The London Marathon, held on April 21st this year, will see more than 35,000 runners take to the capital’s streets to cover a distance of 26.2 miles.
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This is a particularly big event for hundreds of charities- runners have raised more than £500 million since the race began in 1981.
It’s also a chance for spectators to witness the incredible sporting prowess of stars such as Mo Farah, Abel Kirui and Olympic bronze medalist Wilson Kipsang.
An Inspiring Race
London pubs and hotels will of course see the biggest increase in trade during the Marathon, with 650,000 people heading to the capital to watch the race.
But the Marathon is a popular event up and down the country, with spectators tuning in to see runners in fancy dress pushing themselves to the limit. Hotels, shops, restaurants and bars from Cornwall to Cumbria will be stocking up on catering supplies ahead of the big day.
Cities such as Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry and Derby will be showing the Marathon on big screens in the town centre, so caterers should benefit from passing trade on what can often be a quiet day of the week in the city centre.
The weather forecast for the big day is a mixture of sunshine and showers, with more showers in the North East of the country. Overall, though, the weather should be warmer than it has been during March, making it feasible that customers will use outdoor seating areas and beer gardens.
Before planning your London Marathon promotions, ask yourself how you want to arrange your venue on the day. If you think there’s a chance you could alienate customers who are not interested in sport, considering creating a quiet area within the pub where the race commentary is not audible.
If you’re hoping to encourage people to buy food while watching sporting events, focus on quick, light bites which can be eaten informally, perched on a bar stool. Nachos, satay sticks, platters and cones of chips are ideal.
Drinks offers should go down well, particularly if you can find a way to link them to the Marathon. Themed cocktails are very popular…anyone for a 'Radcliffe Rum'?
Spread the Word
Once your promotions are agreed, advertise them using both online and offline methods. Set up a Twitter page to tell guests what time the race is on, and what you are promoting during the race. Create a special display area within the pub hotel or restaurant to attract attention and tell people about your offers.
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