Welcome to the March edition of Bord Bia's Ireland Market Foodservice Newsletter.
A final reminder that on Wednesday of next week, 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
Hospitality organisations call for additional government supports for businesses
Hospitality Ireland – 24.02.2021
A number of Irish hospitality organisations have called for additional government supports for hospitality businesses that are closed due to COVID-19-related health and safety restrictions. The organisations' calls followed the announcement on Tuesday, February 23th that Level Five COVID-19-related health and safety lockdown restrictions will be in place until at least April 5. However, a potential reopening date for hospitality businesses was not given, and it is likely that they will remain closed for at least several more months due to the continuing pandemic. Along with announcing the extension of level five restrictions on February 23, the government said that business supports and the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) will be extended until June. However, several of the country's key hospitality organisations do not believe that this measure is enough.
ITIC says tourism industry might not return to 2019 levels of activity until 2029
Hospitality Ireland – 11.02.2021
The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) said at its online "Leading the Tourism Recovery - ITIC Virtual Conference 2021" event on Wednesday February, 10th that activity in the tourism industry might not return to 2019 levels until 2029 in a worst case scenario. ITIC chairperson Ruth Andrews said that this is not a prospect on which ITIC is focusing, and it is hoping that the sector will recover much sooner than 2029. Andrews stated, "The most optimistic that we need to look towards is when we can get back to those 2019 levels of business, when we can get back to creating those numbers of jobs again, and we do envisage that is possible by 2025 to 2026.”But it is going to be contingent on the government continuing to commit to tourism and continuing to invest."
Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) & Pub Sector
Pub sales market remains resilient
RTÉ Business – 22.02.2021
The market for pubs in Dublin remained resilient last year, notwithstanding the heavy burden of the Covid-19 pandemic, a new report from Lisney has found. According to the research, the overall volume in pub sales continued to fall in 2020. In the capital, 13 premises were sold, compared to 16 a year earlier. A little under a third of those sales was for amounts in excess of €4m, down slightly on 2019. The activity came despite many pubs remaining closed for around 10 months of the year due to Covid-19 restrictions. Lisney says supply remained low from March onwards and it is also predicting that the majority of pubs for sale will remain limited, at least in the first half of 2021.
Camile Thai to create 300 jobs and raise €10m for tech updates
The Irish Times – 18.02.2021
Restaurant delivery group Camile Thai is to create 220 jobs locally and at least 80 more in Britain as part of a major expansion. The company is also intending to raise €10 million as part of a plan to progress with a technology-centric strategy that includes automating kitchen operations and drone deliveries. Camile Thai is to open 15 new outlets across Ireland and Britain with new Irish locations including The Point Village in Dublin, the refurbished Frascati Centre in Blackrock and elsewhere in counties Waterford, Mayo, and Cork. Among the 220 local jobs announced are roles in retail, business development, sales, marketing and in the restaurants.
Hotel & Restaurant Sector
Hotel summer bookings at just 20% - IHF
RTÉ Business – 22.02.2021
Hotels and guesthouses around the country are reporting average booking levels for July and August of just 20%, according to the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF). Reservations are particularly low in Dublin, with booking levels of just 12% and 14% respectively across the two months. The record low levels of pre-booking for the summer season come amid increased uncertainty about when Covid-19 restrictions will be eased enough to allow most hotels and other hospitality to reopen. Last weekend the Taoiseach said the sector is unlikely to reopen before mid-summer. The IHF is now calling for urgent clarity to be given about how long business and employee supports will continue.
Deliveroo launches new tech product that allows restaurants to receive orders through their own websites
Hospitality Ireland – 10.02.2021
Food delivery firm Deliveroo has launched a new tech product called Signature, which allows restaurants to receive orders through their own websites while still benefiting from Deliveroo's delivery service and customer support. Deliveroo stated that Signature is particularly beneficial for independent restaurant partners, which might not be unable to develop the technology independently. According to Deliveroo, by using Signature, restaurants will be able to reach new customers and develop existing relationships through targeted marketing campaigns, and promote their offering on social media to drive growth and order volumes for themselves. Deliveroo Ireland Growth Manager Paddy Quinlan commented, "Deliveroo is committed to supporting restaurants through this pandemic”. Chains and restaurants that have already signed up for Signature include Nando's and Dublin's Sano Pizza.
Casual Dining & Contract Catering Sector
Just Eat begins drone deliveries in Co Galway
The Irish Times – 19.02.2021
Food delivery service Just Eat has begun offering takeaway by drone as part of a pilot programme in Oranmore, Co Galway. The service, which is powered by drone delivery as a service platform Manna, is available for customers of Camile Thai. It is the first time that such a service has been offered on JustEat, and comes amid an ongoing trial of the drone delivery service with Tesco for small basket deliveries in Oranmore. Customers can select their dishes on the Camile Thai drone delivery menu, which is available on select days. The food can be dropped to the delivery point in under three minutes. Managing Director of Just Eat Amanda Roche-Kelly said she hoped to widen the drone deliveries to more customers in the coming months.
Tiger Global Management has invested €40 million in Flipdish
Business Post – 12.02.2021
Investment firm Tiger Global Management has invested €40 million in Irish food-ordering software developer Flipdish. Founded by brothers Conor and James McCarthy in 2015, the company’s revenue has increased tenfold since its funding round in 2018. It said the increased number of restaurant owners bringing their online orders in-house during the pandemic has been a major driver behind its recent growth. Flipdish said the €40 million investment will enable it to grow internationally and attract new customers from independents to large food chains.