Whilst the sporting event of the summer has always been associated with a civilised glass of Pimms to accompany the strawberries and cream, Wimbledon now seems to be falling prey to a very particular type of British social issue: an excess of drink.
A sign of the times?
An early sign that something was wrong occurred early on in the competition when a spectator let a champagne cork pop at a vital point in a match on Centre Court. More surprisingly still, there was no apology from the individual concerned, who continued to quaff his drink with his friends! This occurred only a day before a champagne cork flew onto Centre Court and needed to be collected by a ball boy.
The rules of Wimbledon say that corked bottles and drinking glasses must not be taken into the court viewing areas, but it appears that no one is enforcing the rules, and many regulars have complained that this year is the booziest championship on record.
Many people are even saying that it might ruin the reputation of the game, even though attendance in the audience is up this year by 10 per cent.
Tills are ringing
However, the bars are undoubtedly busy and the punters are not afraid to shell out £25 for a jug of Pimms, £90 for a bottle of champagne and just under a fiver for a glass of beer, and that is alongside the extras that they are bringing in themselves. It seems as though the messages about safe drinking really are not hitting home in this particular sports ground.
In the meantime, however, British hospitality businesses will keep focusing on what they do best: serving customers and offering leisure and entertainment experiences that celebrate the best of summer. Whether you have a liquor licence or not, make sure you can keep on top of your kitchen with commercial warewashers such as the models that are on sale at https://www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk/bar-supplies/commercial-warewashers.
Businesses that are keen to encourage responsible drink enjoyment must remember to have an attractive menu of virgin cocktails and non-alcoholic drink alternatives for those who are trying so hard to avoid becoming part of the new – and largely unwelcome – British trend of drinking at every major sporting event on the calendar.