TOCA Social has long-term plans to open venues in every major city across the UK, according to president Alex Harman.

Founded in 2016 by US World Cup and former English Premier League midfielder Eddie Lewis, the competitive socialising brand first made its UK debut in 2021 at The O2, and will soon have three sites across the country.

“In the short run, we are focusing on the largest cities to serve the most people quickest, but over time we will develop smaller format venues for smaller markets too,” Harman tells MCA.

“We are just scratching the surface of demand for competitive socialising,” he says, explaining that there seems to be a “broadening of interest” in those attending such venues.

“It has been a proven market for TOCA Social and the industry generally for night-outs and corporate events for some years, but we are also seeing that during the school holidays we are really popular with families too.”


Today, the business looks towards a new opening at Birmingham’s Bullring this June, and has a third site under construction at London’s Westfield White City.

The Midlands debut was “an obvious choice” for the brand’s first venture outside of London, says Harman, as the UK’s second largest city, famous for its nightlife and love of football.

“We love Birmingham’s hardworking and fun-loving culture, and plan to partner with a number of local celebrities, brands and companies to give our venue an authentically Brummie feel.”

To help meet the expected market excitement, it will also be the largest venue to date, with 23 interactive football playing boxes, 35% more than the first venue at The O2. Taking occupancy in the site previously home to Debenhams, TOCA Social Birmingham will feature 4 bars across 2 floors.

As the market’s only experience solely based around the sport, Harman adds that the immersive football and dining experience is “unique within the industry.”

“Football is the nation’s favourite sport, yet most fans rarely kick a ball. We believe there is a huge opportunity for us to engage people actively in football, as TOCA is accessible and fun for everyone, regardless of age, gender, physical or skill ability.”

An innovative food offering is also something he feels helps the business stand out: “People typically associate football with bad food, but we are going above and beyond to turn this stereotype on its head - serving delicious, creative, high-quality food and drinks, that are way better than you would typically expect at an experience venue like ours.

“Not only does this improve our business, but it helps to attract a broader audience of people who might not have considered themselves football fans.”


Currently, roughly half of guests are from the ‘experience generation’ of millennials and Gen Z, coming for social night outs, says Harman, with the next two biggest markets being corporate events and families, making up roughly a quarter of visitation.

To keep the concept fresh for these consumers, the business has intentionally created a scalable games platform where it can continually update games and features over time.

“We launched a new game called Zombie Attack last year, which is already our most popular, and we plan to launch many more games in months and years to come,” he adds.