Restaurant industry warns of need for new supports as bookings drop

ireland
Restaurant Industry Warns Of Need For New Supports As Bookings Drop Restaurant Industry Warns Of Need For New Supports As Bookings Drop
It is understood that Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath will meet with representatives from the hospitality industry on Friday morning amid the ongoing concerns. Photo: PA Images
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Olivia Kelleher

Restaurants have seen an 80 per cent drop in bookings as they head in to what is traditionally the busiest time of the year, according to the chief executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Adrian Cummins.

It is understood that Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath will meet with representatives from the hospitality industry on Friday morning amid the ongoing concerns.

Mr Cummins has warned that their industry has "fallen off a cliff" since the Government told the public to reduce their social contacts whilst insisting more support are needed.

"Effectively it is death by a thousand cuts for our sector at the moment. As we can hear now more restrictions coming in to play once that Nphet letter is published," Mr Cummins said.

"We are also hearing about reducing opening times as well," he added.

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"This is another part of the frustration within our industry in that these restrictions are coming in to play which is making our industry unviable at the moment.

"The wage supplement scheme declined by 42 percent as of last Wednesday. That makes our industry very precarious."

Mr Cummins told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that they need the Government to deliver for hospitality and restore the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme back to normal rates.

"And put in place a support scheme around the CRSS payment (the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme) for businesses as we see business declining and going off a cliff for many thousands of businesses across the country," he said.

"This is happening at a very difficult time. A time where they should be generating cash flow and keeping those businesses afloat in to the New Year.

"We have always abided by public health throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so but we need the support of Government in this urgent time."

Mr Cummins added that their focus is on the next three months within the industry.

"To get us in to the New Year, we want to sit down with Government and have a long term strategy for hospitality.

"We need to ensure that pubs, restaurants and hotels are all supported in a long term strategy and how we can keep businesses fully open, viable and sustainable in to the future.

"But we need to have a plan for this," he added.

"Right across Europe they are having the same conversations in every European country. But we need to sit down with Government as soon as possible to devise this strategy in line with public health also. "

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