Welcome to the May, Week 4 edition of Bord Bia’s Ireland Market Foodservice Newsletter.
If you missed the Chef Network/Musgrave Marketplace ‘Taking on the Take-Away’ webinar and panel discussion during the week, you can access the YouTube recording here.
General Industry News
White Paper on the Irish Foodservice Market
A final reminder that next Thursday, 28th May from 2- 3PM we will present findings from a White Paper that we are currently compiling on the Irish Foodservice market. We will also be joined at our webinar by Lorraine Heskin, Founder & CEO of Gourmet Food Parlour, who will share her story as a foodservice operator that has had to transition in the face of Covid-19. This webinar is open to all and registration is available via our website here.
Ireland could run €30bn deficit this year, Donohoe tells Dáil
RTE – 20.05.2020
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said that there is a possibility that Ireland will run a deficit of €30 billion this year. "We expect public debt to increase significantly this year," the Minister said. Speaking in the Dáil, Paschal Donohoe said the deficit can be financed at low interest rates at the moment, but he said sentiment towards countries can change. Minister Donohoe also told the Dáil that around 1.25 million people are now in receipt of income support from the State due to Covid-19, which he said is unsustainable in the long term. Some €13 billion has been invested by the Government to support the economy, but he warned there will be constraints on this spending in the future.
Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) & Pub Sector
40% of Dublin pubs plan to reopen as restaurants in June
RTE Business – 20.05.2020
A survey indicates that four out of every ten Dublin pubs are planning on reopening as restaurants at the end of June under Phase Three of the lifting of coronavirus restrictions on social and economic life. The study was carried out by the Licensed Vintners Association, which represents publicans in Dublin. When applied to the 750 pubs located across the capital, that means approximately 330 are planning to reopen. Earlier this month the Taoiseach warned that the phased lifting of restrictions would be dependent on the success of the previous one. Leo Varadkar said that if any phase resulted in a "second wave" of the virus, restrictions would be re-imposed.
A Donegal pub’s Guinness delivery service dramatically halted by Gardaí
www.irishpost.com – 18.05.2020
O’Flaherty’s Bar in Buncrana had been getting pints of Irish stout out to customers by car and bicycle since lockdown began as part of their innovative ‘Guinness Express’ service. However, they have now been forced to temporarily cease trading after a visit from Gardaí over the weekend whereby they were accused of operating the service illegally. A spokesperson for O’Flaherty’s confirmed they would no longer be taking deliveries following the Garda intervention.
Hotel & Restaurant Sector
Hotel Occupancy at just 12.6% for those still open in April
The Irish Times – 21.05.2020
Occupancy in the few hotels in the Republic that remained open in April was running at 12.6 per cent. Data from travel research group STR lays bare the extent of the hit to hotels from the coronavirus lockdown, with occupancy in Dublin declining by 85 per cent in April compared to the same month in 2019 and occupancy in regional Ireland down by 80 per cent. In Dublin, actual occupancy of the few hotels that remained open was 16.2 per cent in the month. Revenue per available room, a key metric in the hotel business, also declined sharply, slipping almost 90 per cent in Dublin to just €11.54.
RAI urges government to 'force landlords to slash rent' during COVID-19 crisis
Hospitality Ireland - 12.05.2020
The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) has urged the government to "take decisive action and force landlords to slash rent" during the COVID-19 crisis, with the association's CEO saying that landlords "need to take some pain" if the hospitality industry is to survive.
Contract Catering & Route to Market Sectors
DAA seeking to cut up to 1,000 jobs
Business Post - 20.05.2020
DAA, the state company responsible for Cork and Dublin airports, is seeking to cut up to 1,000 jobs as the airports struggle with a collapse in passenger numbers due to Covid-19. Dalton Philips, Chief Executive of DAA, said with passenger numbers down by 99 per cent, the outlook for the rest of the year looked "bleak", and it only expected to have a throughput of 21 million passengers next year. He also said it could be "several years" before passenger traffic was back at 2019 levels when a total of 35.5 million travelled through the airports.
Henderson to axe up to 115 jobs after Covid-19 decimates Irish foodservice sector
The Irish Times - 21.05.2020
The foodservice wing of supermarket giant Henderson is to centralise the operations of two recently acquired companies, putting up to 115 jobs at risk. The Co Antrim group, which operates the Spar and Vivo franchise in the north, said the ongoing coronavirus crisis has severely curtailed its foodservice business. Monaghan based BD Foods (Barbarrie Duckling Limited) was acquired by Henderson Foodservice in July 2018. Foodco, which operates a fleet of multi-temperature vehicles across the whole of Ireland, has bases in Lisburn and Ashbourne, Co Meath. It was acquired in February 2019. All three locations are earmarked for closure at the end of July, with all services centralised in Henderson’s main base in Mallusk.