90% of Irish restaurants currently closed with 120,000 jobs at risk in months ahead
The Restaurants Association of Ireland, the official trade body for the sector, has launched its 9-point plan to help save and recover the restaurant industry with over 90% of restaurants currently closed and 120,000 jobs at permanent risk in the next two months.
Speaking on Monday, the Restaurants Association of Ireland CEO, Adrian Cummins said: "Our plan which is the only viable solution for restaurants is on the desks of Ministers & Departments. We are seeking urgent action to save and recover our industry as 9 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 Restaurants Association of Ireland has engaged at local level with its 3000 strong membership of Restaurants, Gastropubs, Cafés and eateries and listened to their asks.
The asks of this recovery plan have been communicated to various governmental departments, TDs, Senators and Fáilte Ireland over the last number of weeks as we all seek to ensure the Irish Restaurant and Hospitality Industry recovers and strengthens in the coming months ahead, which will not be without their challenges.
The Restaurants Association of Ireland is a member of Hospitality Europe (HOTREC) which is the umbrella association of Hotels, Restaurants, Cafés & 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.
Such engagement will further strengthen the case for European led grant aid support through the Irish Government to the devastated Restaurant and Hospitality Sector.
9-point Recovery Plan - Immediate supports needed for Restaurants & Hospitality
- VAT: 0% VAT Rate for Tourism & Hospitality for period of crisis & for 12 months thereafter & then revert to 9% for period of 5 years
- Rents: Legislation to protect commercial lease holders & 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% & Commercial Tenant pays 20% for 12 months of the crisis
- Banks: No banking fees for hospitality until a vaccine is found. ECB interest rates on loans & a moratorium on existing loan repayments
- Insurance: Pay-outs under business interruption & notifiable disease clauses. Forbearance, in either rebates or extensions to policies for period of closure, & no suspension of cover whilst businesses are closed
- Wage Supports: Continued supports for Restaurants & Hospitality until vaccine is found. Support for people over the age of 66 & seasonal workers in the PUP & Wage Subsidy Schemes
- Liquidity / Grants: A DBEI package of grants for businesses to cover outgoings in the first six months following the return of normal trading
- Commercial Rates: Rates write off for Restaurants & Hospitality for the full crisis period until a vaccine is found
- Utilities: Ban on utility providers cutting off services & demanding payments when business are closed. Review of standing charges for closure period.
- Outdoor Seating: Waiver of licences for outdoor tables and chairs for 1 year to enable businesses to reopen and adapt to social distancing using outdoor spaces