The World Cup: From a Hospitality Perspective — Photo by Fauzan Saari

The World Cup is one of the most highly anticipated sporting events in the world. Every four years, professional athletes from across the globe come together to compete for the envied title of World Champions.

As this year’s quadrennial sporting event kicks off in Qatar, the hospitality industry is set to experience a massive performance lift, with fans from every corner of the earth gathering to cheer on their home teams.

But this rapid rise in hospitality growth brings challenges for many industry experts.

Even with the many policies and guidelines restricting access to the events, hoteliers, event organizers, catering companies, and restauranteurs are still set to experience unprecedented levels of demand with an unwavering expectation to receive top-tier experiences and elevated options.

Throughout this article, we’ll discuss some challenges hospitality professionals face during major sporting events like the World Cup, and how they can overcome these challenges.

Qatar’s Occupancy and Hotel Bookings Skyrocket

Managing large sporting events are big business for hotels. Especially for Qataran hoteliers who have suddenly become swamped with bookings, trying to go about “business as usual” is an impossible task. Now, hotel managers must find the perfect balance between accommodating guests who are in town for the World Cup, as well for those who are not.

Before the event, Qatar’s occupancy was already experiencing a steady rise, reaching 70% in domestic residency.

Ten days before the event’s kick-off, Reuters reported that fans had booked accommodation in more than 90,000 rooms, apartments, cabins, tents, and villas on each of the peak days throughout the World Cup.

After the first game on Sunday, November 20, occupancy began averaging 85%, reaching a whopping 90% just five days later.

Still, that doesn’t include the thousands of fans eagerly waiting for their teams to advance through the event before committing to travel plans.

To help manage these massive occupancy levels, event organizers in Qatar are looking to outside help, bringing in workers from other nations who can offer supplementing services to handle the volume, and partnering with regional transportation services to ensure fans can get to and from airports, hotels, apartments, and other event-related facilities.

Additionally, spokespeople for Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy say there are plans to build fan villages, or causal camping accommodations, to house the increasing number of travelers throughout the event.

Catering Services in High Demand

With these exponentially large leisure demands, the need for food delivery and catering services has become increasingly dire.

Through the sporting event, food delivery orders in Qatar are expected to increase by 80%, according to a new report. While this provides eateries with a substantial opportunity to grow and sustain a healthy client base in a highly competitive market, this rise in demand has not come without its fair share of challenges.

Recipe management, food, and beverage procurement costs, and overall consistency are crucial to successful food delivery and catering services. With limited access to shipping and skills, catering services are facing trouble fulfilling the needs of their sudden high-volume client base.

And without accurate inventory tracking and replenishment for both food and beverage, companies will suffer from low profitability and efficiency.

Though this challenge is significant, many catering firms have doubled down to position themselves as strategic leader, establishing partnerships with international food companies to comply with world-class cooking standards and deliver higher-quality services.

Likewise, catering companies and hoteliers are teaming up to effectively manage increased order size and amount.

Providing Inventory Management Solutions with BirchStreet

With the World Cup underway, the ensuing weeks will offer challenges for hospitality professionals.

Fortunately, with these challenges also come solutions to attain profitable growth. As it stands, Qatar is expected to generate $7.5 billion from the World Cup. By implementing the right management processes, these experts can hope to effectively handle inventory costs, counts, bookings, and spending to guarantee a successful event.

These are not challenges only faced during global sporting events like the World Cup. More hospitality companies are finding it increasingly difficult to come back from the pandemic-induced chaos like replenishment delays and faulty inventory management.

Thankfully, by partnering with BirchStreet, businesses across all hospitality sectors can take advantage of high-tech solutions that offer real-time, inventory management and tracking, recipe management, consistency replenishment, group purchasing, and other beneficial capabilities. Their 20-year history of leadership in hospitality P2P along with its customer base not only in the World Cup host nation of Qatar but the surrounding nations reinforce the success of their customer goals.

About BirchStreet Systems

BirchStreet Systems powers hospitality and food and beverage enterprises with a comprehensive procure-to-pay business solution. As the global leading provider of spend management solutions in the hospitality industry, 15,500 enterprises in over 130 countries subscribe to BirchStreet to connect with a network of more than 450,000 suppliers.

Established in 2002, BirchStreet is privately held and is headquartered in Las Vegas, NV with offices in California, China, Singapore, India, and the UK. For more information, please visit

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