Hospitality Leaders Warn of 'Enormous Financial Pressures'

By Robert McHugh
Hospitality Leaders Warn of 'Enormous Financial Pressures'

A coalition of hospitality groups hosted a ‘Supporting Irish Hospitality’ industry event this week at Buswells Hotel to advocate for a reduction in the VAT rate on food-related services from the current 13.5% to 9%.

The event highlighted the challenges faced by the hospitality and tourism sector, particularly regional businesses, many of which are now at a "cross-roads" as they struggle to deal with increasing operating costs, very tight margins and reduced profitability.

Hospitality business owners from across the country including representatives from regional restaurants, bars and hotels were in attendance to brief TDs and Senators on the challenges they face.

'Enormous Financial Pressures'

A joint statement was issued from the chief executives of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC), Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI), Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI), Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) and Licensed Vintners Association (LVA).

"On behalf of hospitality businesses, the length and breadth of the country, we are calling on the government to commit to reinstating the 9% rate of VAT on food-related services," the group said.


"It is essential that last September’s VAT increase be revisited in the upcoming budget given the severe impact it is having on hospitality businesses, many of which are facing enormous financial pressures."

9% VAT Rate

The statement was signed by Eoghan O'Mara Walsh (CEO, ITIC), Adrian Cummins (CEO, RAI), Pat Crotty (CEO, VFI), Tim Fenn (CEO, IHF) and Donall O’Keeffe (CEO, LVA).

The group have called for the government to do everything possible to help put the hospitality sector and wider tourism industry on a more stable footing.

At a minimum, the group said this must include the reinstatement of the 9% VAT rate for food-related hospitality services.

'Unprecedented Cost Increases'

"Businesses throughout the sector are forecasting worrying cost increases over the next 12 months at levels significantly outpacing inflation within the broader economy," the group noted.


"This is on the back of a period of unprecedented cost increases in recent years."