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

 

Discussions are currently ongoing between hospitality industry representatives and Government in an effort to finalise an agreed plan and set a new date for the resumption of indoor dining. Although the vaccine roll-out gathers momentum, there are ongoing concerns regarding increasing cases of the Delta variant (both in Ireland and across Europe).  The prospect of adapting the EU travel cert as a means of reopening indoor hospitality is still under consideration. 

  

For anyone that missed our mid-year Irish Foodservice White Paper webinar, the recording is available to view on our website HERE. 

 

You can also listen back to a 10 minute Bord Bia podcast with Deirdre O’Neill, Managing Director of Compass Group Ireland. We discuss the future of workplace catering and the role that technology will have in shaping that future. 

 

General Industry News 

Irish economy set for 11% growth surge as restrictions ease, ESRI says 

The Irish Times – 24.06.2021 

The Irish economy will rebound dramatically this year – growing by 11 per cent – on the back of stronger exports and a resurgence in consumer spending and investment linked to the easing of restrictions, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has said. This is the highest rate of growth ever forecast by the ESRI and more than double what the Government is forecasting. The think tank, however, warned that the pandemic would still have a scarring effect on the economy in terms of higher unemployment and fewer homes being built. The latter is likely to “exacerbate” existing supply pressures in the housing market, it said. It suggested growth this year and next would be driven by a combination of stronger exports, particularly from the multinational sector, and a rebound in consumption and investment linked to the easing of restrictions. 

Manufacturing sector grows 

Business Post – 02.06.2021 

AIB said its Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a monthly measure of manufacturing activity in the state, jumped to 64.1 in the month of May, up from 60.8 in April. This constituted a record high since the survey began in 1998. For the PMI, any figure greater than 50 indicates overall improvement of the sector. It is derived from indicators for new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery times and stocks of purchases. “Output rose at a record pace, driven by rebounding demand, with record growth in new orders as businesses re-open, both domestically and in overseas markets,” Oliver Mangan, Chief Economist at AIB, said. “As a result, backlogs of unfilled orders also rose at a record pace, while inventories of finished goods fell.” 

 

Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) & Pub Sector 

Apache Pizza to open 20 new Irish stores as takeaway business booms 

Business Post – 02.06.2021 

Apache Pizza said it planned to create 300 new jobs across Ireland in the next six months as it opens 20 new stores. The expansion will bring the total number employed by the chain to 2,740 across 190 stores and comes following the opening of 13 new stores and 195 new jobs in 2020. The new jobs will include roles as supervisors, managers, customer service representatives and delivery couriers, with Apache also seeking new franchisees. “Our online sales have grown by 12 per cent because we invested in making online ordering easier and more accessible prior to Covid-19,” Martin Lyons, Chief Executive, said. “We capitalised on that throughout the pandemic as people spent more time at home and ordered-in.” 

JD Wetherspoon to start work on €3.8m Waterford pub 

Propel Info News – 15.06.2021 

Pub operator JD Wetherspoon is to start development work on its new pub in Waterford. Work will begin on the new pub in Arundel Street/Broad Street on Monday, 28 June, with the pub set to open on Tuesday, 14 December. A total of €3.8m will be invested in the development of the pub, which is being built on the site of a former bank and ladies’ clothing shop. The site had been empty since December 2014. The pub, which will be named The Arundel Gate, will create 70 jobs. The two-storey pub will feature two enclosed courtyard terraced gardens, as well as an open kitchen.  

 

Hotel & Restaurant Sector 

Up to 40,000 weddings expected next year due to backlog from pandemic 

Business Post – 13.06.2021 

Up to 40,000 happy couples could get married next year, twice as many as would normally be the case in a typical pre-pandemic year. According to an analysis by the Business Post, a backlog of 20,000 weddings from last year and this year could result in demand for 40,000 weddings next year, potentially creating an unprecedented situation for the country’s wedding industry. 

Hospitality industry pushes for earlier date for indoor dining reopening plan 

The Irish Times – 05.07.2021 

Representatives of the hospitality industry are pushing for a plan for the reopening of indoor hospitality to be agreed before the Government’s July 19th target date. The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) are arguing that this should happen so they can prepare for the expected resumption of non-essential international travel on that date and the prospect of a return of tourists. The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) have also said their view is that July 19th is the date pubs should be reopening, so a plan must be in place earlier. The Cabinet agreed to prepare a plan – which could include the use of digital passes indicating if someone is vaccinated – by July 19th but gave the hospitality industry no indicative date for when they could open. 

 

Casual Dining & Contract Catering Sector 

Center Parcs to spend €85m on Longford resort expansion 

RTÉ Business – 15.06.2021 

Center Parcs is to spend €85m expanding its forest resort in Co Longford, with the creation of 250 permanent jobs once the development is complete. It said 200 additional accommodation lodges are to be built, including four luxury treehouses, while existing guest facilities are to be extended at the Ballymahon resort. The company also said 300 temporary positions are to be created during the construction phase of the project. If permission is granted next year, Center Parcs hopes to be able to begin construction in 2023. 

Sodexo launches Fooditude in Dublin 

Business and Finance – 18.06.2021 

In December 2020 Sodexo acquired a majority shareholding in Fooditude, one of London’s leading names in ‘delivered-in’ workplace catering. Fooditude has been operating since 2005, with household name clients that include Netflix and Pinterest. Food is ordered in advance via the Sodexo Twelve Pay app that provides an ‘order-to-delivery’ experience. Fooditude’s offsite production capability allows organisations to review their real estate and re-model existing kitchen space for valuable business activities. The launch of Fooditude in Dublin is an evolution of Sodexo’s Vital Spaces proposition, which aims to provide a new approach to help employees transform their workplaces with a connected, people-centric approach.