48 Irish Restaurants, Cafes And Food-Led Businesses Closed In November

By Robert McHugh
48 Irish Restaurants, Cafes And Food-Led Businesses Closed In November

The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) has claimed that almost 50 restaurants, cafes and other food-led businesses across the country were forced to close and ceased trading in November.

‘A Perfect Storm’

The RAI has warned that the foodservice industry continues to grapple with ‘a perfect storm’ of increased costs and reduced consumer demand.

The association claims that operational costs for small local restaurants, cafes, and food-serving pubs – which include food costs, energy costs, insurance costs and VAT, the rate of which rose from 9% to 13.5% in September – have ‘skyrocketed’, while a recent Bord Bia report found that consumers are eating out less often.

‘Costs To Rise’

“What we are being told by restaurant and cafe owners is that this year’s busy Christmas season will not be enough to keep the doors of many food-led businesses open through 2024,” said Adrian Cummins, CEO of the RAI.

“As a result of various measures included in Budget 2024, ranging from the 12.4% increase in the minimum wage to the increase in paid sick leave entitlement days and the introduction of a pension auto-enrolment system, costs are only going to rise next year.”


Monthly Closures List

The announcement of the 48 closures was made as part of the November installation of the RAI’s Monthly Closures List.

The RAI has committed to continuing its Monthly Closures List over the coming months, in a bid to highlight the ‘alarming rates’ at which local restaurants, cafes and gastropubs are having to close their doors.

The RAI previously announced that 140 food-led hospitality businesses had ceased trading between July and the end of October this year, as subsequently reported by the Irish Independent and Newstalk.

‘Tip Of The Iceberg’

“The government needs to seriously consider introducing a hospitality-specific support package and also returning the 9% VAT rate for food-led businesses,” said Cummins.

“If the government fails to take swift and decisive action – including the return of the 9% VAT rate for food-led businesses – then the alarming level of closures we are already witnessing will only be the tip of the iceberg.”