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‘It’s a chance to change the restaurant industry for the better. We’ve been given a reset button’

Even before Covid, Irish restaurants faced many challenges — so how will they deal with the new ones thrown up post-Covid? From blended business models to scrapped lunchtime opening and a possible hike in prices, we talk to restaurateurs and experts about what lies ahead, and ask if the pandemic presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make the industry fit for modern purpose

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Smart swap: John Wyer, owner of Forest Avenue Restaurant on Sussex Terrace in Dublin

Smart swap: John Wyer, owner of Forest Avenue Restaurant on Sussex Terrace in Dublin

Monck's Green in Phibsborough

Monck's Green in Phibsborough

Angela Ruttledge, owner of Monck's Green in Phibsborough

Angela Ruttledge, owner of Monck's Green in Phibsborough

Forest Avenue

Forest Avenue

Etto restaurant on Merrion Row

Etto restaurant on Merrion Row

Uno Mas on Aungier Street in Dublin,

Uno Mas on Aungier Street in Dublin,

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Smart swap: John Wyer, owner of Forest Avenue Restaurant on Sussex Terrace in Dublin

I miss restaurants. No matter how good the meal kit — and some are very good — they are no match for the real thing. The best restaurants, the ones to which we want to return again and again, are about so much more than food.

Last year, forceful lobbying saw restaurants open for indoor dining in December. Who knows where we would be now if that hadn’t happened? Hindsight is a wonderful thing. But the rumblings have started again.


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