The CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) Adrian Cummins has said that the hospitality sector was looking forward to returning, but he repeated a call for all restaurants to be allowed to serve food indoors from June 2nd, the same date on which hotels will be allowed to do so.
Mr Cummins said rules permitting hotels to serve food indoors should be extended to all restaurants. “We would like to open in line with hotels because there is no difference between a hotel restaurant and an independent restaurant next door to them,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.
“The indications are that the guidelines will be, there or thereabouts, the same as last year for indoor hospitality, but the difference for outdoor hospitality will be that there will be no time limits for people,” he said.
Last year’s guidelines had worked well for the food business, they had been implemented “as best we could”, he said.
“We are looking forward to these being published, so people can start to plan and prepare for reopening when we get a date to reopen restaurants, gastropubs and coffee shops across the country.”
Mr Cummins welcomed the one-metre space between tables, anything bigger would leave many businesses unviable, he warned.
“We always said that one metre is a viable space for hospitality, but two metres is not viable at all because you lose nearly 75 percent of your space within a business. At one metre, you still lose space. You lose about 25 per cent of your space within a restaurant. That is a loss of income, that puts a lot of pressure on a business to operate viably.
“We want to get back open as soon as possible.”