Hotels and restaurants lay out special offers to cricket enthusiasts to enhance the IPL excitement

There is battle at home for the remote as IPL vanquishes serials on television. T 20 fever is all encompassing. Young and old, men and women discuss wickets and runs on buses, trains in offices and at home.

In the last few years it has become a trend to watch the IPL in five star hotels, open-air restaurants and bistros. And the smart ones are using the IPL as a marketing strategy. Take Hotel Fortune Pandiyan. It’s food and beverage manager, Ravisundar says: “Food always accompanies cricket-watching. And we provide customers with the kind of comfort that they may not enjoy back home.”

The hotel’s pool-side barbeque restaurant offers a T20 offer where cricket enthusiasts can watch the match on a big screen while munching on unlimited kebabs served with chilled beer. The veg and non-veg kebab platters are priced at Rs.320 and Rs.420 respectively. “The idea was to do give our guests a feel of county cricket. Ever since we started, people have started to come with friends and family to enjoy the matches,” says Ravisundar. A. Sathesh Kumar, a cricket lover says, “The charm of the lawns, the pool and a star-studded sky adds to the excitement. You almost forget you are in Madurai.”

Hotel Madurai Residency counts many office goers who come there straight from work with their colleagues to watch the IPL at their roof-top restaurant. “Guests love watching the match with the city’s panoramic view in the background. Also, the sound and video quality in hotels offer a better experience,” says Makeshaw Dawoodkhan, the General Manager.

A number of innovative games and gifts associated with IPL have come up. “Every year, our sales go up during the T20 season. Last year, we coloured our drinks based on the team colours and it was huge hit among the college-goers,” says Deepak of Liquidzz, an exclusive juice shop, which has introduced a separate cricket menu containing four drinks each from every region participating in the league. For example guests can sip on Nannari Sherbet, Neer Mor and Sukku Milkshake that are tagged as CSK drinks while Jaljeera, Masala Cola and Doodh Soda Shake come under the Delhi Daredevils menu. “A CSK fan ordered all the Chennai drinks. People are crazily in love with players and teams,” says Deepak.

The shop also offers discounts for customers who correctly predict the winning team before the match starts. There are also IPL quiz contests. Vijay, a cricket fan who has got all his predictions correct so far is a regular at the juice shop. He says, “It’s thrilling to guess who will win. I come with my friend and we bet among ourselves. I have been lucky enough to guess correctly so far. ” The Chopstix multi-cuisine restaurant on Bypass Road has introduced dishes such as Virat Kohli Sizzlers, ‘Yuvi dragon prawns, ‘Monster Gayle tandoor platter and Watson’s wantons “Die-hard cricket fans happily eat items named after their favourite players,” says Dinesh, the franchise owner.