While eateries in the West End reported an early 'Ghost Town' effect due to the sporting spectacle and one City restaurateur even landed the Mayor with a bill for lost trade, Barber's Brasilian BBQ restaurant catered for 10,080 diners in the 140-cover Stratford venue in just seven days.
Speaking to BigHospitality, Barber explained the site was the highest grossing restaurant per square foot in Westfield Stratford during the concluding Olympic week.
"I think we will get a very big spike during the Paralympics - they have sold two million tickets and there is going to be a lot of activity," Barber said as he explained why he believed the boost in trade for Stratford would outlive London 2012.
"I think the best thing for Westfield about the Olympics is that a lot of people have visited the centre for the first time and realised it is a lot nearer than they thought. When you say Stratford to a lot of people they think it is miles away but people are now making return visits."
Stratford making strides
Cabana was not the only hospitality business that saw a boost in business due to its location close to the Olympic Park:
- In its half-year financial results last week Westfield revealed 5.5m visits were made to its Stratford centre during the Games.
- Sales in pubs in the area doubled on average in the two-week period.
- Pop-up pub The Podium Bar catered for between two to three thousand customers each day during the two weeks.
- The Stratford site for expanding restaurant group T.G.I. Friday's experienced record sales in the first Olympic week - its highest since the restaurant opened last year.
- The new owners of The King Edward VII pub told BigHospitality the Games were not expected to have a major impact for them on footfall but said they hoped more people would visit the area after London 2012.
Barber also gave an update on the planned rollout for the Cabana brand revealing he and business partner David Ponte last week completed the acquisition of the Del'Aziz deli and restaurant in Westfield London.
The first new site since the team secured financing to develop new openings, Cabana in Westfield London will follow the Sao Paulo-influenced design of the first two restaurants in Westfield Stratford and Central St. Giles. Future openings may be inspired by Rio de Janeiro or the Bahia states.
The venue will serve around 145 covers; increasing the size from the 130 covers Del'Aziz currently caters for.
Meanwhile Sweet Potato, Barber's restaurant group, is actively looking for the fourth and fifth sites in London for the brand although the recently-secured financing does not contain any targets or obligations for the speed of new openings.