The Restaurants Association of Ireland has warned that up to 50% of restaurants in Ireland face closure unless an emergency grant aid package is issued by the government.
The representative body also warned that recently promoted staycations or weekends away will not be an option if the tourism and hospitality industry is not supported.This follows the release of a damning report on the consequences of not supporting the restaurant sector.
The report, which was prepared by Jim Power Economics, states that the accommodation and food services sector has been seriously damaged by the COVID 19 crisis, and is the first fully costed recovery plan published for the industry.
Economist Jim Power, who prepared the report, said: “The restaurant sector has been impacted in a devastating fashion by COVID 19. Once it reopens, the trading environment will be extremely challenging as a result of social distancing requirements, various health protocols, the absence of overseas visitors, and consumer nervousness. The sector is a major employer all over Ireland and is an essential element of economic and social life and is arguably the most important component of Ireland’s tourism offering.
“It seems clear that many restaurants will struggle to survive in the challenging environment ahead, but it is equally clear that in order to rebuild the economically vital tourism sector over the next couple of years, it is essential that we have an abundance of high quality restaurants in the country. It is essential that the restaurant sector gets the maximum possible support from Government, to get the sector through the difficult times ahead. The cost of such support would be far outweighed by the cost of doing nothing, in terms of job losses all over Ireland, closed businesses on the streets of towns, villages and cities all over the country, and the damage to Ireland’s tourism offering.”
Restaurants Association of Ireland CEO, Adrian Cummins, said: “This report is damning evidence that our sector needs support measures put in place immediately by the government. Our members are stating that a 50% staff layoff is inevitable unless they receive supports, and in the long run, we estimate that almost 50% of restaurant businesses will struggle and shut their doors if the Government do not intervene.
“The Government have been promoting staycations and weekends away for the months ahead. Let me be very clear on this. There will be no staycations if our restaurants and hospitality businesses close. Indigenous businesses will be lost forever."