LONDON -- With both the Summer Olympics and Paralympics now over, Simply Drinks, a London-based vending company specializing in hot beverage equipment, said its service during the Games "ran like clockwork."
Because many of its customers are based either in central London, near Olympic sites or on restricted traffic transport routes, Simply Drinks worked for months to put a plan in place to ensure that its machines functioned effectively despite the wave of road closures, influx of visitors and unusual staff working patterns during the Summer Olympics, which ran July 27-Aug. 12 and Paralympic Games, which were held Aug. 29-Sept. 9.
The vending company said it supplied product in advance to many customers to make sure they had enough stock onsite to sustain them during key periods of the Games. It also started vending rounds very early in the morning before road closures and scheduled more of its vending staff to work night shifts when possible.
"Many of the staff in the banks and the big institutions were allowed to work from home, organize teleconferences and phone calls rather than face-to-face meetings and work flexible hours," said Simply Drinks operations manager Steve Allanson. "A lot of our vending customers also encouraged their staff to take annual leave during the Olympics. This meant that the demands on our vending machines weren't as high as normal. In fact, in the city, it was quite quiet."
He added that the worst day for vending machine operations and servicing was when the parade was held at the end of the Olympics. "The parade hadn't been planned so it took us a bit by surprise. We had meticulously planned for everything else as we knew it was going to happen," Allanson said. "So the parade did cause us upheaval on that day. But we're not complaining. We all had a great Olympics and our Olympic vending plan worked without a hitch!"