Bord Bia has released a new report stating that consumer spending in Ireland has risen in relation to eating out this year, with the hotel sector and cafés experiencing the biggest growth. However, the state agency also asserted that Irish city centres have reached "saturation point" for cafés and quick-serve restaurants, with a tight labour market resulting in staff shortages.
As reported by The Irish Independent, Bord Bia chief executive Tara McCarthy stated, "While we expect to see continued positive activity in the next three years, going forward overall growth figures are likely to be lower than previous years."
Bord Bia's report found that while consumers are willing to spend money on unique dining experiences, there is also a strong desire for convenience, with the restaurant market's greatest challenge being delivery services facilitated by smartphone apps.
The report said, "The growing on-demand food service culture is driving the popularity of cashless, click-and-collect and third-party delivery options. As more tech-enabled solutions enter the market, much of the 'front of house' experience between consumers and the operator could ultimately become automated."
Veganism And Environmental Awareness
Bord Bia also found that vegetarianism and vegan dining are on the rise in Ireland and that consumers are becoming increasingly eco-conscious, with the report proclaiming, "Operating with a conscience is the expectation, not the exception and this includes reducing food waste and reducing packaging. While the focus has been on the coffee cup, the issue is likely to spread to plastics and broader packaging (both consumer-facing and back-of-house)."
© 2018 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.