Restaurants and indoor dining key to safe, regulated, controlled environment for public socialising in December and Christmas

  • Irish Taxpayer / Exchequer to lose €250 Million if Restaurant Sector remains closed for indoor dining in December
  • December accounts for 30% of Restaurants Annual turnover

Restaurants Association of Ireland today is calling on the Government to permit indoor dining in restaurants as the country exits Level 5 restrictions for the reopening of the economy and society safely this December.

Adrian Cummins CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland said: “Restaurants are now imploring on Government to answer this one question, what are we to do? December is a vital month for our industry and has in previous years accounted for over 30% of annual income which is used as a cash flow to stabilise restaurants in January and February of any normal trading year. With 11 days to the lifting of Level 5 restrictions it is vital for the economic survival of our sector that the Government allow indoor dining!

Restaurants do not make public health policy but have consistently followed it throughput the pandemic. The evidence shows that restaurants are safe, controlled environments. The Health Surveillance Protection Centre (HSPC) reporting of outbreak sources since March showed that there were 39 cases (.4%) in Restaurant / Café out of a total of 8,311.”

Based on economic analysis produced by Economist Jim Power, if Restaurants do not open this December the exchequer and by default the Irish taxpayer will lose €250 million*.  Analysing 2018 contribution by the Restaurant Sector to the Exchequer, the Accommodation and Food services sector contributed €1.16 billion euro to the Exchequer, comprised of VAT (€661 m); PAYE, Income Tax & USC (€316 m); Self-Employed Income Tax (€53 m); Corporation Tax (€119 m); and CGT (€11 m).

President of the Restaurants Association of Ireland Mark McGowan said: “At this time of year restaurants would be purchasing; turkeys and hams, vegetables from local producers and all the trimmings to serve to customers and their families. Restaurant owners do not know what to tell their staff, they do not know what to tell their suppliers.

Restaurants are highly regulated, controlled, safe and inspected environments. In advance of reopening in June there has been:

  1. Guidelines for Reopening (now on v.14)
  2. Social distancing & time limits
  3. Increased staff training on safety and hygiene
  4. Increased hygiene practices implemented
  5. Increased EHO Inspections
  6. Increased Gardai Inspections
  7. Failte Ireland Safety Charter
  8. Safety Charter Inspections

* This figures is reduced based on current economy in 2020. Reduction factors in reduced consumption in the economy and reduced work force.

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