Foodservice recovery plan launched by RAI

90% of restaurants currently closed in Ireland with 120,000 jobs at risk in the months ahead



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27 April 2020

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A nine-point plan to help save and recover the restaurant industry was launched today by the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) at a time when over 90% of restaurants currently closed and 120,000 jobs are at permanent risk in the next two months.

A number of recommendations included in the nine-point plan may also be relevant for in-store cafes within both convenience stores and forecourt service stations.

“Our plan which is the only viable solution for restaurants is on the desks of ministers and departments,” said RAI CEO, Adrian Cummins. “We are seeking urgent action to save and recover our industry as nine out of 10 restaurants face permanent closure in the months ahead without urgent action.”

Since the initial decline in restaurant customers in late February, the association has engaged at local level with its 3,000 strong membership of restaurants, gastropubs, cafés and eateries and listened to their asks.

The points raised within the recovery plan have been communicated to various governmental departments, TDs, Senators and Fáilte Ireland over the last number of weeks.

European solution

The Restaurants Association of Ireland is a member of Hospitality Europe (HOTREC) which is the umbrella association of hotels, restaurants, cafés and similar establishments in Europe. HOTREC brings together 45 member associations in 33 countries and is the voice of the European hospitality industry.

Engagement at a European level is also vital and the RAI and its counterparts in Europe have sought a unified approach to the recovery of the restaurant and hospitality sector at a European level. The association is confident such engagement will further strengthen the case for European-led grant aid support through the Irish government to the devastated restaurant and hospitality sector.

Nine-point Recovery Plan – Immediate supports needed for restaurants and hospitality

  1. VAT: 0% VAT rate for tourism and hospitality for period of crisis and for 12 months thereafter and then revert to 9% for period of five years
  2. Rents: Legislation to protect commercial lease holders and any mortgage holiday or write-offs to be passed on to the lease holder. A scheme like France called the 60/20/20. Government supplements rent by 60%, landlord reduces rent by 20% and commercial tenant pays 20% for 12 months of the crisis
  3. Banks: No banking fees for hospitality until a vaccine is found. ECB interest rates on loans and a moratorium on existing loan repayments
  4. Insurance: Pay-outs under business interruption and notifiable disease clauses. Forbearance, in either rebates or extensions to policies for period of closure, and no suspension of cover whilst businesses are closed
  5. Wage supports: Continued supports for restaurants and hospitality until vaccine is found. Support for people over the age of 66 and seasonal workers in the PUP and Wage Subsidy Schemes
  6. Liquidity/grants: A DBEI package of grants for businesses to cover outgoings in the first six months following the return of normal trading
  7. Commercial rates: Rates write-off for restaurants and hospitality for the full crisis period until a vaccine is found
  8. Utilities: Ban on utility providers cutting off services and demanding payments when business are closed. Review of standing charges for closure period.
  9. Outdoor Seating: Waiver of licences for outdoor tables and chairs for one year to enable businesses to reopen and adapt to social distancing using outdoor spaces


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