Welcome to the April 2019 edition of Bord Bia's Ireland Market Foodservice Newsletter.
Hard to believe that we are just seven weeks away from Bloom - Bord Bia’s Annual Garden and Food Event that is taking place in the Phoenix Park, Dublin from Thursday 30th May – Monday 3rd June (incl). As per previous years, Bord Bia is incorporating a trade event at the Food Village from 8am – 11am on Friday 31st May. In excess of 200 foodservice and retail buyers will have advance priority access to visit over 100 producers exhibiting in the Food Market, the Love Irish Food Marquee, the Bloom Inn and the Fresh Food Market.
General Industry News
Boom era for visitors not here to stay, warns Tourism Ireland chief
Irish Independent; 04.04.2019
Ireland's post-crash tourism boom has passed its peak, according to Tourism Ireland boss Niall Gibbons. With Brexit depressing the value of sterling and upward pressure on costs ranging from labour shortages to the recent Vat hike, the industry is going to struggle to maintain the soaring growth rates of recent years. A challenge of a not dissimilar scale - though one that's less talked about - is a substantial boost in air capacity on continental Europe, which gives travellers more options, potentially at Ireland's expense. The net effect of all that is that it may prove difficult for Gibbons to meet Tourism Ireland's target of 6pc revenue growth from Irish tourism this year.
Jobless rate falls to 11 year low of 5.4% in March
New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the unemployment rate fell to an 11-year low of 5.4% in March from a rate of 5.6% in February. The jobless rate has fallen from a financial crisis-peak of 16% in 2012, when the country was midway through a three-year international bailout. Commenting on the figures, Pawel Adrjan, Economist at global job site Indeed, said the trend in unemployment is continuing on its downward trajectory and means that employers are going to find it increasingly challenging to recruit talent. "The country is also drawing on inward migration to fulfill open roles with 57% of employment growth in the past year coming from non-Irish nationals, and nearly half of that coming from outside the EU," the economist said.
First of its Kind Food-to-Go Summit to Examine Future of Market
A first-of-its-kind international conference and trade show, in association with one of Europe’s leading food innovators, Kepak, is set to examine the future of the rapidly growing and evolving Food-To-Go market. Taking place in the Round Room at Dublin’s Mansion House on 21 May 2019, the immersive, full-day event will gather together a panel of expert speakers, award-winning retailers and industry specialists. Commenting on the new Food-To-Go Summit, Blathnaid Ni Fhatharta, Marketing Director for Foodservice at Kepak, said: “The Food-To-Go Summit is an unmissable opportunity for anyone operating in the Food-To-Go space. Whether you’re a convenience store manager, forecourt retailer, deli operator, category manager or buyer, the Food-To-Go Summit is a unique opportunity to get several steps ahead in the incredibly competitive landscape that is Food-To-Go.”
Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) and Pub Sector
Circle K's largest ever 24-hour service station is open for business near Gorey
The service station opened on Thursday, 28 March, and the local area is set to be boosted by the creation of 40 new jobs on top of the 2,300 already employed by Circle K Ireland. It's expected to cater for up to 20,000 motorists per day. As well as having a McDonald's restaurant and cafés, the service station has its own dedicated Fáilte Ireland tourist information desk and fast-charge points for electric vehicles. Gorey's new service station is a big part of Circle K's €35 million plan to open four new sites in Ireland. The first of these sites is located at Kill North on the N7 and opened last December with further new site openings scheduled in Kildare and Athlone.
Four drive-thru restaurants on menu for Liffey Valley complex
Irish Independent; 04.04.2019
Motorists and busy commuters will be offered a choice of no less than four different drive-thru restaurants at the Liffey Valley complex in west Dublin from this summer. KFC has taken the largest of the units extending to 298 sq m (3,208 sq ft). Burger King is taking a 270 sq m (2,906 sq ft) unit and Starbucks the smallest unit at 185 sq m (1,991 sq ft). The last available drive-thru extends to 195 sq m (2,099 sq ft). Each of the restaurants will also have seating for people who want to sit in, and there's 79 shared spaces where they can park. All four will be grouped together near the Clayton Hotel, thus offering alternative dining options for its guests.
The Porterhouse Group open new Dublin venue
Music and emerging talent will be at the heart of Lost Lane (the old Lilli Bordello’s), as the venue seeks to create and maintain a reputation as the home of live music in Dublin. Substantial investment has been made to respectfully restore and preserve the venue’s Georgian structure and details alongside updating and installing state of the art sound and lighting, acoustic treatment and set design that will promise a complete immersive live music experience.
Hotel & Restaurant Sector
More Than €36 Million Transacted in the Irish Hotel Sector During First Quarter of 2019
Property consultants CBRE Ireland have released figures for hotel spend in the first quarter of 2019 showing that only 4 hotel sales totaling more than €36 million transacted in the Irish market in the year to end of March. This follows the completion of 34 transactions totaing more than €730 million between them during the full year in 2018, which was considerably higher than the volume of sales completed in 2017. “With negotiations continuing on a number of hotel transactions at present and several new opportunities due to be formally offered for sale over the coming months, we expect a pickup in transactional activity in this sector from the second quarter of the year onwards”, commented Debbie Hugger, CRBE
RAI calls for more action to address skills shortage faced by Hospitality Sector
Hospitality Ireland – 09.04.2019
The Restaurants Association of Ireland has stated that the government is not taking sufficient action to address the skills shortage currently being faced by the Irish hospitality sector. The association's CEO, Adrian Cummins, is calling for the establishment of a multi-agency forum to address the shortage. He is also calling for a reduction in visa waiting times for workers from outside of the EU, as well as tax incentives for restaurateurs in rent "pressure zones" who provide accommodation for staff. Additionally, he has urged the state to extend the payment of €5,000 bursaries to the hiring of female apprentice chefs.
Casual Dining Sector
Lidl's pop-up restaurant to open for extra date after tickets sell out in two hours
Lidl Ireland's highly anticipated pop-up restaurant is set to open its doors for an extra date due to demand. RARE by Lidl will now open on Sunday 28 April after tickets for the 25-27 April dates sold out in under two hours. The Dine in the Dark eatery promises a very different eating out experience - with customers enjoying a three-course menu created by Chef Gary O’Hanlon in complete darkness.
Contract Catering Sector
Pauline Cox appointed managing director of Gather & Gather Ireland
The Caterer; 07.03.2019
Pauline Cox has been appointed Managing Director of Gather & Gather Ireland. Cox was previously Director of Foodservices UK and Ireland and previously held positions at Compass Group Ireland and Sodexo. Allister Richards Managing Director of Gather & Gather, said: “We are excited to welcome Pauline to the Gather & Gather family. Her invaluable experience will play to our strengths as we broaden our reach in Ireland and across the UK. I am very much looking forward to collaborating with Pauline as we continue to bring our fresh approach to dining in the workplace.”