Catering equipment suppliers fear delivery chaos

Catering equipment suppliers are gearing up for major disruptions to their business when the Olympic Games finally get underway at the end of this month.

Temporary changes to the road network, particularly in London, could create a headache for suppliers and distributors trying to deliver commercial equipment to customer sites.

Distributor CS Catering Equipment has warned its customers that delivery delays during both the Olympics Games (27/07-12/08) and Paralympics Games (29/08-09/09) are inevitable in certain parts of the country.

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“We anticipate the whole country to be extremely busy before and during these periods and if your business is near one of the event arenas there will be delays with all orders sent during these periods,” the company stated.

Leeds-based CS, which has been trading for more than 10 years, says that local road closures and security checks are set to be the most likely reason for equipment not being delivered time.

It admits it will be impossible to guarantee normal delivery schedules of any order while the Games are on.

CS’ concerns mirror those raised by other catering equipment companies that are warning customers to anticipate disruptions to regular services.

Scotsman Ice Systems recently said that anybody looking to replace or service an ice machine during the lead up to and the duration of the Olympics may find that normal services are hindered by travel and security obstacles.

“Even though we will all try our best to look after our long-term customers, it would be wise of anyone identifying a potential shortfall in their ice-making capacity to address the problem sooner rather than later and consider early maintenance,” stated commercial director Chris Davis at the time.

Customers most vulnerable to delivery delays would appear to be those based inside so-called ‘lockdown areas’, where every delivery must undergo a security check and additional restrictions are in place.

CS admits these measures will prevent its engineers from being able to attend any breakdowns in lockdown zones, but says that it will still have its full contingent of technical staff working round the clock during the Games.

It has advised customers urgently requiring any items to place their orders before the restrictions come into force.

Transport for London has been running an awareness programme to help companies manage their delivery schedules during the Games over recent months.

It notes that road restrictions across the capital won’t just affect the Olympic Stadium site in Stratford is located, but Hyde Park, Horse Guards Parade, Lord’s Cricket, Ground, Earls Court and Wembley Stadium, where events are also taking place.

It adds that affected areas across include the UK include Weymouth, Portland and Eton Dorney.

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