Public screening success through good planning

Whether it's the European Football Championship or the Olympics - public screening (called "Public Viewing" in Germany) offer restaurateurs the chance to attract guests and increase sales. However, careful preparation is required to ensure that the joint event will be a success.

Beer garden Waldgasthof Buchenhain in Munich

What´s it all about?

  • How restaurateurs prepare for a public screening event
  • The right technical equipment for joint TV events
  • Public screening success with a creative supporting programme
Beer garden season starts - public viewing

Since the 2006 Football World Cup in Germany at the latest, public screening has become an integral part of the food service sector. Watching special events together offers restaurateurs  a good opportunity not only to raise their own profile but also, in the best case scenario, to increase sales. However, public screening needs to be carefully planned and prepared. There are a number of challenges to overcome, from the right budgeting to functional technical equipment. In addition, restaurateurs can use creative strategies to offer their guests an unforgettable experience. 

Good preparation is the be-all and end-all when it comes to public viewing

Stefan Kastner, owner of the Waldgasthof Buchenhain in Munich, knows exactly what is important. His team has been broadcasting football matches for years, both in the 800-seat beer garden and in the guest rooms - often at the same time. "During major events like this year's European Football Championship in Germany, our restaurant is full," explains Kastner. You can't get a seat without a reservation, and turnover is significantly higher than during less important matches. Careful budgeting and a constant eye on costs are therefore essential. "Licence fees in particular should not be underestimated," he adds. This is because a special licence is required in Germany for the permanent transmission of sporting events via providers such as Sky or Dazn, which can cost several hundred euros per month.

No public screening without weatherproof technical equipment 

Another decisive factor for the success of a public screening event is the technical equipment, which is also associated with costs. "We have purchased a large screen for our beer garden, on which we broadcast the matches using a projector. The cables for this are laid underground and the sound is transmitted via loudspeakers," explains Stefan Kastner. In addition, the screen in the Waldgasthof Buchenhain is mounted under an awning to ensure a good view even in daylight. Kastner also advises guests to buy their own equipment: "It's safer to invest in your own technology than to hire equipment. You should always protect yourself well and not invest too much money that won't pay off if the weather doesn't play ball". After all, caterers must always be prepared for bad weather in their calculations. Fortunately, Kastner can switch to the restaurant in the Waldgasthof if the weather is bad, where the broadcast continues. 

Public screening checklist for restaurateurs 

  • Budgeting: Calculate all costs precisely, including licence fees, technology, personnel and marketing, and also plan a buffer for unforeseen expenses.
  • Equipment: Obtain suitable audio and video equipment and check its functionality in good time.
  • Menu: Adapt the menu to the event, with easy-to-serve and themed dishes.
  • Staff planning: Plan enough staff for service and kitchen and train them specifically for the event in advance.
  • Advertising: Promote the event via social and local media as well as through co-operations, create appealing promotional materials and offer special deals or discounts.

Stadium atmosphere at the Waldgasthof Buchenhain

To give guests an unforgettable experience, a rousing atmosphere is crucial. Stefan Kastner knows that for many, the journey to the stadium is too far, they don't want to be stuck in a traffic jam or perhaps couldn't buy tickets. He uses this opportunity to offer creative, appealing alternatives: "We have developed an extra menu  with German specialities for the 2024 European Championship." During the matches, cowbells and a large gong, which sound every time a goal is scored, create a real stadium atmosphere. "That makes a lot of noise and enhances the atmosphere," explains Kastner. "But even during Bundesliga matches, it's all happening here. If Bayern wins, everyone gets a schnapps on the house." This lively atmosphere helps to ensure that guests are happy to stay longer after the public screening. "In the end, everyone benefits and we are happy when our guests are satisfied and happy to come back," emphasises Kastner. During a European Championship or World Cup, he hopes that his own team is not eliminated in the preliminary round: "Then even the best programme is of no use to us," he adds with a laugh.

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