Six Nations kicks off with record-breaking bar sales


Worldpay data shows economic impact on local businesses when the rugby comes to town 

England, France and Ireland all got off to a winning start in this year’s Six Nations, but data from Worldpay, the UK’s leading payments processor, suggests pubs and bars are also celebrating as they look back at a record-breaking weekend.

The biggest winners by far were Welsh bars and pubs, though whether that is enough to offset the disappointment of losing to England is another matter.

Worldpay data suggests pubs in Cardiff can expect to record sales in excess of 200 per cent up on an average Friday night in February. Analysis of 2014 data on pubs around the Millennium Stadium shows sales rose by 208% for the Friday night game against France, and Worldpay expects that figure to have been smashed this year.

Dave Hobday, UK managing director of Worldpay, said: “Our data shows bars and pubs in Cardiff will have been rushed off their feet from lunchtime on Friday as people started arriving for the game. Many businesses will have at least trebled their takings compared to an average Friday at this time of year. They may not have enjoyed the result but hopefully the boost to their profits is some consolation.”

Worldpay’s data shows major games on a Saturday or Sunday tend to result in an uplift in local bar sales of between 150 and 170 per cent (England v Wales at Twickenham in 2014 saw the highest average uplift in sales for a Saturday or Sunday at 170 per cent).

Other local businesses also benefit greatly from the Six Nations coming to town. Fast food restaurants typically see an uplift of between 50 and 60 per cent, while local restaurants can increase sales by anywhere between 30 to 140 per cent, according to Worldpay data.

Hobday explained: “Fast food sales are fairly predictable around any popular event. But for restaurants, the extent to which they can cash in is limited by seating capacity, so the timing of kick-off is all important. The biggest spike we saw for Six Nations was 140 per cent when England played Wales, kicking off on a Sunday at 3pm. The timing was perfect for encouraging friends and families to grab a Sunday lunch before the game and then another bite to eat afterwards. We saw local restaurant sales spike twice that game day.”