As the FIFA World Cup approaches (21st Nov – 18th Dec), it is set to offer a huge opportunity for the foodservice and hospitality industries. Instead of beer gardens and al fresco celebrations in the sunshine, we’ll see supporters wrapping up and heading indoors to bars, pubs, restaurants, and cafes to escape the cold weather and fill up on their favourite winter warmers!


The World Cup can be very lucrative for pubs, and it’s vital that publicans and bar owners take full advantage of one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar. During the last World Cup in 2018, it was found that pub spending jumped by 33% whenever England played a World Cup game0 and research carried out by KAM and FANZO (formally MatchPint) in March this year, suggests that there is still a huge opportunity for hospitality to maximise the power of live sport:

  • 64% of publicans think showing live sport is profitable to their business
  • Operators see more than £11 uplift in average spend per customer while showing major sporting events
  • 65% of publicans believe showing sport in their pub has helped attract customers back to their venues

It’s important for venues to get their food and drink offering right to target football fans and what better ‘match’ than a pie and a pint! As well as the pie being a staple pub classic and family favourite, a pie and a pint is widely celebrated as the ideal British pub feast, and it goes together hand in hand with football – perfect!


‘The People’s Poll’ research[1] conducted by Pukka, revealed just how much Brits love a pie, with almost half (47%) finding a pie-based meal the most comforting of all, and two out of three (64%) delighting in the fact that eating a pie is a satisfying and convenient meal.

What’s more, over half of households (53%) regularly buy into this British mealtime favourite[2], so it’s great opportunity for foodservice operators to translate this success into their outlets during the World Cup.

The research also found that the favourite side to eat with a pie is chips (63%), beating off a strong second contender, mash (54%), meanwhile 22% love a portion of mushy peas!

From the traditionalist All Steak, to Chicken Balti for the curry lover and the award-winning[3] Veggie Cheese, Leek & Potato pie, there is a Pukka for everyone. There is also a range of Vegan pies to cater to the growing number of vegans in the UK, which have increased +350% in the last year[4].

For hospitality businesses to take advantage of this huge sporting event at this time of year, it will mean also managing the regular Christmas bookings, but the research shows that if you can deliver on what sports fans want, then the rewards will be significant.

Live sport has the power to help UK pubs this winter and with Pukka, the no.1 pie brand[5], on the menu, operators can cash in on the football footfall as well as the British public’s enduring love affair with pies!






13 Limberline Road,
Hilsea Industrial Estate Hilsea, Portsmouth,
Hampshire PO3 5JF

© Dennis Edwards for Foodservice 2022