The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) has issued a statement warning that the industry is 'currently in crisis.'
According to the association, several independent food-led businesses are being forced to close their doors for good every day.
'Crippling Our Sector.'
'Government needs to intervene with immediate effect, otherwise more and more food led businesses will close their doors,' said Adrian Cummins, CEO of Restaurants Association of Ireland in a statement on LinkedIn.
'Wage inflation, VAT increase, warehouse tax and rising supplier costs are crippling our sector.'
The Restaurants Association of Ireland issued a five-point plan over the weekend to advise the government on what needs to be done help the sector.
The association warns action must be taken to avoid an otherwise 'inevitable tsunami' of restaurant and café closures in 2024.
1. Reinstate 9% Vat Rate
The association believes that the 50% increase in the VAT rate for the hospitality sector from 9% to 13% is the 'number one' cause of closures in the industry.
The RAI have strongly lobbied for the VAT rate to be re-instated at 9%.
2. Phase Warehouse Debt Repayments
The RAI warns that the revenue commissioners need to give business a viable opportunity to pay back what they owe over a ten-year period to avoid a 'tsunami of liquidations.'
3. Bespoke Support Package For The Industry
Small, independent business need grant aid support to stay open, according to the RAI.
The group warn that increases in wage costs and energy costs 'continue to cripple the labour-intensive, food-led hospitality industry.'
4. Help For Areas Suffering Reduced Tourism
The RAI has warned that the government must support restaurants, cafes and other food-led hospitality businesses in areas with reduced footfall, tourism and custom due to the efforts to house refugees.
5. Delay Pension Auto-Enrolement
Finally, the association believes the additional costs that will be incurred by the planned introduction of the government's pension auto-enrolement scheme in 2024 will be too much for many.
The RAI have called this to be pushed back to the second half of 2025.