Rugby World Cup fires spending

The Rugby World Cup triggered a lift in spending in the hospitality sector, new figures show—though takeaways seem to have benefited more than pubs and restaurants.

Data from spending tracker Cardlytics showed that drink-led pubs increased their sales by 7% to those considering themselves rugby fans during the seven-week tournament compared to the previous seven weeks—though the figure only includes card transactions. Restaurants and takeaways saw a 17% uplift, though Indian and Chinese restaurants were well ahead of that at 33% and 30%. 

The data also uncovered some interesting restaurant preferences among those following the tournament. Rugby fans are six times more likely to visit Hawksmoor than the public at large, five times as likely to visit Gaucho, and four times as likely to visit Côte and Brown’s.

Cardlytics managing director Jill Dougan said: “These findings show the impact big calendar events can have on consumer spending. With more people eating out and looking to spend money, there’s a huge opportunity for brands, particularly those that resonate with the event’s audience, to engage with customers.”

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