Service sector

The restaurant industry will not fully recover until 2023

The restaurant sector in Ireland will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023 at the earliest, according to a new report from Bord Bia.

While the value of the sector has increased by 14.6% this year, the Irish Food Promotion Council said it remained 41% below pre-pandemic turnover levels.

Bord Bia said he expects the industry value for 2021 to reach 5.15 billion euros.

The report reveals that certain market segments, such as limited-service restaurants and cafes, have been less affected and will recover more quickly next year.

However, others such as restaurants, hotels, pubs and workplace catering will continue to be impacted not only by Covid-19 public health restrictions but also by other more sector-specific challenges. wide.

“These obstacles to growth include labor shortages, supply chain disruptions and rapidly rising inflation – all of which are complex issues facing the world, which will require solutions. world,” said Maureen Gahan, catering specialist at Bord Bia.

While domestic demand has helped support many segments of the tourism industry, the report says it will not fully recover until public health advice allows a return to full international travel.

Consumer attitudes

The report also looked at consumer attitudes towards restaurants.

Of those surveyed, 76% said they missed the restaurant dining experience and that the social aspect of the restaurant is what they most look forward to.

This makes eating out the most missed social activity, compared to leisure shopping at 59%, concerts, sporting and live events at 57%, and time spent with colleagues at 45%.

The report also reveals that many people remain cautious when it comes to eating out, especially older people.

Despite a widespread view that adequate Covid-19 safety measures are in place, more than 60% of diners said they felt some nervousness about dining out.

Durability

Sustainability remains important to consumers, with packaging a key influence on food choice – according to the report.

Nearly half of respondents said that after the pandemic they would be more likely to choose more environmentally friendly options.

Consumers also said their support for local businesses had been boosted by the pandemic.

Half of all adults surveyed said they were more likely to choose a dining option that supports local businesses and the community.

“It’s reassuring to see that for consumers, sustainability and local support remain important considerations when choosing dining options, trends that are also reflected in some of our recent global consumer research,” said Tara. McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia.