Star Pubs & Bars, the Heineken-owned leased pub operator, has begun a £1.8m programme to prepare 100 of its pubs for the football World Cup.

Of the 100 projects, 55 of those at pubs with a reputation for sport are being fast tracked to be ready in time for the tournament, which begins in June. The remainder will be completed by the end of that month.

Along with the refurbishments will be a host of internal improvements ranging from redecorating to adding new services such as a premium coffee offer or extending their menus.

Star Pubs & Bars has also issued best practice guidance to all lessees on how to drive footfall and increase customer spend through televised sport. Posters have also been created for lessees to personalise with their food and drink offers.

Chris Jowsey, Star Pubs & Bars Trading Director, said: “A pub’s external appearance is vital, it is the shop window of the pub. Based on that, passing potential customers will make a split second decision on everything inside from the cleanliness of the toilets to the quality of the food and drink and even the warmth of the welcome they are likely to get.

“Maintaining pub buildings is costly but is essential for business success and by undertaking the work in the Spring it enables lessees to reap the benefits over the summer.

“Customers in pubs across the UK can raise a pint to the Government’s decision to relax the licensing hours for England’s World Cup matches. The next best thing to being at a match is watching sport in the pub and it gives a real reason for people to come together to eat, drink and hopefully celebrate England’s success in their local pub. The World Cup is a fantastic opportunity to boost trade and we want to help our lessees make the most of it.