Friday 24 November 2017

Restaurants left 'up the creek without a paddle'

Oliver Dunne, Cleaver Restaurant
Oliver Dunne, Cleaver Restaurant
Padraic Hayden, owner of Camden Kitchen in Dublin's Grantham Street, storing water in pots
Emma Jane Hade

Emma Jane Hade

THE Restaurants Association of Ireland has called for compensation for those who have suffered because of the water restrictions.

The restrictions, which are now set to extend until next Thursday, are estimated to be costing the restaurant industry in Dublin at least €400,000 a day.

Ciaran O'Flynn, manager of one of the city's most popular cocktail bars, described the situation as "an absolute bloody disaster".

He said that his business, the Capitol Bar, has suffered since the restrictions were introduced on Wednesday, and that the biggest problem he currently faces is ice production.

"We are predominantly a cocktail lounge, and we could use almost 900 kilos of ice a night. The bulk of our ice is made during the night after 8pm."

He has also resorted to offering customers complimentary bottled water.

"The customers all know about it, and have been very understanding. But it definitely has affected our sales," he said.

"We've been paying water rates, and we are paying for a service we are not getting.

"We are up the creek without a paddle."

Michelin-star chef Oliver Dunne, inset, said he is fearful of the water restrictions continuing, and said that staff in his two restaurants are carefully conserving their water usage.

MESSY

"We are careful during the day time – we are very cautious of use. We are using what we need but no more to make sure our tanks are fully stocked when the water goes."

Mr Dunne said that so far he has been largely unaffected by the restrictions in his restaurants – Cleaver East at the Clarence Hotel and Bon Appetite in Malahide – but that he is remaining cautious.

"It could get messy. The whole situation could have been helped if they didn't turn the water off at 8pm, and maybe delayed it to as late as possible."

Adrian Cummins, chief executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, said that the pleas from restaurant owners to the local authorities to start the cut-off point later "have fallen on deaf ears".

"Unfortunately, the logical approach from the restaurant industry is constantly being ignored by local government," he said.

He added that the fault is due to an "oversight" by the local authorities, and that "drastic improvements" need to be made.

A recent survey found that Irish restaurateurs pay an average of €4,569 a year in water rates – the highest in Europe.

Irish Independent

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