The Campaign for Real Ale’s Pub of the Year 2011, the Harp in Covent Garden, saw trade return to normal last week after reporting a 20% drop in week one. However, owner Bridget Walsh put this down to the Great British Beer Festival rather than the Olympics.
She said: “Trade picked up last week because of the festival — I know because of the volume of beer we sold. The Olympics had no impact.”
Sabine von Reth founder and owner of the Bavarian Beerhouse said that the Old Street branch saw sales drop by 80% in two weeks. She said: “Usually on a Saturday we have 300 bookings, but on 4 August we had just 26.”
A survey of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers revealed that three-quarters of operators reported like-for-like sales were down on the previous year, with in excess of a third saying sales were more than 10% adrift and more than 20% in central London. The survey was conducted in the first week of the games and included eight operators with over 1,000 pubs.
Deliveries over the Olympics went to plan with little disruption, although some logistics teams reported volumes down by up to 60%, according to Brewery Logistics chairman Mike Bracey. He put it down to Londoners leaving the city, following Transport for London’s advice to work from home. Pubs near Olympic venues, though, continued to see a massive boost in sales