Gourmet Food Parlour To Open New Restaurant In Co. Meath
According to The Business Post, Irish restaurant group Gourmet Food Parlour will create up to 30 jobs with the opening of a new restaurant in Co. Meath by the start of 2022.
The business, which recently marked its 15th year in operation, weathered the worst of the pandemic after pivoting to a delivery service and launching a new hamper-based business.
The restaurant will be located in the east of the county and will seat up to 85 people.
Its opening comes after a year of negotiations by Gourmet Food Parlour and marks its first move outside of either Co Dublin or Co Galway.
"I can't wait to open in Meath," Lorraine Heskin, the co-founder of the business, reportedly said. "It's a place I’ve been looking to open in for a long time and it’s a great premises.”
The opening of a new restaurant, the company's seventh, marks the latest step in a 15-year journey for Gourmet Food Parlour. Headquartered in Dún Laoghaire, the business currently employs more than 230 people at its restaurants and is a sponsor of both Dublin GAA and the Olympic Federation of Ireland.
While it generated €1.4 million in revenue during the pandemic through delivery services like Deliveroo, Heskin reportedly said that COVID-19 had "really tested" the firm.
"There were moments where I honestly didn’t know if I was going to be able to keep the business going," she reportedly said.
By establishing a new division, Gourmet Gifts, the Galway native was able to make up for lost revenue and generate a new customer base.
Customers can now create custom hampers for loved ones or choose one of the company’s pre-made options, and Gourmet Gifts will deliver the parcel to its recipient.
"There was a serious amount of demand for it from the start," Heskin reportedly said. "We sat down and had a bit of a brainstorm, and decided to have a different website and name for it, but linked to the whole Gourmet idea. We were crazy busy last Christmas."
"You go into fight or flight mode," she reportedly said of the COVID-19 pandemic. "You say, 'I've been in business for 13 years, and I've got 280 people that I employ, and they rely on me. So I'm not going to sit down and take it.'"
Before COVID-19, Gourmet Food Parlour was known more for its dine-in options than for takeaway. But with eating out no longer an option, it successfully moved to platforms like Deliveroo and Just Eat and added a "totally new element to the business".
"When we started opening for takeaway, it opened up this new customer base for us," Heskin reportedly said.
But with dining reopened, Heskin said Gourmet Food Parlour was "delighted to be serving food on plates again, and looking forward to the future".
She reportedly said that her goal was to grow sustainably while upholding the standards she had set for the business.
"Gourmet Food Parlour is very strong, and I think it has the potential to be even stronger," she reportedly said. "So I will definitely continue to focus and grow at a level I know won't jeopardise the existing business."
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.