The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) has announced that one restaurant in Ireland per day is shutting down and 80 percent are running at a loss.
The association said that the Irish governments policies and inaction are putting 21,000 jobs at risk and said that economy could potentially lose nearly $1 billion.
Chief executive of the RAI, Adrian Cummins said “Nothing has been done by the Government since this time last year to change this reality.”
Cummins said that restaurateurs had already adapted to the recession by reducing their costs and menu prices.
The RAI are also calling for a reduction to the regulatory overhead placed on the businesses. He told the Irish Examiner “Restaurants are required to interact with up to 27 different public, statutory and other regulatory bodies in operating what, on the face of it, is a relatively simple business model.”
He explained that Irish restaurateurs paid the second highest wages in Europe and the second highest excise on wines.
Cummins pointed out that food in Ireland cost 24 percent more than the European average. And that the restaurant sector had been hit by a drop of 20 percent in the numbers of overseas visitors to Ireland during the first six months of the year.
The RAI will release a pre-budget submission of 15 steps it believes would allow the recovery of the sector.
It will call for reductions in excise duty on alcohol and an abolition of excise on wine. Their statement will call for changes to the employer’s Pay Related Social Insurance in order to take account of investment in training and job maintenance. It will also call on local authorities to decrease commercial rates by a minimum of 10 percent by 2011.