Restaurants Association of Ireland calls for the crisis shortage of chefs to be tackled in Budget 2015

• Shortage of Chefs has now reached crisis levels, and threatens the success of the Tourism Industry.
• The RAI is also proposing 1000 work place apprenticeships for the Restaurant Sector.
• VAT rate of 9% must be retained to 2020 to ensure continued job growth in tourism.
• Overheads must be reduced and regulatory burdens relieved for restaurants.
• Reduce the Current Rate of Excise Duty on Wine to encourage spend in restaurants

The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) today launched its Pre- Budget Submission 2015. “A Progressive Plan to retain current effective measures in Government, maintain and grow employment in the restaurant industry, and sustain economic competitiveness in Ireland.”
Shortage of Chefs
RAI CEO Adrian Cummins says “there is now a crisis in the shortage of chefs in the country, and an investment in training is needed. An immediate training fund needs to be made available to employers so that the huge demand for chefs of all grades can be met.”

Speaking on the crisis, Chief Executive Adrian Cummins said “We’ve been trying to provide a solution to the problem since April 2012 but it hasn’t been heard. The problem is getting worse day by day”.
VAT rate of 9% must be retained until 2020.

  • Since the VAT cut 34,000 Jobs were created in Tourism & Restaurants.

Regarding the 9% VAT rate, Chief Executive Adrian Cummins warned that it is critical that the reduced VAT rate is kept in place for until 2020, in order for the Irish economy to remain competitive.
“When the economy went into decline, restaurants endured falling numbers of diners, rising prices and great financial uncertainty, with many having to close their businesses. Money generated by this reduced VAT rate, however, has kick-started a reversal of fortunes.
Since the VAT cut, employment in the restaurant and tourism sector increased by approximately 23, 324 direct jobs with an additional 10, 728 indirect jobs which gives a total employment increase of 34.052. This growth will continue if VAT at 9% remains in effect” said Adrian Cummins.
Adrian Cummins CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, says that the VAT rate is crucial to the survival of restaurants the length and breadth of the country. “Restaurateurs are entrepreneurs; the government needs to be reminded of that. When a restaurant opens or expands, they will create several jobs and generate business for the area and their suppliers. Restaurants all over Ireland are relying on the VAT to remain at 9% for the survival of their business.”
The Irish restaurant industry employs 72,000 people (1 in 4 tourism jobs) and contributes €2 billion to the Irish economy each year.
• Irish restaurateurs pay the highest catering wage rate in Europe
• Ireland has the highest excise duty on wines in Europe
• Irish food costs inputs are 18% above the European average
(‘Cost of Food Preparation Report’, commissioned by Fáilte Ireland)

The Restaurants Association of Ireland’s Proactive Plan to maintain and grow employment in industry:

1. Shortage of Chefs threatens the success of Tourism Industry Recovery

• The shortage of chefs throughout the country has reached crisis point, where it will even threaten the success of Tourism Industry Recovery.

• The Restaurants Association of Ireland is calling for investment in training to be offset against employer’s PRSI.
• The RAI is also proposing 1000 work place apprenticeships for the Restaurant Sector. Participants in the Restaurant Apprenticeship Scheme should be allowed access training allowances equal to those given to Solas apprentices.
2. Retention of VAT at 9% an introduction of a Composite Rate of VAT

• Since the reduction of the VAT rate for the tourism industry, we have created 34,000 jobs- and the number would have been higher if we had access to chefs to fill the needs of the industry. The decision to retain rate of VAT to 9% for tourism products would provide a much needed boost for the sector by allowing restaurants and cafés to create jobs.
• The RAI would also propose an introduction of composite VAT rates on dining out. An introduction of a composite system for determining the VAT Rate applicable on a meal i.e. if food represents more than two thirds of the total value of a meal, a VAT rate of 9% should apply to the whole meal.

3. Reduce the Current Rate of Excise Duty to encourage spend in restaurants

• The savage increase in Excise Duty in Budget 2014 has crippled many restaurants. The RAI is calling for the current rate of Excise Duty to be reduced.
• Tourists and Irish consumers compare Irish prices with those in other tourist destinations, e.g. Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and France, where there is no duty on wine. Wine served with a meal in a restaurant should attract the rate of 9% VAT applicable to food in restaurants.
• The Association believes that any possible increase in excise duty should be levied towards below cost selling of alcohol in off-licenses and supermarkets and feel this reduction will impact on excessive unregulated home drinking as well as encouraging sensible drinking in a regulated environment.
• The Government should re-enforce the code of practise in the responsible Sale of Alcohol, and thereby discourage a nation of ‘handbag drinkers’.

4. Reduction of Overheads and Regulatory Burdens

• The Restaurants Association of Ireland is calling on the Government to lighten the regulatory load on all SMEs. Restaurants deal with, on average, twenty-five different agencies and authorities in the day-to-day running of their business.
• Ireland is the most expensive country in Europe to run a restaurant.
• Waste licence fee has increased from €1200 to €4000, with the average restaurant paying €6254 in waste charges.
• In a recent survey carried out by the Restaurants Association of Ireland, it was found that a restaurant in Ireland pays on average €15,813 per year on their Annual Rates.
• Create a Business Inspection and Licensing Authority that absorbs the existing business inspection activities of the Health and Safety Authority, and the National Consumer Agency.
• Create a single food safety monitoring agency, building on the existing Food Safety Authority, responsible for food safety inspection from farm to fork.

Comments are closed.