Presidents Report – October 2017

Another season down! I hope it was a busy one.

It has been a busy September in the Association.

A few weeks ago we launched the Global Hospitality Tech Summit in conjunction with Food & Bev Live which will be held in City West on February 6th and 7th 2018. Follow @GlobalHospTech on twitter or the website to see a full list of speakers, technology that will be showcased that’s new and innovative in our industry.

Last week we had what I feel, very successful meetings with TD’s at Buswells Hotel for our annual Oireachtas Briefing and presentation of our pre-budget submission. We certainly got our point across that any increase in the VAT rate will result in job losses so whatever saving that they think can be made will be lost when up to 6,000 could be put back in the live register.

We also highlighted the rising cost of doing business in this country, the need for the introduction of a Tourism & Hospitality Training Agency and to reduce excise duty.

As we enter our last week before the budget I would ask all the members to contact the local td to highlight the above point. Contact your local TD here

I have seen a lot of social media coverage recently about no shows in our restaurants as well as groups booking 2-3 restaurants for the same night and not cancelling then! I would love to say there is a black and white answer to this. Many feel the only way to combat this is for every restaurant to take credit cards and demand a booking deposit which I feel is the way forward.

However, not one policy fits all and in certain locations it would be difficult for a restaurant to introduce such a policy as the fear would be they may upset or even lose the customer before they arrive.  I totally understand this, as I run one if these restaurants. With Christmas season fast approaching, it provides a golden opportunity for all restaurants to introduce a booking policy & secure credit card details. Have a cancellation policy in place on your website and notify customers at the time of booking.

Finally, I was thrilled to see the Wild Honey in Co. Clare receive a Michelin star, the first Irish pub to receive one! There were also 8 new Bib Gourmands for Bastible, Forest & Marcy, Craft, Richmond in Dublin, Kai in Galway, Morrisseys in Doonbeg, Noble in Co. Down and Two Cooks in Sallins, Kildare, what a fantastic achievement.  Many congratulations must go to all the wonderful restaurants and their teams who retained their stars and Bibs, what a fantastic achievement. Ireland is slowly but surely starting to see more recognition for the wonderful restaurants, chefs, front of house and produce that we have. We should have received a few more new stars of course but that’s another story.

As always, if we can assist with any issues or you have an idea that you feel we should work on, we would love to hear from you. Please e-mail info@rai.ie or call 01-6779901

Best wishes,

Liam Edwards @PresidentRAI

President, Restaurants Association of Ireland