2018 WC menu in Kazan: khachapuri with ostrich egg and football ball made of chak-chak

Restaurateurs prepare a especial treat and learn languages for the tournament’s guests

2018 WC menu in Kazan: khachapuri with ostrich egg and football ball made of chak-chak Photo: Kamil Ismailov

''Iranians don't ask a separate halal menu and stay with families, while French people book single rooms more,'' hoteliers and restaurateurs revealed the specifics of national hospitability on the threshold of the 2018 WC on 6 May. An average occupancy of hotels already exceeds 70%. Cafes and restaurants, in turn, are ready to provide a special menu. Realnoe Vremya found about the readiness of hotels and public catering points to receive foreign guests.

''We try to provide just one page of halal menu''

Kazan restaurateurs got a 30% discount to rent territories for summer cafes and verandas next to restaurants from the city administration by the Football World Cup.

''We are preparing and concern a lot. We will host the Football WC for the first time in history of the USSR and Russia. Every restaurant, café tries to prepare the menu creatively,'' said chairman of the board of the Association of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers of Kazan and Tatarstan Zufar Gayazov.

For instance, the menu in the chain of cafes Khinkalnaya will provide a menu in the English, Spanish, Korean languages. A highlight for Australian fans was prepared – khachapuri with an ostrich egg. Some of the public catering points, such as Tale café, joined the WC by just making a menu, whileTatar Mansion will make it not only in English, German, Spanish but also in Farsi for Iranian fans. They will organise a show during the matches, while guests will be able to taste ''football balls'' made of the main Tatar treat – chak-chak. So-called themed tables will be in halls of big cafes and restaurants. But we need to wait for the beginning of the competition to know how they will look.

''Mega has a big complex with a food court. The management of Mega turned to Sergey Ivanov (Editor's Note: chairman of the Tatarstan State Committee for Tourism) to attract a part of the fans there because the parking zone is very big, the restaurants are very good,'' said Zufar Gayazov.

''We will host the Football WC for the first time in history of the USSR and Russia. Every restaurant, café tries to prepare the menu creatively,'' says Zufar Gayazov. Photo: Maksim Platonov

In his opinion, the opening of the Kaban Embankment on 1 June will enable to smartly distribute tourist flows. It turned out there weren't many wishes from tourists.

''The Iranians don't require a separate halal menu during the check-in. But we try to provide just one page. It's not easy to offer a completely halal menu, there is a big number of conditions, while one page is quite possible,'' admitted President of the Association of Hotels of Kazan and the Republic of Tatarstan Gulnara Safina.

Big number of Frenchmen and Iranians

An average occupancy of hotels in Kazan during the 2018 Football WC already exceeds 70%. In addition, depending on the match day and teams who will perform, more accurate data is different.

''The first match is France vs Australia, a very big number of Frenchmen is expected on the match day. On 16 June, the occupancy of hotels is 59-65%. They prefer to book singles. There are fewer Australians at the moment,'' noticed Gulnara Safina.

The game between Iran and Spain on 20 June is less attractive for Spanish fans now, which can't be said about their rivals. ''They book in advance, mainly from 17 to 21 June. The occupancy of hotels on those days is already 72-95%. The Iranians, unlike the same Frenchmen, are going to come with families, ask additional beds. Double, triple, quadruple bedrooms are very popular,'' the head of the association announced the statistics.

According to Gulnara Safina, An average occupancy of hotels in Kazan during the 2018 Football WC already exceeds 70%. Photo: Maksim Platonov

By the next match between Poland and Colombia, on 24 June, the hotels are 75-85% full. There is a big number of fans from Europe, while the quantity of South American colleagues is much smaller now. The last game on 27 June between South Korea and Germany already shows interest in hotels equal to 72-85%. There are significantly more European fans than from South Korea. Kazan will host another two matches – 1/8 and 1/4 finals. Even if the participants aren't known now, the occupancy of hotels shows real records – 53-60% in the 1/8 finals and 94% in the 1/4 finals. And an average occupancy on these days, before and after them is already about 79-85%.

''There are many bookings from Brazil on these days. They probably know they will be in the final,'' joked Gulnara Safina.

And who precisely will be living in a place and their exact number will be known right before the guests' arrival.

New organisation of tourist flow routes

For easy parking of buses with tourists, tourist flows were deliberately examined in the Committee for Tourism Development of Kazan. It was corrected somewhere to avoid violations. Not only Kazan but even neighbouring regions prepare for the big flow.

''The main load will be in Kazan, of course. But Mamadysh, Yelabuga are also preparing. Even rival cities are preparing, for instance, Ulyanovsk,'' emphasised Gulnara Safina.

And the ratio of Russian and foreign fans isn't in favour of our compatriots. According to Safina, the latter account for about 30% of all booked rooms, while the foreigners are 70%. It's no surprise that employees must have English skills.

For easy parking of buses with tourists, tourist flows were deliberately examined in the Committee for Tourism Development of Kazan. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

''Language skills are checked during the classification of places of accommodation. But now it's not possible to make the whole personnel, including, for example, maids, technical staff answer in a foreign language,'' admitted Safina. She offered to use the hand language or special electronic applications. As for reception, these employees certainly speak a foreign language. The city administration of Kazan, in turn, offered cafes and restaurants free English language courses. ''I'm sure, those who were interested in it, enrolled beforehand and came,'' Zufar Gayazov added.

By Yulia Kosolapkina
Tatarstan