President’s Report – May

President Liam Edwards

Has summer finally arrived or is there another twist in the tale of one of our longest winters?

The weather now has become a major factor in our business and costly one. While we all know this year held our worst winter in a long time, there are lot of people who feel the weather alerts are becoming very harmful to our business. While we do realise they must work on the side of caution, sometimes they remain still after the weather has calmed. It is something we will have to look at next year in advance.

We now have gone through all the regional events in the All-Ireland Restaurant Awards, I must take this oppurtity to thank the venues who hosted us.

We had Knightsbrook Hotel, Meath in Leister, Radisson Blue, Cork in Munster, Kilronan Castle, Roscommon in Connaught and finally Le Mon Hotel, Belfast in Ulster.

All roads now lead to the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road on the 14th of May for All-Ireland Awards. The food at this event is always amazing, even if there are 900 people in the room and if the regional events are anything to go by it promises to be a great night.

One of the biggest success stories in our industry in the last 25 years has being the smoking ban. Having recently spent a few days in a city where smoking in restaurants and bars is still legal, it is amazing to see how far we have come in this area. Recently there has been discussion around prohibiting the public from smoking outside, were customers are eating. While the smoker might find this measure somewhat extreme, from my own experience of eating outside (not that we get the chance too often), these areas usually have their tables quite close together. If you were to have a few people smoking at the next table, it would surely take enjoyment away from the dining experience. The ban is in the early stages so I think we should see how it progress before giving a definite yes or no on this.

Kind regards,

Liam Edwards

President of the RAI