Welcome to the December edition of Bord Bia's Ireland Market Foodservice Newsletter.
Bord Bia is currently finalising details of our 2017 Supplier Development Programmes – two separate initiatives that will be run in partnership with Musgrave Wholesale Partners and KSG. For anyone that is interested in learning more about either programme at this stage, please contact me directly on email@example.com
GENERAL INDUSTRY NEWS
Growth forecasts revised down, but positive jobs outlook
www.ibec.ie – 12.12.2016
Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, published its Q4 Quarterly Economic Outlook, which revised down its 2016 GDP growth forecast to 3.7% from 3.9%, and the 2017 forecast to 2.8% from 3.2%. The group said increased global and European economic and political uncertainties brought into sharp focus the need for sensible economic and labour market policies at home. Despite the downward adjustment, jobs growth is set to continue, with employment levels expected to return to 2006 peak levels by the end of next year, with employment growth approaching 2.4% for the full year in 2017. Ibec Senior Economist Gerard Brady said: "To date, Ireland's impressive growth has been spurred on by relatively strong US and UK performances, a benign global backdrop, low interest rates, falling oil prices and favourable exchange rates. But the world is becoming more unstable, politically and economically. We can no longer rely on these external factors. Making the right economic choices at home will play an increasing and pivotal role in how the economy performs in the coming months and years. Decisions that would add to business costs or reduce the ability of Irish companies to compete internationally must be avoided. Instead we need to make Ireland an even more attractive place in which to invest and do business."
Tourism Ireland welcomes superb +11.6% growth in overseas visitors for January-October 2016
www.tourismireland.com – 24.11.2016
Commenting on the CSO figures for overseas visitors to Ireland for January to October, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “These figures indicate that this was the best ever month of October for Irish tourism, with more than 830,000 arrivals recorded. It was also the best ever January to October period for overseas visitors to Ireland, with almost 8.3 million arrivals, representing an increase of almost +12% – 858,000 additional overseas visitors when compared with the first ten months of 2015. It is clear that 2016 will be another record-breaking year for Irish tourism.” Niall Gibbons continued: “We have seen exceptional results from North America for January to October – up +18% on the same ten-month period in 2015. I also welcome the strong increase in British visitors (almost +12%). And Mainland Europe has also turned in another excellent performance (almost +10%), with important markets like Spain, France, Germany and Benelux all recording good growth.
Chef Network gathers momentum across Ireland
Hotel & Catering Review – November 2016
Since its launch last February, over 620 chefs have signed up to the online community Chef Nework, with 18 new members, on average, signing up weekly. Initiated and supported by the Irish Foodservice Suppliers Alliance (IFSA), the network aims to attract people to the industry, encourage education and professional development and nurture talent. Chef Network will have a significant presence at Catex 2017 and chefs can sign-up for free online at www.chefnetwork.ie. They can also set-up a profile, connect with other chefs, join communities, participate in discussion forms and search for job vacancies.
QUICK SERVICE RESTAURANT (QSR) SECTOR
McDonald's to introduce table service at Irish restaurants
www.irishexaminer.com – 14.11.2016
Table service is being rolled out at 12 McDonald's restaurants across Ireland. The food chain has launched the new service - along with the Signature Collection of premium beef burgers at a number of outlets - which means customers can now place their order using a self-service kiosk before their food is delivered. It is expected that the service will be rolled out throughout their stores over the next 12-18 months. McDonald's employs over 5,000 people across 90 restaurants in Ireland. Commenting on the announcement, McDonald's Director of Operations, Jimmy Edwards, said: "We have invested heavily in recent years to give our customers a great experience in terms of both delicious food and a relaxed atmosphere. The introduction of both Table Service and The Signature Collection is a very exciting development and we are very much looking forward to extending these innovations across our network of 90 restaurants around Ireland in the coming years."
Average insurance premiums for Dublin pubs have increased by 47% in two years
www.businessworld.ie – 02.12.2016
The Licensed Vintners Association told the Oireachtas Finance Committee that "exorbitant" insurance hikes are threatening the viability of some pubs in the capital. A recent survey by the LVA - which represents Dublin publicans – found that average premiums have increased from €17K in 2014 to €25K this year, an increase of 47%. Publicans operating late night bars have experienced even higher increases with one member reporting that his insurance premium jumped from €80K to €145K over the same two year period, an increase of 81%. The LVA says the Government must commission an independent report as soon as possible into what is driving these unsustainable premium increases.
HOTEL & RESTAURANT SECTOR
New €40m Boutique Hotel Earmarked For St. Stephen's Green
Plans have emerged for the building of three new city centre hotels in Dublin, one of which will be a €40 million redevelopment of a former convent, Loreto Hall on 77 Stephen's Green, into a multi-storey 95-bedroom boutique hotel. According to the planning permission application filed by Brown Table Solutions Ltd, the redevelopment of Loretto Hall will have a restaurant and spa treatment centre on the ground floor, as well as a hotel bar and function room on the first floor. The building is listed as a protected structure and was put on the market last May with a guide price of €5.75 million, reports 98FM.com. The building was eventually sold for a reported €8 million last year.
Travelodge Takeover Approved as Profits for the Year Double
Ireland's Travelodge franchise, which has been taken over by Irish hotel group Tifco, nearly doubled its pre-tax profits to €4.155 million last year. Newly-filed accounts by the company Smorgs, who own and operate the portfolio of Travelodge hotels in Ireland, show that after-tax profits grew from €2.078 million to €3.3 million this year and its net assets totaled €5.586 million at the end of the year, reports The Irish Times. The accounts also show there was a decrease in staff from 195 to 173, however staff wages and salaries rose from €4.009 million to €4.701 million. Smorgs' Directors stated that they were "satisfied" with the group's performance. Tifco's takeover of the Travelodge franchise was earlier approved by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission who stated that the deal "will not substantially lessen competition in any market for goods or services".
Dundrum food hall investment by Aramark set to create 60 jobs
www.irishtimes.com – 27.11.2016
Caterer Aramark plans to create 60 jobs with a €1 million investment in a new food hall in the Republic’s biggest shopping centre. The foodservice group said that it had spent €1 million on the facility on the third floor of Dundrum Town Centre in Dublin, which houses a number of restaurants, including Costa Coffee, Gastro Fired Pizza, Kanoodle and Subway. The Dundrum centre is opening the facility in time for the Christmas shopping season. Frank Gleeson, Aramark’s northern Europe Managing Director, also confirmed that the multinational had signed deals with Irish-owned chains Poulet Bonne Femme and Kanoodle, under which it will open five new chains for each. The group recently signed similar agreements with Chopped, which will have an outlet in Dundrum, and Freshii. Aramark said that it was part of its strategy to aid Irish food companies to grow.
CASUAL DINING SECTOR
There's A New Sprout In Town
www.lovindublin.com – 08.12.2016
Healthy eating lovers rejoice, the newest of the Sprout trilogy has hit Dublin City, and it boasts the best views in the whole city. The new café is a continuation of the Dawson and Mount Street eateries, but in a super slick building - the Kirwan brothers have set up shop in an old boathouse on Sir John Rogerson's Quay. The Sir John Rogerson's Quay Sprout also boasts an interesting element that no other Sprout will have - it's very own greenhouse, in store. While still in progress of being built, the glasshouse is visible proof that the creators, chefs and makers of Sprout salads use only the freshest of ingredients, preferring their own batch grown in-store. This Sprout will sit 16 people indoors, and come February 1, will also have capacity to sit 60 outside.
CONTRACT CATERING SECTOR
Catering firm teams up with UCC for ‘farm to fork’ initiative
www.irishtimes.com – 16.10.2016
Catering company Kylemore Services Group (KSG), which serves an estimated 12 million meals annually in more than 110 restaurants nationwide, has teamed up with University College Cork (UCC) for a “farm to fork” initiative that sees food grown on the college’s campus being served to students. KSG now hopes to roll out the programme to other clients across Ireland who have additional land to spare and are keen on encouraging healthier eating. The catering group, whose retail brands include Cafe Kylemore, Quiznos, Coffee Cuisine and Pure Juice Bars, recently partnered with UCC for the initiative which sees fresh vegetables and herbs planted on an eight-acre site being used in a range of dishes in the college’s restaurants. As much as 300kg of fresh vegetables is currently being delivered a week to the canteens for use in dishes, with students welcoming the results. “It is local, sustainable food that tastes great and the students are very excited by the fact we’re doing this,” said Mr Hogan, a former EY Entrepreneur of the Year industry category winner.