The group stages may have only just finished, but British pubs have already won Euro 2016, according to payments processor Worldpay.
In fact, Bolton has laid claim as home to the UK’s most fervent football fans during the opening stages, with pubs across the city seeing takings surge by an incredible 987% during England and Wales' 'Battle of Britain' in Group B.
England late win against Wales saw afternoon takings in pubs across the UK rise by an average of 163%, with bars in Bolton almost ten times as busy as normal.
Landlords in Swansea and Cardiff saw transactions rise by 426% and 418% respectively on the afternoon of that fixture. Evening takings in pubs across the UK were also up by 41% as football fans toasted Northern Ireland’s historic win against Ukraine on the same night.
According to Worldpay, pubs have seen brisk trading during each of the matches contested by the Home Nations. Transactions during England’s opening match against Russia were 16% higher than on an average Saturday night in English towns and cities, while the afternoon kick-off between Wales and Slovakia saw Welsh pubs boost takings by 13%. Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, pubs were 31% busier than normal during the evening match against Ukraine.
Of course not everyone is gripped by football, and that has been reflected in some areas' pub trade. Pubs in Preston saw their takings fall by 5% during England’s match against Wales, while pubs in Bradford were 20% less busy than normal during England’s opening match against Russia.
Dave Hobday, managing director of Worldpay, said: “With all three British teams through to the knockout stage, pubs and bars are shaping up to be the undisputed winners of this year’s competition. The enormous boost in business shows that if bar staff in Bolton and landlords up and down the country are ready to manage the masses, they can truly benefit from big sporting occasions and events. We are all hoping for a strong showing from the Home Nations in this year’s competition, but it will be the pubs cheering British success if our teams make it through to the quarter finals.”
Worldpay also warned that pubs not offering contactless payments are in danger of being side-lined, as speed and convenience can be a deciding factor in terms of where consumers spend their money. Contactless technology is making the payments process quicker and smoother at food and drink outlets, helping to ease congestion at the bar. Equipping staff with mobile point of sale devices to offer table service for large groups on match days can also help reduce the pressure on bar staff at peak times.