The Restaurants Association of Ireland was formed in 1970 with the initial goal of forming a strong lobby that would represent the industry at Government level on issues of importance to the Irish restaurant industry.

The Association’s efforts in 1986 to get VAT reduced from 25% to 10% and again in 2013 to maintain the VAT at 9% was the result of the expert lobbying of a group of dedicated restaurateurs on behalf of themselves and their colleagues.

Such successes have been repeated over the years, particularly in the areas of taxation, licensing, standards, curriculum development both at Irish Government level and also at European level.

The RAI now represents in excess of 2,500 members, with establishments representing full service restaurants, coffees shops, hotel restaurants, gastropubs, golf clubs and cookery schools. We also have over 150 trade partners, businesses that are our approved suppliers of products and services for restaurants.

The RAI organise and promote the annual Irish Restaurant Awards, Ireland’s premier restaurant event –

RAI Council & Staff

The Restaurants Association National Council is made up of restaurateurs, café owners, and gastropub owners from all over the Republic of Ireland with an interest in developing the restaurant industry.

The RAI head office is based in Dublin 8.  Read more about the RAI Staff here.

Benevolent Fund

The Restaurants Association of Ireland Benevolent Fund was founded in March 1996 for the purpose of supporting people from the hospitality & catering industry who had fallen on hard times.The Benevolent Fund is for those currently or previously involved in the hospitality & catering industry in Ireland. Our aim is to help people from our industry that, through no fault of their own, have fallen on hard times and need a helping hand now. Charity No: 11485. For more information email 

How your restaurant can benefit from our work:

  • Many members feel strongly about legislative matters, but feel powerless in addressing concerns to the relevant authorities. We facilitate lobbying efforts on legislative issues. We bring together the restaurant, café and gastropub industry of Ireland and represent them as a recognised representative body and registered lobby group. Members are represented at local, national and European Level through our membership of HOTREC – the umbrella Association of Hotels, Restaurants, Pubs and Cafes and similar establishments in Europe
  • The financial benefits are numerous- discounts on utilities, restaurant insurance, merchant services, telecommunications providers, IMRO and PPI.
  • Networking with colleagues in a friendly and informative way, either at local or national level, is vital in the foodservice industry.  We have nine branches, representing all corners of the country.
  • Sourcing suitably trained staff is made easier with the jobs section on our website, and the many training programmes we design and facilitate.
  • We provide experienced, professional advice on a daily basis- all just a phone-call or email away.
  • Discounted training courses through our Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the office on 01-6779901 or e-mail

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