President’s Report – December 2022

It’s hard to believe another month has gone by, 2023 is just around the corner. The war rages on and cost of business continues to dominate our everyday lives. I fear that the issues we are experiencing now will be with us well into the new year. However, we are a remarkable race of people. In the face of adversary we keep our heads up and live from day to day. We forget easy and press on. If COVID taught us anything its that we can recover and get through it. Our customers are doing their best for us, supporting our trade where they can. Next month will be a great month that I have no doubt. 3 years since people could enjoy a Christmas party or a meal out without any restrictions will surely guarantee that every restaurant seat will be full twice over on the run in to Christmas.

November 2022

November turned out to be a busy month, we had the TBESS guidelines made available and the application process was opened. Confusing as it is to make out it will lend great supports to the business’s that qualify. However, the RAI will continue their effort in lobbying the government on the issues where businesses using bottle gas and those whom opened in 2021 will not be eligible to apply.

Also the new law to ensure staff get paid tips comes into effect on the 1st of December. Welcomed by the RAI, the new legislation will finally give clarification and transparency regarding its distribution to staff. As I said last month. Most of us have been doing thing the right way, now everyone has to and those not doing so will be found out.

In July, the Irish government passed the Circular Economy Act, which allows a levy – and eventually an outright ban – to be placed on single use items, including renewable fibre paper cups. This will no doubt affect a lot of your businesses and up to the end of the month you have a chance to register your views during a Public Consultation period.

A Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) was issued by the Irish government for their Public Consultation on draft regulations to introduce an environmental levy on single-use disposable cups (The ‘Latte Levy’). However it was judged to have been completely flawed. A shocking revelation I read was that If the report data is updated to reflect the correct reusable cup share at 3%, then the reports behavioural conclusions would result in a market drop of 22%. Such a market drop would result in a net loss to the exchequer, the closing of 660 coffee shops and the loss of 3300 jobs. Don’t get me wrong. Im very much in support of reducing our greenhouse gases and I fully support climate change but going after the minute amount of plastic in a non-reusable coffee cup while leaving plastic bottles of water untouched seems madness.

Lastly, and on a more positive note the RAI have started once again bringing the association back into the country with its regional business meetings. Our first one was held in the Davenport Hotel on the 21st of November for all the Dublin based businesses and we will be rolling out the schedule for the rest of the country in the nest few weeks. After years of being away we look forward to re connecting with those of you who can attend.

The next time you will hear from me will be after the madness of Christmas. Wishing each and every one of you a successful season, make time for your families and have a merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Yours in hospitality,

Paul Lenehan – President

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