Food For Thought: Olympic Legacy
Despite the less-than-impressive weather for much of July and August, for two weeks this summer Great Britain basked in the halcyon glow of our most golden Olympics in over half a century.
Talk about climate change, this summer saw the notoriously reserved people in our glorious capital break down barriers and enjoy the festival atmosphere as a community. Our cultural climate appeared to have shifted fundamentally, with people actively lauding British sporting successes rather than tutting disappointedly at the Ashes, or throwing away their souvenir Wimbledon towel in abject disgust.
The question remains, however: how can this brief period of national jubilation translate into the lasting legacy so often mentioned by politicians, sportsmen and the Olympic organising committee? It is clear that the ripple from these Games must extend far further than the Olympic Park, weaving a culture of sporting excellence and national pride into the very fabric of British society, including our catering and hospitality industries.
In an age when finding features to differentiate your business from your competitors can make the difference between success and failure, it would be a shame not to take advantage of the post-Olympiad atmosphere and think about some ways in which you can help stoke the sporting fires. Perhaps a country pub with a Boots and Bikes cleaning service for those intrepid mountaineers, or a secure cycle lock-up for more active city-folk. Hotels can run sports days or, if they lack the grounds, offer jogging tours of the local area.
Sporting influence can also extend its reach to your menus: perhaps point out the muscle-building properties of theprotein, iron and zinc found in your best British steak; or the boost to anaerobic exercises like sprinting and weightlifting which a large Americano coffee (with an extra shot, naturally) can provide.
Are we entering a new Golden Age for Britain? With a record Olympics haul, and three of the top 50 restaurants in the world, one could certainly be forgiven for thinking so. Perhaps an across-the-board sweep of top international accolades is rather too much to ask but, as Mother used to say, there’s no point in aiming for second place.