The shortage of hotel space in Dublin has been widely reported, however according to CBRE, competition is also heating up for restaurant space in the city.
The commercial property adviser estimates that an extra 30 restaurants are required around Dublin, according to the Irish Independent. The requirements could be filled by fine or causal dining restaurants, as well as sandwich bars or coffee outlets.
The competition for space has led to restaurateurs outbidding retailers for units, especially those that already have catering as a permitted use. Simon Cooper of CBRE says restaurateurs are willing to pay €60 to €80 per sq ft for units, whereas retailers only want to spend €40 to €50.
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The businesses vying for locations are broken into four sub-sections: fine dining, casual dining, coffee outlets and the increasingly popular salad and sandwich bars such as Irish franchises Chopped and Freshii.
Easing up planning restrictions for restaurants would address the shortage, says Richard Guiney of Dublin Town. "People increasingly see shopping as a social activity and wish to enjoy a meal or cup of coffee as part of their shopping trip. We believe that there is a case to be made for changes of use from retail to hospitality where the entire district would benefit from it," says Guiney.