Red Devils' brief World Cup stint gives small boost to hospitality sector

Red Devils' brief World Cup stint gives small boost to hospitality sector
Café Brasseurs in Brussels reacting during a game between Belgium's national team the Red Devils and Croatia, in Group F of the FIFA 2022 World Cup, in Brussels, on Thursday 01 December 2022. Credit: Belga / Jonas Roosens

Despite their poor showing at this year’s World Cup in Qatar, the Belgian national football team managed to have a positive impact on many lives at home during their ill-fated campaign, particularly for the hospitality sector.

The knock-on effect of Belgium’s participation in the prestigious football tournament alone was enough to cause a mini-revival in the country’s hospitality sector, meaning many bar owners and staff had a profitable – yet brief – time during games involving the Red Devils.

According to a report by RTBF, the bars that were surveyed had between four and six times more footfall on match days than on usual weekdays.

However, despite the increases, most bars admitted that their crowd expectations for Belgium games had been far higher.

Credit: Belga / Jonas Roosens

During previous World Cup and European Championship games, most venues welcomed over 50% more clients than Belgium’s three games in Qatar this year.

There were also a lot fewer supporters on the streets than in previous years, meaning fewer interested 'drop-ins' for other broadcasted games.

The hope was that Belgium’s continued participation in the World Cup would encourage more people to come out as the excitement grew.

Sadly, after being eliminated by a campaign-ending draw with Croatia, Belgium failed to make it past the group stage.

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