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Off the menu

One restaurant closing every day: RAI

The group says that 80 per cent of restaurants are running at a loss with a potential coat of €700m to the economy.

THERE IS ONE restaurant closing down a day in Ireland and eight out of 10 are running at a loss, according to the Restaurant Association of Ireland (RAI).

The RAI will claim that inaction by the government is putting up to 21,000 jobs at risk, during a presentation of its pre-budget submission later today, the Irish Examiner reports.

The RAI will outline how:

  • Irish restaurateurs pay the second highest wage rate in Europe
  • Irish restaurateurs  pay the second highest excise duty on wine in Europe
  • Food costs in Ireland are 24% above the European average
  • A 20% fall in overseas visitors in the first six months of 2010 has contributed to the downturn in business

The group will suggest a total of 15 measures be taken to help the restaurant sector to recover from the slump – which it says is potentially costing the economy €700m. These will include suggestions to:

  • Abolish Sunday premium payments
  • Scrap air travel tax
  • Make amendments to VAT
  • Extend the state’s work-placement scheme to include businesses with fewer than 10 employees

About 64,000 people are employed in the restaurant business in Ireland. The sector contributes €2bn to the economy each year.