Blog written by Autumn Faust, Product Data Coordinator at Central
With the Olympic opening ceremonies just around the corner, millions around the world are preparing to cheer on their home countries. London has just a little more to prepare for as they are hosting the 2012 Olympic Games. This will be their third time hosting; their last time being in 1948.
Due to the economic climate and post World-War II rationing, the usual extravaganza the Games bring was noticeably missing. Consequently, those Games became known as the “Austerity Games.” This year’s Olympics may not be serving as an equalizer after years of World War, but London is facing another challenge.
Considered the largest, peace-time catering operation in the world, they now have their chance to showcase to the world their local fare. Not only will all eyes be on London, but all taste buds as well.
The 2012 London Olympic bid promised a “memorable occasion that will make a positive impact before, during and beyond the main event.” This must encompass what food is served and how it is served during the Games.
It is estimated 14 million meals at over 40 locations will be served during the Olympics. This creates an immense challenge to deliver award winning food while keeping true to London’s sustainability promise.
Simply a tastier, healthier and greener Games.
Five themes with various objectives and commitments were outlined to help the food establishments of London adhere to the city’s promise.
Ensure exemplary standards of food safety and hygiene at all Games venues
Develop and apply robust traceability procedures
Manage the risk of targeted, malicious contamination of food supply
Choice and Balance
Ensure there is a diverse range of food and beverage for all customers, catering for all dietary and cultural requirements, that are high quality, value for money and accessible
Provide access to free drinking water at all Games venues
Provide a range of healthy and nutritious options for all customer groups
Effective use of vending services
Food Sourcing and Supply Chains
Support the delivery of safe food across the Games
Ensure food and beverage products are sourced with regard to high benchmark and aspirational environmental, ethical and animal welfare standards
Support a broad supply chain including smaller scale, British, regional and local enterprises
Optimize supply of catering equipment
Maximize energy and water efficiency of catering equipment
Zero waste direct to landfill during Games time
70% waste reused, recycled
Minimize carbon emissions
Skills and Education
100% catering staff to receive minimum ‘Games’ training
Use games as a live case study for students
Target host boroughs for recruitment into hospitality training
Encourage and support innovative partnerships between catering and organizations and colleges
The Games provide an unparalleled opportunity to showcase the substantial and diverse hospitality career opportunities available
Develop quality credit framework to formulate sustainable catering study module
London was announced as the winning bid for hosting the Games in 2005. Seven years of hard work and planning will come together beginning this Friday, July 27. With the limited amount of time the Olympics run, there is only one chance to get the food right. While we’ll be cheering on our American athletes, we’ll definitely be rooting for London to “wow” the world with their 2012 Food Vision.
In an AP article on the Boston.com website, it looks like there may be hope for gas prices this summer. According to the article, there was a decrease in the price of oil, therefore gas prices “likely won’t set any records this summer.” Low gas prices are good for the economy; the lower/more consistent gas prices are, the more people are willing to spend on other things such as going out to restaurants. So if gas prices can stay consistent throughout the summer, it can only help the restaurant industry’s good numbers continue on a positive track. Read the full article on Boston.com.
Spring: ‘Tis the Season of Gift Cards From Nation’s Restaurant News, Read Article
Spring is graduation season, which means many families will be heading out to a restaurant to celebrate. But it isn’t only graduation season, there is Mother’s Day and Father’s Day too. NRN explained many of the nation’s top restaurant chains are capitalizing on this opportunity by promoting the use of gift cards with incentives such as a free menu item or bounce-back coupon. Read full article on the NRN website.
Budweiser’s Design Change to Bottles From HuffPost Food, Read Article
For a limited time, Budweiser bottles will move away from their traditional design and will have a red, white and blue theme as a part of an initiative with the Folds of Honor Foundation. HuffPost Food reported a portion of sales from May 20 through July 7 (up to $2.5 million) will be donated to Folds of Honor. Read full article and check out the new design on HuffPost Food.
National Restaurant Association Show: Recap From Central Restaurant Products, Read Article
The National Restaurant Association Show was held from May 5-8 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. It’s a huge event that had over 1,800 exhibitors of the foodservice and hospitality industry. All the latest and greatest were there from innovative equipment and supplies to incredibly delicious foods. It’s an event for everyone in the industry to gain more product knowledge, network and of course, try amazing food. Check out a photo slideshow of Central’s visit and read our show recap.
Mother’s Day Restaurant Specials
We looked all over the web to find some of the deals going on this weekend for moms on Mother’s Day. If your restaurant has any special plans or promotions, please share with everyone below!
When the NBA lockout ended on Thursday December 8, it wasn’t just a relief for the NBA and basketball fans, but also for those in the hospitality industry who have been heavily impacted due to the loss of sales.
Restaurants alone saw losses anywhere from 15 to 70 percent. Some more, some less. In result, the NBA lockout made it tough for those restaurants who highly benefit from or depend on the business the NBA games bring in.
Back in September, when it was just a threat games could have been cancelled, it really made those in the industry nervous—but they held on with hope an agreement would have been met and the season would go on as planned.
However by October, it really started to settle in the hospitality industry was in for a bumpy ride as cancelled games would cause a domino effect.
The Domino Effect
Image by Taylor Schlades on MorgueFile.com
All those who benefit from NBA games such as hotels, arena staff and restaurants had to quickly learn how to cope with such a large loss of sales.
To take a second to focus on one piece of the hospitality industry puzzle, restaurants, not having basketball meant there would not be any customers to come in and watch those games. It also meant there would not be any customers coming in before or after games either.
The domino effect made it hard for restaurants. All over the country, management had to make cuts and tough decisions. Some had to cut hours while others had to lay off employees.
Also, lower restaurant sales meant they weren’t spending money either on things like food or supplies.
Wise’s statement held true. The longer the lockout went on, the more restaurants hurt.
Feeling the Effects
Image by Alvimann on MorgueFile.com
Due to the lockout, restaurants struggled in two ways. First, the loss of sales—which was immediate and in-the-moment. Then second, it was also stressful because they had to start planning how to pull through what could have possibly been a season without any NBA games.
There is never an ideal time to cut hours or layoff staff, but it’s extremely tough to let employees go before and during the holiday season—which was a decision many restaurants were faced with.
On a Larger Scale
Moving passed just restaurants to describe how the entire hospitality industry was affected, Wise described the domino effect as “Titanic-esque,” a tidal wave ripple effect felt across the country and also in our economy.
“This is not exaggerated or over-stated,” Wise said. “The number of employees at each arena affected with no job, all the retail, hotels and restaurants surrounding each arena that had to lay people off.”
Image by Scott Liddell on MorgueFile.com
He then mentioned the other aspects to consider such as sales tax, employment tax and the income tax lost from players, employees and customer purchases.
For Wise’s locations, he had lost sales but was able to survive the losses by using other restaurant profits to offset—however, he said small businesses would not have been able to do that.
“How would that then affect bankruptcies, unemployment benefits, banks, government, etc? Titanic ripple effects.”
So in the end, the NBA lockout has affected more than just the NBA itself. Thankfully things can start to get back to normal for the hospitality industry, but this will definitely be a time they will never forget and hope never happens again.