Catering for the masses
THE country's next stint with the Presidency of the European Council can't come soon enough for the sandwich makers of Ireland.
Getting 27 EU ministers and their entourages into a restaurant at the same time was considered a logistical nightmare when we held the EU presidency for six months last year. Instead, catering firms were hired to provide food around many of the presidency meetings. The decision provided something of a bonanza for the firms selected by the Department of Foreign Affairs, with contracts worth almost €1m being awarded.
Four catering firms provided their services. Fitzers Catering, which also provides food services at Croke Park, was paid €459,689.
Brambles Delicatessen Cafes was paid €208,537 for services during the presidency, Knights Catering received €185,375 for its services, while Garden Catering (€46,474), Egan Event Hospitality (€42,377), Vinny Hanlon Catering (€30,189) and With Taste (€25,265) were also retained as caterers for EU events. In comparison, the department only shelled out just over €328,000 on caterers during the two previous years. Knights Catering received €78,963 and Vinny Hanlon Catering was paid €46,832 in 2012. In 2011 Knights Catering was paid €68,426, With Taste received €54,701, Egan Event Hospitality got €42,617, and Vinny Hanlon Catering netted €36,843 for providing food services for the department.