Welcome to the September edition of Bord Bia's Ireland Market Foodservice Newsletter.
As part of Bord Bia’s 2020 Irish foodservice market insights programme, we are hosting a series of research meetings with foodservice industry representatives this month. Findings from the research will be made available to trade buyers and food and drink suppliers at our annual Foodservice Seminar on Wednesday, 11th November. Given ongoing Covid restrictions and the recently published Government guidelines, this year’s event will be live streamed. Additional information and the ability to register online will be made available via our website in the coming weeks.
GENERAL INDUSTRY NEWS
Manufacturing sector decline after recent rapid growth
Business Post – 02.09.2020
The manufacturing sector here posted its third consecutive month of expansion in August, but growth slowed from a near two-year high seen in July, a survey from AIB showed. The AIB IHS Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) slipped to 52.3 in August from 57.3 in July, but remained above the 50 level that denotes growth. In April, Covid-19 restrictions had pushed the index to a 10-year low of 36.
Exchequer deficit climbed to €9.5bn by end of August
RTE Business – 02.09.2020
The public finances recorded a deficit of €9.5bn at the end of August according to the latest Exchequer Returns. This compares to a deficit of €625m recorded at the same point last year. The €8.8bn deterioration is largely due to increases in government spending. The increase in spending is concentrated in the departments of Health and Employment Affairs and Social Protection. Compared to last year, there has been an increase in overall government spending of 28% or €9.46bn. But tax revenues continue to come in better than expected. Tax revenue in August was only down marginally by €11m or 0.4% compared to August of last year.
QUICK SERVICE RESTAURANT (QSR) & PUB SECTOR
Decision to keep Dublin 'wet pubs' closed criticised
RTE Business– 15.09.2020
The chief executive of the Licensed Vintners Association has described today's decision not to re-open Dublin's wet pubs as "absolutely devastating”. The Government earlier announced that pubs in 25 counties will open on 21 September as planned. But wet pubs, or pubs that do not serve food, will not be allowed to reopen in Dublin due to the fact that the level of coronavirus in the city and county has increased more than tenfold in the past two months. Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Mr O'Keeffe called on the Government to outline the financial supports that will make available for the businesses.
Publicans at risk of defaulting on mortgages - LVA
RTE Business– 01.09.2020
The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) claims that once the six-month moratorium on mortgage repayments put in place by the banks in March expires later this month, many publicans will still be unable to afford to repay their loans. As a result they will technically be deemed to be in default, the LVA says, a designation that could damage their credit rating. The LVA claims that only a tiny amount of the €16m package of assistance announced by the Government will actually be made up of grant aid for closed pubs, which is what they need.
HOTEL & RESTAURANT SECTOR
Dalata Hotel Group’s H1 revenues slump 60%
RTE Business– 01.09.2020
Dalata Hotel Group has reported a big drop in revenue and a pre-tax loss for the six months to the end of June as Covid-19 restrictions forced the closure of most of its 44 hotels in Ireland and the UK for most of April, May and June. Dalata said its half yearly revenues slumped by 60% to €80.8m while it reported a pre-tax loss of €70.9m. It said that occupancy for the group amounted to 30% in July and is projected to be about 40% for August. Overall occupancy for the six months to the end of June fell to 34.3% from 80.2% the same time last year.
Bewley’s Grafton St. reopens its doors
Hotel & Catering Review- 31.08.2020
Ireland’s much-loved café, Bewley’s Grafton St., reopened its doors Thursday 27th August at 10 am. The iconic café has been part of the fabric of Grafton St. since 1927 and the running of Bewley’s Grafton St. is a true family affair with three generations of the Campbell family involved in the business. Bewley’s Grafton St. will initially open with table service and offer a limited menu which has been curated with the customer in mind. The café experience has been modified to allow for reduced capacity and social distancing.
CASUAL DINING & CONTRACT CATERING SECTORS
Google cancels plan to lease large office space in Dublin
Business Post - 09.09.2020
Google has abandoned plans to rent office space in a prime location in Dublin's Docklands. The global tech company has confirmed reports that the lease will not go ahead. Last October, Google entered into talks to rent the state-of-the-art 'Sorting Office' near Dublin's south quays. The seven-storey building on the site of the old An Post sorting office at Cardiff Lane was reported to be the future workplace of up to 2,000 of the firm's employees.
Sodexo Appoints new Managing Director for Ireland
Hospitality Ireland - 31.08.2020
Foodservices and facilities management company Sodexo has announced that Dublin native David Fox will become the managing director of Sodexo Ireland on September 1, 2020. Fox has held several senior management roles within the company. His most recent role was European account director for one of Sodexo's global FMCG manufacturing clients. Fox will report to Sodexo Ireland country president Julie Ennis, who previously held the role and who has now become the CEO of corporate services for Sodexo UK and Ireland.