World Cup as hospitality venues are closing at record rates.

Despite England’s thumping 6-2 victory in their World Cup opener against Iran, the UK’s hospitality industry could be about to lose out on £413M of consumer spending.

According to the World Cup 2022 Spending Report by VoucherCodes, consumers are expected to spend £2B across the tournament, 17.1% less than the £2.4B spent at the last World Cup.

With the competition being held during winter for the first time, its data showed the colder weather combined with the cost-of-living crisis will have a big impact on sales.

More people than ever (26.5 million) will be watching from home, friends’ houses and even offices, and an estimated £1.6B will be spent by fans at retailers stocking up ahead of the matches, down 19% versus 2018 (£1.9B).

The majority of spend will go on food and drink, which accounts for £1B of total retail sales. 

Hospitality venues are set to see a smaller boost due to the tournament taking place during the winter months. Despite this, almost 20 million are set to tune into matches from pubs, bars, and restaurants. This will generate £395.3M in sales, a 10% decrease on the 2018 World Cup (£439M).

“It’s clear that the ongoing cost-of-living crisis is going to have a huge impact on consumer spending throughout the World Cup," VoucherCodes savings expert Anita Naik said. "Fans’ budgets are squeezed, and with the tournament taking place so close to Christmas, many Brits will be switching to more cost-effective methods of cheering on their teams.” 

The news comes at a time when UK restaurants are going bust at a faster rate than during the coronavirus crisis because of surging energy costs, staff shortages and falling bookings.

Closures in the sector rose by 60%, with 1,567 insolvencies over 2021-22, up from 984 during 2020-21, according to a study by advisory firm Mazars.

“It is a very toxic mix of rising input costs, sharply rising finance costs and weak demand. Most restaurateurs have not seen this combination of negative factors before,” said Mazars partner Rebecca Dacre.

Industry lobby groups including UK Hospitality and the British Beer and Pub Association said in October that more than a third of hospitality businesses could go out of business by early 2023.