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

 

On Wednesday, 10th March at 2PM we are hosting a webinar entitled ‘Rebuilding Foodservice – Learnings from Elsewhere’.

 

Join us to listen to lessons from foodservice markets elsewhere. Where is the industry headed in the next 6-12 months? What concepts are planning for future growth? What can we expect in terms of new consumer demands? Explore how the industry is changing and how both operators and suppliers can use this current period of lockdown to prepare to build back business when the rebound finally does come.

 

This is an open event, suitable for both foodservice industry operators and suppliers. For more information and to register your attendance, please go to this link on the Bord Bia website.

 

GENERAL INDUSTRY NEWS

Irish holidaymakers set to be main tourism revenue source this year

The Irish Times – 01.02.2021
Tourism businesses have been advised to plan on the basis that Irish holidaymakers will be their main source of revenue this year as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. Paul Kelly, the Chief Executive of Fáilte Ireland, made the remarks as both he and Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin said the Government plans to safely reopen international travel as early as possible, but could not say when this will be. One positive note he struck was the rise in household savings here and internationally with an increase of €13 billion reported in Ireland alone for 2020. Mr Kelly said: “Some of these savings will eventually find a way into the hard-pressed bank accounts of tourism businesses.”

Economy set to grow faster than anticipated in 2021

Business Post – 22.01.2021
Davy has upgraded its growth forecast for the economy for this year on the back of buoyant exports and multinational sector output, especially from the pharmaceutical and information and communications technology sectors. The stockbrokers have penciled in GDP growth of 4.8 per cent for this year, an increase from its earlier prediction of 3.8 per cent. It is also predicting growth of 5.5 per cent in 2022. 

 

QUICK SERVICE RESTAURANT (QSR) & PUB SECTOR

Subway appoints Nigel Doughty to oversee UK and Ireland business

Propel Info News – 25.01.2021
Global sandwich franchise Subway has appointed Nigel Doughty, the former Managing Director of Paul UK, to oversee it’s circa 2,500-strong UK and Ireland business. Doughty joins Subway after more than ten years with the Middle East-based Alshaya Group, where he was Vice-President of its food retail division – premium casual brands. Prior to that, he spent four years as Managing Director of Paul UK. He has also had stints at Maison Blanc and Costa Coffee. Pre-covid, the business has been rolling out its new-look Fresh Forward store format across its UK and Ireland estate.

11 Dublin pubs sold last year

Drinks Industry Ireland – 15.01.2021
It’s clear that the pandemic has hit the licensed and leisure industry sector of the economy the hardest, with trade volume in pubs down by 75% in 2020, according to the Central Statistics Office. Certain government supports have assisted the industry and it’s likely that more supports will be introduced over the course of 2021. However, despite the pandemic, 11 Dublin pubs transacted in 2020 with a further seven ‘sale agreed’ or with contracts exchanged and remaining to close in 2021 at the end of December.

 

HOTEL & RESTAURANT SECTOR

Hotels & Guesthouses saw revenues fall €2.6bn in 2020

RTÉ Business – 07.01.2021
Hotels and guesthouses saw revenues fall by €2.6 billion last year, according to the Irish Hotels Federation, as Covid-19 limited the entire hospitality sector for most of 2020. The figure represents a 60% dip year-on-year, with room occupancy levels falling from 73% to 30%. The data was based on a survey of IHF members late last year, representing 165 properties and almost 17,000 guest rooms. With further restrictions likely to remain in place for months to come it called on the Government to introduce further measures to assist hotels and guesthouses. That would include the extension of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme and the waiver of local authority rates until the end of the year. The IHF also wants the Government to commit to the 9% VAT rate for the sector until 2025.

ITIC wants 'Stay and Spend' revamp

HospitalityeNews – 28.01.2021
The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation has called for the Government's Stay and Spend scheme to be revamped and simplified in time for the summer season in order to help prevent much of the industry's small businesses from going to the wall. Chief Executive Eoghan O'Mara Walsh said the scheme had "fallen flat on its face" in its current guise, claiming it was too narrow, cumbersome and off-putting for many people. He added that the October to April timeframe had rendered the scheme mostly redundant in any case, with lockdown restrictions of movement taking up most of that period. If vaccines take-up goes to plan and movement restrictions can be eased, a simpler voucher scheme to stimulate domestic tourism could save many businesses, Mr O'Mara Walsh said.

 

CASUAL DINING & CONTRACT CATERING SECTOR

Camile Thai Kitchen announces new appointments to its board

Hospitality Ireland – 05.02.2021
Camile Thai Kitchen has announced the appointment of Brian Caulfield and Andy McCue to the Camile board of directors, the latter of whom will take on the position of non-executive chairman. Caulfield is a serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist and angel investor. McCue served as CEO of Paddy Power before joining The Restaurant Group plc as CEO. Camile founder and CEO Brody Sweeney stated, "2020 has been a milestone year for Camile. With many restaurants suffering the consequences of pandemic restrictions, we were very fortunate to see a 59% increase in systems sales in the UK and a 40% increase in Ireland. We owe this to our largely suburban, delivery-focussed business model. This growth has enabled us to proceed ahead of time with our drone and robotics-focused tech strategy." Camile also announced that it has plans to open up further locations in Ireland and abroad, which will be revealed in the next few weeks.

Dublin-based food order app Bamboo acquired by company behind Fetch

Independent.ie – 10.01.2021
POS8 Limited, the owner of on-premises food and drink order-and-pay application Fetch, has merged with Norse Starlit Limited, which owns the Irish food-ordering app Bamboo. Last year, Bamboo was saved by a group of its original investors after liquidators were appointed in early May. The app, launched in 2018, has around 150 restaurants in Galway, Dublin and Cork using its food-ordering product, enabling customers to order ahead for a contactless pickup. According to a statement, the merger of the two applications will bring new features and functionality for venues and customers. It will be able to offer on-premises ordering and dining services through the merger. Jason Jefferys, who is the Co-founder and Chief Executive of Fetch, said the deal would help to enhance its offering to its customer base.