Restaurant and Hospitality Sector cautiously welcomes the Government’s announcement regarding the easing of COVID restrictions

The Restaurant Association of Ireland has cautiously welcomed the Government’s latest announcement regarding the entitled “Reframing the Challenge, Continuing Our Recovery and Reconnecting” plan.

Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland Adrian Cummins said, “The announcement made this evening by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin T.D. goes a long way in terms of outlining a roadmap for the restaurant and hospitality sector with the provision of key dates, metrics and targets, but work must be done regarding business supports for an industry economically flattened since March 2020.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland has continuously called for a structured, clear and transparent reopening plan which includes continuing supports for survival. With over 50% of restaurants on the verge of collapse a plan would give hope and confidence to a sector effectively closed for over 18 months.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland is calling on the Government to continue to engage in constructive dialogue to give hope and assurance for the thousands of businesses who are trying to maintain the viability and plan a way forward for their enterprises and hundreds of thousands of workers within the sector. The Tourism Sector which restaurants and hospitality are a significant part of employed pre-pandemic over 265,000 people & contributed €9.2 Billion to the economy. A sector with such significance to the overall economy must continue to receive supports to survive until trading levels can return with the resumption of international tourism and lifting of all trading current restrictions.

The immediate priority asks for the survival of the Restaurant and Hospitality Sector now are:

Financial Supports

  • Wage Supports – continuation of EWSS at current rates to June 2022.
  • CRSS – continuation of scheme for hospitality following reopening of indoor dining.
  • Commercial Rates Waiver – must be extended for Hospitality into Q1 2022
  • 9% VAT Rate – extension until 2025 to support businesses now and tender for future international tourism and be competitive.
  • Stay & Spend Scheme – immediate review and redrafting of the scheme – real time voucher needed and must be applicable for all citizens.

Recruitment & Retention

  • Streamlining and prioritising of work permits and visa process for staff.
  • Establish a National Tourism & Hospitality Training Body
  • Immediate equitable funding of Culinary Apprenticeships as outlined in Apprenticeship Action plan

Medium term supports needed

  • Representation of food and drink sectors of hospitality of State Boards and Authorities
  • Insurance Reform – as Members of the Alliance for Insurance Reform we are asking for legislative changes and reform.
  • Tourism Budget – an increase in the Budget for 2022 that impacts directly upon tourism and hospitality businesses in real time and does not get lost in State Agencies.
  • Licencing Review and plan for the development of the Night-time Economy

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