President’s Report – December 2019

Welcome to the Presidents report for December. The busiest period on the calendar for many restaurants has finally arrived. December has always been a month I have enjoyed in hospitality. Make the most of it, January may be a challenging month for us. December is also a time where many restaurants experience increases in ‘no shows’. In my own experience the best way to avoid a scenario like this is to request a deposit, it is a matter for each restaurant to decide what they should do.

December is of course a time to give and very recently the RAI gift voucher was unveiled. This initiative is supported by Fáilte Ireland as part of the Taste the island campaign. It is available to all members and so it is a great opportunity to generate extra voucher sales this Christmas. You can sign up via and it is a very simple process. The platform for the customer is very fluid and easy to use and I can see it becoming a one stop shop for restaurant vouchers. I would highly recommend signing up.

Earlier this month I attended one of the most valuable and insightful courses of the year, The Restaurant Marketeer and Innovator programme hosted in Dublin by the RAI and held in the Morrison. It was an excellent day and I would highly recommend it to all marketeers next year. There was an excellent mix of speakers and all of the delegates came away with useful tips to assist their marketing strategy within their organisation. Try not to miss out next year.

I am looking forward to new and exciting initiatives which will be rolling out in 2020 such as our employer programme. We are in the development process and we will be delivering the programme early 2020. This programme will be of huge benefit to businesses and it will assist in retaining staff and also improving the quality of employment in our industry. There are so many excellent employers out there and I feel that this programme will be an excellent tool to ensure that we as an industry are providing the best standards we possibly can which will in turn retain staff and increase job satisfaction within our industry.

One of the largest contributors to the cost of doing business is the continuously rising cost of Insurance premiums. There have been many high profile recent closures and many of them due to restaurants not being able to afford these high premiums. Spurious claimants are the scapegoat and for me many solicitors are the driving force behind these rising costs. If you type personal injury claim into google the results are astonishing in terms of the solicitors advertising ‘no win no fee’ scenarios or ‘free consultation’. It cannot go on and I welcome the recent naming of the Judicial Council of the personal injury guidelines committee who will be meeting this week. I hope that actions are put in place as early as possible and the outcome will hopefully be significant reductions in compensation amounts, in turn reducing premiums. We will continue to work with the Alliance for Insurance Reform and do our part in tackling this issue.

It is my hope that all of our members have an epic December and hopefully, a deserved rest period at some stage over the holidays. I look forward to touching base in January.


Mark Mc Gowan


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