Catering Consultant – ‘Strong’ summer for London Attractions

An “unprecedented number of visits” have been reported across London’s visitor attractions over the summer according to research carried out across over 30 attractions by London and Partners, the capital’s promotional agency.

The study identified that the total number of visits reached 4.47 million in July, a 12.7% increase on the same period in 2010. Those benefiting the most were free attractions, with visitor numbers increasing by 18% compared to those in 2010.

While our own observations across the attractions that we have been working with supports this overall trend, we have seen slightly more mixed fortunes with both outdoor and indoor attractions experiencing very inconsistent day-to-day visitor numbers. One of our clients told us that the peak days had exceeded summer peaks for all previous years. However, they were often followed by days with some of the lowest footfall. Her view was that on the wet days their attraction was benefiting considerably from those visitors that may have been enjoying more outdoor related activity had the weather been kind on those days. With the weather being so inconsistent this summer, the impact had been contrasting peaks and troughs in visitor numbers from one day to the next.

Such inconsistencies create unique challenges for venues, especially, ensuing that visitors receive a consistent experience from the visitor catering. Above exponential growth from one day to the next may sound attractive in terms of increased numbers of visitors and hence potential catering customers. However, it not only creates unique problems on the peak days in terms of availability of space and seating, staffing and supply issues, it also creates unique challenges on the subsequent quieter days.

A number of our clients have told us that their research has identified that visit decisions are often made the day prior to a planned excursion, based upon the weather report for the following day. Putting aside that weather predictions are not always accurate, one days notice is often not sufficient to plan for the following day, especially when it comes to staffing.

We have been supporting a number of organisations with initiatives to manage peaks and troughs within their visitor catering. If you would like an informal discussion as to how we could support your business, please contact us.

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Posted on September 30th, 2011