Welcome to the August edition of Bord Bia's Ireland Market Foodservice Newsletter. We hope that you have had an opportunity to take a break (at home or away), to switch off and to recharge the batteries in advance of what promises to be a very busy few months ahead!
Please put Thursday, November 3rd firmly in your calendars – it's the date for this year’s Irish Foodservice Seminar and we are back at the Killashee House Hotel in Naas following a three year hiatus.
Further information re speaker line up and the ability to register online to follow in our September newsletter.
Trend of the Month
BrewDog Marches On
In this month’s Irish foodservice newsletter, we report on the opening of independent Scottish craft brewer BrewDog’s second outlet in Ireland – in the centre of Cork city.
And on August, 18th, the largest BrewDog unit worldwide will open its doors at Waterloo station – pushing the boundaries and pulling out all of the stops….
The expansive bar and restaurant will feature dedicated co-working spaces and pods, micro-brewery, a GRIND café, cocktail hideaway, duckpin bowling alleys, podcast studio, meeting rooms, not-for-profit floristry, and a retro ice-cream van with serves from the award-winning Hackney Gelato.
The site will also feature Waterloo Podcast Project, a fully equipped podcast studio for those looking to record their existing audio adventures or launch a new podcast onto the airwaves. To celebrate this, BrewDog is giving away 100 free recording slots to podcast creators.
Not quite your traditional pub as we know it then, but rather a myriad of services, experience and excitement all culminating to create a DESTINATION.
General Industry News
Ireland's competitiveness 'under threat', tourism body warns
Irish Times - 11.08.2022
One million people visited Ireland last month, as recovery across the tourism sector continued to gather pace. However, new figures from the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) show that visitor numbers were still down 11% in July compared to the same month in 2019 - before the pandemic. The data shows that so far this year, visitor numbers are down 24% when compared to the first seven months of 2019. The ITIC, which represents accommodation providers, attractions, tourism operators, restaurateurs and pubs, said Ireland’s competitiveness is "under threat", stating that input costs and prices are rising faster than the European average. Despite operational challenges and labour shortages, today’s data reveals strong demand during the month of July. Visitors from Continental Europe performed most strongly - down 7% on 2019, while the key North American market showed improvement with 268,000 visitors.
Unemployment rate falls to 21-year low of 4.2% in July – CSO
RTE – 04.08.2022
New and revised data from the Central Statistics Office today shows that the unemployment rate fell to a 21-year low of 4.2% in both May and July. Provisional data had shown the jobless rate hovering at the level it stood at before the Covid-19 pandemic before the May reading was revised down to 4.2% from 4.7% and June amended to 4.3% from 4.8% previously. Unemployment had stood at 5.8% in July of last year. The CSO said the seasonally adjusted number of people who were unemployed stood at 113,000 in July, compared with 113,900 in June.
Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) & Pub Sector
Brewdog opens 2nd Irish venue
Drinks Industry Ireland – 22.07.2022
Independent Scottish craft brewer BrewDog opens its newest bar in the centre of Cork city at 1-2 Courthouse Street, just off Washington Street, in the heart of the Cork city’s thriving craft beer scene. BrewDog Cork represents the seventh venue operated by Westside Leisure which has been running bars across the city for 40 years. The venue has two floors with a bar on each floor, plus a Mezzanine. Each bar will have 30 taps of craft beer from BrewDog plus curated local guest breweries, with a take-away service available for those needing beers to go.
Four Star Pizza to create 900 jobs across Ireland
Business Post – 27.07.2022
Fast food chain Four Star Pizza is planning to open 45 new stores and create 900 roles across the island of Ireland in the next three years, almost doubling the number of outlets it operates. Currently, the Irish pizza franchise runs 56 stores throughout the country, including 14 in Northern Ireland, however the aim is to bring this total up to 100 across the country by 2025 by founding 27 new stores in the Republic of Ireland and 18 new stores in the North. Four of the new stores will be opened this year, Chief Executive Colin Hughes said, with a further 16 in 2023 and 25 in 2024. The company estimates that there will be an average of 20 jobs created per store.
Hotel & Restaurant Sector
Hospitality ‘service charges’ to be banned unless going straight to staff
The Irish Times – 29.06.2022
Customers will no longer be asked to pay mandatory “service charges” at restaurants or pubs under new plans being brought forward by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. The amendment to the Bill will effectively ban so called service charges unless the charge goes straight to staff. “Our overall objective with the Bill is to prevent employers from using tips or gratuities to make up basic wages and to introduce transparency about how tips and service charges are distributed,” Mr Varadkar said.
Powerscourt Hotel to build staff home
Hospitalitynews.ie – 10.08.2022
The Powerscourt Hotel Resort and Spa has received planning approval to build a new 56-bed staff accommodation complex to help it attract staff amid the current housing crisis. In the submission, planners for Powerscourt said it was “exasperated” by the current housing crisis and the availability of affordable housing near Powerscourt in Enniskerry, leading to difficulties in attracting prospective employees. Planners for Powerscourt wrote that currently some hotel rooms are occupied by staff, which was lowering revenue. According to the submission, the development will have 29 rooms and 56 beds, with each unit sized at 17.5 sq m. It will also include a common room and kitchen.
Contract Catering & Trade Sector
€85m expansion plans for Center Parcs lodged
RTE Business – 10.08.2022
Center Parcs has lodged an application for planning permission for an €85m expansion of its resort in Ballymahon, Co Longford. The application, submitted to Longford County Council on Friday, covers the provisions of 198 new lodges, a lakeside restaurant and a coffee shop. In addition, extensions to the hugely popular Subtropical Swimming Paradise and Aqua Sana spa form another substantial element of the plans, which includes a new treetop sauna and additional treatment rooms. An expansion of leisure and food and beverage facilities to accommodate more guests involves several extensions to existing Village Centre restaurants including Huck's restaurant, Cara's restaurant, Sports Café restaurant and Bella Italia restaurant.
Sysco: Foodservice company plans to create 90 NI jobs
BBC – 02.08.2022
Food service firm Sysco is to create 90 jobs as part of a plan to double the size of its business in Northern Ireland. It has also submitted a planning application for a new distribution centre at Nutts Corner in County Antrim. Sysco is one of the world's largest food distribution companies. It supplies food and catering supplies to hospitality businesses and other wholesale customers. The US-based multinational currently employs about 140 people in Northern Ireland, part of a wider workforce of 1,400 across the island of Ireland. It has traded in Ireland since 2009 when it bought Pallas Foods, later adding a Northern Ireland business with the purchase of Crossgar Foodservice.