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Restaurants will fail if prices too low – Clarke


Derry Clarke

Derry Clarke

Derry Clarke

TOP chef Derry Clarke has predicted there will be a crash in the Dublin restaurant industry this year because prices have gone too low.

The owner of Michelin-starred L'Ecrivain restaurant, said many were serving up two and three-course meals for less than €15, which was similar to fast-food outlets.

"The number of restaurants offering meal deals at economically non-viable prices just isn't sustainable, it's the same cost in McDonalds, but we have all of the overheads," he said at the National Hospitality Conference and Awards in Dublin.

"There is going to be a crash, in Dublin in particular, in the next year," Mr Clarke said.

Meanwhile, the Michelin awards also came in for criticism at the awards sponsored by Hospitality Ireland and held at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Hospitality industry PR specialist Tim Magee of Host & Company said the Michelin guide was about as relevant nowadays as a trouser press. Michelin was a driving guide that gave awards to restaurants that served classic French or Japanese cuisine even though there was much more to the industry than that.

Michael Deane of Deane's in Belfast lost his Michelin star two years ago, but had then changed his business, with longer opening hours and non-Michelin food and his revenue was up £20,000 (€23,612), Mr Magee said.

At the awards yesterday, Ballyfin Demesne in Co Laois won the Best Overall Hotel award, .

Doheny and Nesbitt in Dublin won Best Pub.

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