President’s Report – July 2023

President’s Report – July 2023

It’s the end of June, the last months weather has been amazing. Its easy to forget what the sun brings, the positivity and energy in the air is infectious. Restaurants, gastro pubs and cafes everywhere are putting any extra tables and chairs outside to avail of the conditions. One of the only positives to come out of Covid is that we don’t thing twice about it. As soon we see the sun, we’re out. I’ve noticed like everything the price of outside furniture has also taken a jump. Are we surprised? The costs of doing business continues to dominate the conversations every Monday morning after a weeks review, there seems no end to the issue. Its always been prudent to shop around but I find the time it’s taking out of my week is more than ever before. I’ve always tried to stay loyal to suppliers where possible, but that’s getting harder and harder when you are looking at every cost in minute detail. There are savings to be made, but unless you can afford to have somebody employed fulltime in purchasing then it’s very difficult. I’ve looked into using the services of a procurement company and I’m strongly considering it. To be honest, I’ve looked at them before but never really saw the merit in them. I’m starting to change my mind…

June 2023 Review

So, as I said the weather has been amazing this past month. Our pubs and restaurants have definitely been boosted by the early summer spell. Often we have to wait until July before we feel we are in the summer season but not this year. Every weekend there’s a festival of somewhere, bringing welcomed custom to our door steps. I was invited to Bloom earlier in the month with INTO Kildare. It was my first time there and it wont be my last. I know flowers and garden displays are the main feature of the weekend but the amount of food suppliers showcasing their products was incredible. I didn’t have enough time to get around to them all but as I said I will definitely be going back next year. Id encourage anyone who hasn’t been before to put it on the list.

Last month I spoke about the reported number of bed nights around the country that have been taken up by refugees, Fáilte Ireland have just revised that figure (as reported by the Irish Times). The new figure is an estimated 13% of available beds around the country are being taken up. There are now five counties with more than 20% of available capacity out of use for tourism: Offaly, Mayo, Leitrim, Meath and Clare. Clare tops the list with 33%. The knock-on effect for the restaurant and hospitality sector is huge in these are areas. Notwithstanding the effect it then has on suppliers and so on. Our CEO Adrian Cummins recently tweeted on the matter above saying that “there seems to be a disconnect between government department/agencies regarding correct data. Hospitality & Tourism SME’s deserve better”. I tend to agree.

The conversation about the proposed 20 cent Latte Levy hasn’t gone away. Representatives from the RAI attended a panel discussion at the IPPCA launch of the Jim Power report assessing the impact of the proposed levy. It’s worth a read.

Until next month.

Yours in catering, 

Paul Lenehan

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