More than a third (37 per cent) of London-based businesses, including restaurants, hotels, and pubs, have said they will stockpile non-perishable goods in preparation for the London 2012 Olympics to help reduce deliveries made during the Games.
With road closures across the capital planned to allow officials and athletes easy access to the Games, operators of businesses have been warned by Transport for London (TfL) to expect disruption to deliveries and plan accordingly.
Now, a survey of 1,000 businesses across the capital by TfL shows that many (59 per cent) will be reducing normal deliveries during that time with 20 per cent, including the London branch of The Living Room, creating a temporary stock room to house goods bought in advance.
The restaurant and bar group has increased its usual order of non-perishable goods such as straws, napkins and crockery for its Heddon Street branch by 35 per cent which it will store in a temporary space in its basement to ensure it has enough during the Games period.
While it would be difficult for restaurants, hotels and pubs to store fresh goods in advance of the games, TfL has highlighted the steps some businesses will be taking to ensure daily deliveries still reach them.
Vegetarian restaurant Tibits, also in Heddon Street, is part of the 8 per cent of businesses who are working with neighbouring businesses during the Games to help share deliveries and reduce the amount of freight using London's roads.
Manager Edmund Farrow told BigHospitality he had teamed up with the neighbouring Ice Bar to co-ordinate deliveries where goods are used in both and will share staff to receive them.
He said: “We’ve been planning for the Games for the last six months. During that time, we’ve kept a diary of deliveries and collections we received which has given us a clearer picture on how to plan for this summer. We spoke to all our suppliers and neighbours to see what their plans were at Games-time.
"By sharing deliveries of goods, such as beer, wine, fresh fruit and vegetables, we can reduce our deliveries and potential disruption. We also calculated how much extra space we’d need to stockpile larger items, such as canned goods and pasta.”
Ben Plowden, director of planning at TfL surface transport said roads in central London were expected to be 'exceptionally busy' during the event, so businesses needed to make moves to help reduce traffic.
He said: "Freight accounts for 25 per cent of traffic in central London, so it’s encouraging to see that so many businesses are considering steps to reduce deliveries. Some companies are even sharing resources with neighbouring companies, which might be something that businesses would continue to benefit from after the Games have finished.”
Reduce, re-route, re-time - what are hospitality businesses doing?
- The Dorchester, which usually receives up to 60 deliveries a day between 7.30am and 3pm carried out a trial in October last year, receiving deliveries between 10pm and 6am. The trial was considered a success and it is considering doing the same for the Games period
- The Swan at the Globe in Southwark trialled a delivery of its beer kegs at 6am for a week in November. Although not on the Olympic Route Network, the bar and restaurant's usual twice weekly beer delivery takes place between 8am and 10am, expected to be a busy time of the day during the Games period.
- Tibits in Piccadilly is sharing some deliveries with a neighbouring bar and has created extra space in its stock room to store dried goods and drinks.