Welcome to our weekly Bord Bia Ireland Market Foodservice Newsletter.
Last Friday saw the announcement by the Government fast-track plans to reopen the country, with the lockdown now due to end on July 20th, and only comprise four phases rather than five.
Domestic travel restrictions will be removed at the start of Phase 3 on June 29th and at this stage, hotels, restaurants, caravan parks and bars that also operate as restaurants will be permitted to reopen.
General Industry News
Irish economy grows 1.2% in first quarter as exports offset Covid-19 impact
The Irish Times – 05.06.2020
The Irish economy expanded by 1.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 as exports of IT and pharma offset the domestic impact of Covid-19, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO). They show GDP, the standard measure of growth, rose by 1.2 per cent on the previous quarter and was up by 4.6 per cent on an annual basis, while Gross National Product (GNP), which strips out the multinational profit flows, rose by 0.1 per cent in the quarter and by 5.5 per cent year on year. In the globalised sectors of the economy, growth continued, the CSO said, with industry increasing by 15.4 per cent in volume terms and the IT sector growing by 1.5 per cent in the quarter. However, the impact of Covid-19 restrictions could be seen in the domestic-facing sectors, with the distribution, transport, hotels and restaurant sector contracting by 12.7 per cent
Guidelines for reopening hospitality sector published amid call to reduce 2m social distancing rule
Breaking News – 09.06.2020
Fáilte Ireland has published guidelines for the tourism and hospitality industry to ensure businesses can reopen safely on June 29. The guidelines were developed in collaboration with industry groups, with the Government also being consulted. Fáilte Ireland says the guidelines are in line with the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business and the Return to Work Safely Protocol. They said the guidelines “provide detailed advice on the necessary systems to be implemented in order to instil public confidence and reboot business while adhering to public health advice and Government protocols. They are the first in a suite of new supports being rolled out by Fáilte Ireland to “help tourism businesses to recover and re-open safely and they will be “regularly updated in line with Government public health advice as and when this advice evolves.”
Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) & Pub Sector
McDonalds to roll out walk-in service
Irish Farmers Journal – 09.06.2020
McDonalds has announced a phased reopening for a walk-in takeaway food in Ireland and the UK. From 17 June some 11 restaurants will open in the UK for motorway customers. From 24 June restaurants will reopen in Ireland. The gradual reopening of the fast food outlets in Ireland and the UK is welcome news for the beef industry as McDonald’s is one of the largest purchasers of Irish beef. Dawn Meats' dedicated McDonald’s burger making plant in Waterford has restarted production. “Over the last four weeks, we have carefully reopened over 1,000 restaurants for Drive-thru or McDelivery, only progressing to new channels and more restaurants when we were confident that we could provide a safe working environment for our people,” McDonald’s UK&Ireland CEO Paul Pomroy.
KFC reopens 700 sites across UK & Ireland
KFC has reopened 700 of its 950 stores in the UK and Ireland. As well as delivery and drive-thru, over half of the estate is now also open for takeaway, having implemented a series of measures to ensure the safety of staff and customers.
Hotel & Restaurant Sector
Surge in demand for hotel rooms as staycation season looms
The Irish Times – 08.06.2020
Hotels and B&Bs across Ireland have reported a sharp increase in reservations over the weekend following Friday’s announcement that hotels, hostels and restaurants can reopen from June 29th. Tim Fenn, Chief Executive of the Irish Hotel Federation agreed that there had been an increase in online traffic investigating Irish holiday locations and that it was “clear that people are confident that they can stay safely in Irish hotels this summer”. Mr Fenn said it was too early to calculate how many bookings were being made, but “heartening” to see people making plans for holidays at home in Ireland.
RAI voice ongoing concerns re 2 metre social distancing as Fáilte Ireland re-opening guidelines
Hotel & Restaurant Times - 10.06.2020
The Restaurants Association of Ireland welcome Fáilte Ireland’s Reopening Guidelines for Restaurants and Cafés, but claim the inclusion of 2 metre social distancing remains a huge problem for Cafes & Restaurants to reopen viably. The guidelines aim to provide information to restaurants and cafes on opening safely and effectively on June 29th.
Route to Market Sector
Flipdish & Pallas Foods partner to offer online ordering to their customers
Pallas / Flipdish Media Release - 08.06.2020
Flipdish, the Irish digital food-ordering solution for independent eateries, has announced an exclusive partnership with Pallas Foods, the largest food service provider in Ireland. To help customers during Covid-19, Pallas Foods is partnering with Flipdish to offer the Flipdish online ordering, self-service kiosk, and mobile app solutions to their customers in the restaurant, hotel, and cafe industries. This partnership is one part of a suite of support tools that are available from Pallas Foods, to help customers reimagine their food offering.
Lynas Foodservice introduces new technology to help protect staff during COVID-19 pandemic
Coleraine-based firm Lynas Foodservice has announced that it has introduced AI and thermal imaging technology to help protect its workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lynas has installed the technology at its headquarters, warehouse and administrative site in Coleraine. According to Lynas, the technology, which was provided by Lisburn-based company Integrated Process Control & Engineering (IPCE), utilises temperature screening thermographic cameras to screen employees for a raised temperature, which is one of the key symptoms of the coronavirus.