President’s Update October 2015

I must start by saying how much I love Autumn, the changing colours of the trees and the summer sun in October, but it also brings its challenges. As members you must remember effective membership is about participation. A hearty thanks to those who have attended the branch meetings so far and to those of you who have partaken in all our surveys, promotions and initiatives.

Now we all need to play our part in the lobbying and campaigning  side of things, and I am asking each and every one of you to step up to the plate and do your best to ensure your local political representatives know the issues that affect us as restaurant owners.

We had a very successful evening meeting with members of the Oireachtas last week in Buswells Hotel, Dublin. We are very grateful to the all the Cabinet Ministers, Teachtaí Dála and Senators that took time out of their busy schedules to listen to our progressive plan for the future of the Irish restaurant industry. It is important to remind Government of the significant contribution that the restaurant industry is making in rebuilding Ireland’s economy and they were all very impressed with what we had to say and received our pre budget submission packs.  They all certainly agreed on our points which was encouraging to hear. So I’m asking all of you as members to remind our public representatives of the success of the lowered VAT rate and how it’s retention is crucial for our industry this must be retained until 2020 to ensure continued job growth in tourism.

With only 8 days remaining until Budget 2016 it is vital that all members contact their local politicians as we are only a force in numbers. You’ll find all of the RAI Budget Priorities on our website along with contact details of your local TD’s.

Branch meetings are still ongoing with updates from our CEO Adrian Cummins, Employment Law Experts Peninsula, Jobbio Recruitment and Elavon. Branch meetings are an important opportunity for members to air their own personal concerns. Forums, where we hear first-hand the real problems facing you all individually. I would urge many of you to take only an hour or two away from your businesses and attend the remaining events. Those who have come so far have been very pleased with the content and the format in which it is presented.


Finally The RAI Golf society enjoyed the away outing recently I must say it was a fantastic few days spent with lovely people.  Thanks to the Farnham Estate and the staff especially the General Manger, Andrew Drysdale and his team Kim Waller and Golf Professional Gavin Byrne for making our trip so successful. Congratulations to the Red Team and captain Shiva on winning a closely fought battle. Sincere thanks to our sponsors Tindal Wines, Java Republic and Elavon. Don’t forget the Christmas outing will take place on the 23rd November at Portmarnock links and places are booking up quickly for this event.

If there’s anything I or the association can do to assist your business over the next few months, be sure to let us know. We are here to serve you throughout the year.

Slán go foillín

Anthony Gray

President Restaurants Association of Ireland

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