Restaurants and pubs that serve food need grant-aid to help them prepare for a summer of outdoor dining,.Adrian Cummins, the CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, has said.
He said that the State must devise a co-ordinated and streamlined system, for the sector to engage with local authorities, with minimal red-tape, so that businesses can set up outdoor dining spaces quickly and efficiently.
“Our industry has been economically flattened since last March,” Mr Cummins said.
Restairant owners have burnt through cash to try and keep their business afloat so they don’t have any liquidity at the moment.
“We are saying very clearly to government that you need to provide grant aid to cover the outdoor facilities.”
He told Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio One that it costs about €1,000 to provide a single outdoor seat, given the costs associated with protecting these outdoor dining spaces from the elements, with some large canopies that can cover 15-seats costing up to €10,000.
While Fáilte Ireland is working on a grant scheme to support an element of outdoor dining, Mr Cummins said government needs to listen to the sector.
'They want cash in their hands and they need it now.'