Stadiums or bars, IPL is pulling crowds everywhere

You might have heard of Dhoni’s helicopter shot, the Dil scoop and the Gayle storm, but what about Sehwag’s sangria, Ashwini’s mar-tea-ni and Yuvraj’s one night stand? These are just some of the names on the menu of Delhi’s bars and restaurants, which have found in the IPL a unique marketing opportunity.

The IPL is a great way to boost sales of these restaurants. Apart from catchy drinks, they have also introduced exclusive IPL menus, lucrative deals and cheerleaders to draw crowds.

Unlike in cricket, the evenings are a continuous drinks break here. Rahul Rohan, assistant manager, Mocha café, Greater Kailash shares with joy, “We have already sold out 10 litres of beer in the first week, which is good enough. We have set a target of Rs.22 lakhs for this year and anything beyond that is more than welcome.”

While some lure the cricket-maniacs with a vodka shot on every six, others have packages like beverage premier league offering a wide range of drinks and snacks. “We offer a range of dishes like foreign fireball and desi dhamaka. Guests usually order the dishes named after their favourite team, which, in turn boosts our sales,” tells Ashish Singh, Assistant Manager at Hinglish - The Colonial Café, Tagore Garden.

Like with the teams involved, the IPL offers these restaurants a loyal fan base. Opium Bar at City Park Hotel, Pitampura saw an increase of five-ten per cent in their sales in IPL season as compared to non-IPL ones. Kapil Vig, F&B manager, 24/7 bar at The Lalit tells, “The response has been very positive over the last six years. We expect to achieve 25 per cent sales over last year.” Boombox Café in South Delhi sells an average of two litres of Corona beer per day and is expecting a return of 30 per cent of the total sales this season. Also, The Pink Room, Hauz Khas have pinned their hopes in attaining a 20 per cent increment in total sales over last year during the course of the tournament.

These figures have been cause for new entrants eager for a share of the IPL pie. “We are happy with our maiden spell in this league as we have already witnessed a 30 per cent increment in our sales from the regular nights,” Sachin Linmbu, General Manager, Café Ludus admits.

Even bars which have traditionally not had anything to do with cricket have started warming up to IPL. Rashi Narang, spokesperson at Urban Pind (famous for its “ladies’ nights”) says, “We are not dependent on IPL since the returns are five-ten per cent lesser than the usual or non-IPL days, but we choose to provide our cricket-loving customers the best deals so that their spirits are not dampened.”

But not everyone is a part of the IPL party. According to a spokesperson of Barique restaurant, the IPL culture has not seeped into their localities which predominantly consists of office-goers. Despite these early bouncers, such sturdy restaurants are holding their wicket; waiting for the right time to swing their bats to score a maximum as far as profits are concerned.