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Welcome to the December edition of Bord Bia's Ireland Market Foodservice Newsletter.


Thank you to all that logged on to our virtual foodservice seminar on 8th December. If you weren’t able to join us on the day recordings from the event will be uploaded to www.bordbia.ie/foodservice21 before the end of this week.


You can also download a .pdf copy of our 2021 Irish Foodservice Directory and our 2021 Irish Foodservice Market+Consumer Insights Report via this webpage


General Industry News


Ireland’s unemployment rate fell to 6.9 per cent in November

Business Post – 02.12.2021

Ireland’s unemployment rate fell to 6.9 per cent in November from 7.9 per cent in October, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office. According to the statistics agency, this measure of unemployment, which includes those receiving temporary Covid-19 jobless benefits, was 20.4 per cent at the same period last year. Were those on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (Pup) excluded, the figure would be 5.2 per cent for November, and would be unchanged since October. The Pandemic Unemployment Payment has been gradually reducing in rate for months and is set to be totally withdrawn in February 2022.


Irish consumer sentiment dropped to a seven-month low during the month of November

Business Post – 24.11.2021

Irish consumer sentiment dropped to a seven-month low during the month of November against a backdrop of rising Covid-19 infection rates, according to the latest KBC Bank Ireland consumer sentiment index. The reading for the month declined to 83.1, from 86.8 in October, the largest monthly fall since January. The report suggests that as well as surging case numbers, rising energy costs and renewed Brexit concerns are also likely negatively impacting consumer outlook


Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) & Pub Sector


Supermac’s sees 25% drop in revenue amid ‘hammering’ in city centres

The Irish Times – 23.11.2021

The Supermac’s group saw a 25 per cent drop in its revenue last year with its city-centre outlets most impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to its latest accounts, Supermac’s (Holdings) Ltd saw its pretax profit decline by 6.7 per cent from €24.58 million to €22.93 million in 2020. The decline in profit followed revenue decreasing by a quarter from €189.4 million to €141.5 million. Commenting on the figures, Supermac’s Chief Executive, Pat McDonagh, said the drop in revenue “was not a bad result for the conditions that prevailed in 2020 with the pandemic”. He said drive-through and home delivery had done “exceptionally well” during parts of last year. The Supermac’s group is made up of 110 Supermac’s outlets and six hotels.


Belfast-based Mexican chain Boojum plans launch in England next year

Propel – 26.11.2021

Belfast-based burrito chain Boojum, which currently operates 17 sites across Ireland, is planning to launch in England next year, Propel has learned. The David Maxwell-led business is believed to be currently exploring eight key markets in which it hopes to expand into, with a focus on the north of England. Leeds is thought to be top of its target list. The group’s more recent trading has been underpinned by the strength of its digital channels, including its own click and collect model. The brand’s top performing sites have generated sales in excess of £60,000 a week, over a “significant period of time”.


Hotel & Restaurant Sector


Christmas cancellations cost hotels €90m in revenue

RTÉ Business 24.11.2021

Hoteliers are reporting over €90m in lost revenues as a result of many companies cancelling events and social gatherings, according to new research by the Irish Hotels Federation. As a result, hotel and guesthouse owners are calling on the Government to provide additional supports. The IHF said in normal times, December trading sustains the first few months of the following year for many hotels and guesthouses. However, it said as a result of the recent event cancellations, the sector and broader tourism are at a "critical juncture" requiring continued Government supports at current levels


Covid-19: Hotel and restaurant owners fear latest curbs won’t be the last

Irish Times – 07.12.2021

Due to the ongoing high level of Covid-19 transmission in the community and concerns about the Omicron variant, the Government has introduced measures which mean bars and restaurants must now offer table service only, permit no more than six customers to sit at a table, prevent patrons from booking multiple tables and ensure there is a distance of at least one metre between tables. Nightclubs will also have to close, with the restrictions due to remain in place until January 9th. Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, said the group’s members have seen virtually every corporate booking and Christmas party cancelled. Representatives of the sector say curbs on trading in December are particularly sensitive, as the lead-up to Christmas is a time when businesses usually record around three times the amount of business they would in a normal month.


Casual Dining & Contract Catering Sector


Musgrave MarketPlace and Circle K enter new five-year partnership

ShelfLife.ie – 23.11.2021

Musgrave MarketPlace and Circle K have signed a new five-year strategic partnership. Under the terms of the partnership, Musgrave MarketPlace will supply the Circle K network of company-owned and franchise service stations. The partnership is worth over €300 million to Musgrave MarketPlace and continues a 20-year relationship between Musgrave MarketPlace and Circle K (previously Shell, Esso and Topaz). Circle K will supply fuel to 14 service stations owned and operated by Musgrave in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, with these forecourts rebranding to Circle K over time – bringing Circle K’s total store count on the island to 425. Additionally, Circle K will supply fuel to the Musgrave MarketPlace fleet of delivery vehicles across the Island of Ireland.


Sodexo Creates Videos for Focus Ireland

Hospitality Ireland 09.12.2021

A series of tasty video recipes 'cooked up' by Sodexo Ireland chefs for its charity partner Focus Ireland has just been launched. 'A Simple Guide to Everyday Meals' is the first-ever recipe video series developed on behalf of the homeless charity, supporting its strategic aim to develop essential life skills for families exiting long-term homelessness. The video culinary 'first' also underpins Sodexo's commitment to provide skills-based mentoring and needs-led services to support local communities, as part of its Social Impact Pledge. A print copy of the cookbook 'A Simple Guide to Everyday Meals' will also be available to families accessing Focus Ireland's Family Centre in Dublin, with tips and advice on what to buy to cook healthier versions of favourite recipes without losing taste.