- Published on Friday, 13 July 2012 11:07
- Written by Carol Emmas
London sommeliers gearing up for the Olympics are concerned about how traffic congestion may not just affect deliveries, but bookings as well.
Francois Bertrand, group head sommelier at MARC restaurants, thinks London Transport will be "chaotic" and is fine-tuning the logistical side of the operation, but thinks the business may not be as busy as people anticipate.
"I think London will be in complete chaos in terms of transport. But we have to bear in mind that events at the stadium don't finish until 10pm, so it might even be that restaurants don't get a massive amount of business on the back of it."
Bertrand says it will order around 20%-25% more beverages than normal, but estimates there will be an uplift in trade of around 15%.
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay has stocked up ahead of the games but is preparing to have to make allowances around bookings.
Jan Konetzk, head sommelier, said: "We are expecting travelling to be an issue and hope guests will allow more time for the journey to and from the restaurant.
"In terms of ordering more wine we realise deliveries are going to be difficult, so we have already filled the cellars and have taken advantage of those suppliers that have offered to take back any unsold stock after the games."
Henry John of Vivas said it will be interesting to see whether there will be any net gain from tourists. "I know a lot of London residents have chosen to stay away during the games or are avoiding the centre of town, and many are choosing to work from home rather than face the traffic.
"People are anticipating the London network route is going to be a bit of a nightmare. We really don't know what to expect, I think the key here is ‘flexibility'. We have certainly put everyone on flexible working and are continuing to talk to and advise customers about their concerns."