The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) has slammed Irish landlords for not doing enough to help struggling restaurants in the country during the coronavirus crisis.
The association is calling on the government to issue a code of practice and introduce a fast-track arbitration service to help with resolution of disputes between restaurants, hospitality businesses and landlords.
While restaurants are operating at limited capacity in Ireland, the country’s beloved pubs remain closed, unless they can serve food, with every guest required to consume a meal costing at least €9. The government has also heaped more pressure on the hospitality industry by requiring businesses to keep detailed accounts of what food was consumed by each customer.
The situation is not good for Ireland’s restaurants and pubs and after months of closure and now very limited operations, and many are calling on landlords to share the burden of the crisis.
"It’s obvious that greedy landlords are not playing their part in the pandemic which is causing huge distress for business owners especially restaurant owners," Adrian Cummins the CEO of RAI .
"These high rents are placing hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs at risk across the island of Ireland. Immediate government action is needed, and landlords need to reduce their commercial rents in line with business turnover to support struggling restaurants and cafes."
A report commissioned by the RAI on the recovery of the restaurant industry says a scheme to reduce the burden of commercial rents is essential from the perspective of restaurant owners and landlords. It recommends a 50% commercial rent grant during periods when restaurant turnover is down 50-80%.