London Olympics preparations on track for hospitality businesses

By Becky Paskin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Olympic games, 2012 summer olympics

Hospitality operators need to start getting ready for the 2012 London Olympic Games now
Hospitality operators need to start getting ready for the 2012 London Olympic Games now
Most hospitality, travel and leisure businesses believe they are on track with their preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games, although half claim staff availability for the event is a major challenge.

While 55 per cent of businesses say they are ready for the Olympics, 37 per cent claim to be behind where they should be, a study by Deloitte shows.

According to the business advisory firms Games Readiness research, the number of businesses better prepared now than a year ago has grown by 23 per cent.

“London 2012 represents a significant and very timely opportunity for most UK travel, hospitality and leisure operators,” said Graham Pickett, head of travel, hospitality and tourism at Deloitte.

“Next year is going to remain very challenging and whilst the Games will not provide all the answers, it is an opportunity few can afford to ignore. VisitBritain estimates the potential additional spending by visitors resulting from the Games at more than £2bn. The number of visitors arriving into the UK for London 2012 will be unprecedented.”

Despite expecting around 380,000 visitors for the London Olympic Games in July next year, just 14 per cent of businesses said they planned to alter their staffing levels to cope, despite 49 per cent claiming the availability of staff during the period to be their biggest challenge.

“Most operators in the sector are heavily dependent on the ability of staff to be in a certain location and are vulnerable if there is any disruption in the supply chain,” Pickett added.

“Having the sufficient levels of staff in place to manage passenger and visitor expectations will be essential and I would urge businesses in the travel, hospitality and leisure sector to act now to ensure they are ready to receive their customers and guests. London 2012 is an immovable deadline and businesses in this sector must recognise that they now need to act quickly to make the most of the opportunity.”

Contingency plan

In anticipation of a disruption to supply, 39 per cent of businesses have or intend to review their crisis response plans while a fifth plan to increase stock levels or capacity.

Just 18 per cent of businesses intend to operate longer opening hours during the Games.

Deborah Griffin, travel sector lead at Deloitte, said: “It is encouraging to find so many companies in the sector taking the Games seriously and making plans to take advantage of the opportunities it presents.

“The benefits of hosting London 2012 are not confined to the capital either. Innovative thinking will be needed by many businesses in the sector to ensure they capture demand that may be different to that which they would normally expect. Leisure instead of business visitors will have different needs and spending patterns which will need to be catered for.”

If you’re looking to begin an Olympic Games recruitment campaign for your restaurant, pub or hotel make sure you get in contact with our recruitment experts at BigHospitality Jobs​. Call Jo Charity on 01293 610386 or email jo.charity(at)wrbm.com

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