Cheer and roars rule the evenings while pubs, malls and cafés are cashing in on the IPL fever — thanks to the large screens and HD TV monitors that are installed here to attract cricket fans as they enjoy new varieties on food and drinks. “The crowd is more when Chennai plays against the other team. By 7.30 pm, people start coming in with their families and friends,” says the general manager of a renowned city lounge-bar. Also, he says the bar has arranged special discounts on a few varieties of starters, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, adding special decorations to create a suitable ambience for cricket buffs. “We understand that people are crazy about cricket. Along with two beers, we have introduced five new appetising dishes to the non-vegetarian and seafood menu,” he said.
With the arrangements that pubs and eateries have made, we are expecting up to 30 per cent increase in profits, said another manager of a leading hotel on the condition of anonymity. He added that the management has incorporated an embraced sound technology that will help the customers experience the action of the gripping game live. “Food may be a problem when people go to the stadiums. But here the steady distribution of liquor and lip-smacking dishes make the customers happy,” he said.
“Nothing can beat the excitement of watching a cricket match live to the beats of music with mocktails and cocktails,” says the yellow-clad Praveen Chajjer, a resident of T Nagar, who’s hoping for India’s victory this season too. Citing security checks and parking problems, he says there is a lot of a disturbance with watching matches at the stadium. Ankita Sharma, a college student said, “Beyond the sport, it is the bonding that brings us together. In a pub we share a lot of fun.” However, there are a few who believe that such discounts hardly make any difference to customers. “The first three seasons were great but now the trend has gone below the expectations,” said Navneet Srinivasan, software engineer.