HOTELIER TACKLES CHEF CRISIS
New Strategy STOCK SHORTAGES
FINDING MORE ROOMS FOR DUBLIN #TRENDING TALKING TOURISM | DIGITAL DESK | FOOD HEROES OFC_H&C_Dec/Jan 2017_Cover_V2.indd 1
RDS, Dublin, 21 - 23 Feb 2017
CATEX - The Foodservice Solutions Event With hundreds of suppliers, thousands of product ideas, lively debates and brilliant demonstrations CATEX is the place to find the right solution for your business. So no matter what sector of the foodservice industry you are in, a visit to CATEX could be the most important thing you do in 2017.
Register now for your free ticket at catexexhibition.com
Go to issuu.com/ ashvillemedia for the online edition
HOTELIER TACKLES CHEF CRISIS
New Strategy STOCK SHORTAGES
FINDING MORE ROOMS FOR DUBLIN #TRENDING TALKING TOURISM | DIGITAL DESK | FOOD HEROES
Cover image courtesy of Fáilte Ireland.
IN THIS ISSUE
Education & Training Hotelier Tackles Chef Shortages Head On.
INDUSTRY REJECTS COUNTY TOURISM STRATEGY
Industry Chiefs Chart the Road Ahead and Flag Key Concerns in Kerry.
Stock Shortages Where Will The New Hotel Rooms Come From in 2017?
Adopting a county mindset is useless in terms of generating revenue growth...Plans for developing tourism shouldn’t be defined by county boundaries.” ITIC Chairman, Paul Gallagher.
KEY TO THE
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Digital Desk Addressing the Tech Lag in Hospitality SMEs
Food Heroes Hotelier & Pig Breeder Honoured for Pork Produce
A Quick Chat With Wade Murphy 1826 Adare
Editorial & Production Manager: Mary Connaughton Editorial Assistant: Orla Connolly Art Director: Alan McArthur Layout & Design: Jennifer Reid Creative Director: Jane Matthews Stock Photography: Thinkstock.com Infographics: www.flaticon.com Production: Nicole Ennis Sales Director: Paul Clemenson Managing Director: Gerry Tynan Chairman: Diarmaid Lennon
Published by: Ashville Media, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7. Tel: (01) 432 2200 ISSN: 0332-4400 All rights reserved. Every care has been taken to ensure that the information contained in this magazine is accurate. The publishers cannot, however, accept responsibility for errors or omissions. Reproduction by any means in whole or in part without the permission of the publisher is prohibited. © Ashville Media Group 2017. All discounts, promotions and competitions contained in this magazine are run independently of Hotel & Catering Review. The promoter/advertiser is responsible for honouring the prize.
áilte Ireland’s latest Tourism Barometer Survey published on January 10th reveals a slight drop in positive sentiment. While three quarters (76%) of the operators surveyed remain confident about their business, the upward trend seen since 2010 has not continued. Brexit dominates as a concern for tourism businesses going into 2017, and was mentioned as an issue for 64% of respondents. Many businesses feel that British and Northern Ireland tourism demand will be dampened by the impact of the Brexit process on exchange rates in the short to medium term. Another less high profile, but equally important, issue is the significant tax disadvantage faced by Irish hotels compared to Airbnb rentals. This issue was highlighted in a recent edition of the Sunday Business Post following research carried out by the newspaper. The research revealed that the average price of a night in Airbnb accommodation in Dublin is 98.75, compared to 129 in a hotel in the city. Even with Airbnb’s own charges, almost half of the difference between the two average prices is made up of property rates, VAT and charges on hotel rooms for which Airbnb hosts are not liable. The average rateable valuation per room per night for a Dublin city hotel is just over 5, while the VAT due on a hotel price of 129 would be 10.65, and water charges add on an average of 300 per hotel room per annum. In our February 2016 edition, Hotel & Catering Review also highlighted this issue. At that time IHF Chief Executive Tim Fenn told the magazine that “The IHF supports a level playing field for all accommodation providers, both in terms of taxation policy and regulation of the sector.” The figures released by the Sunday Business Post show that the differing tax treatments for providing short-term accommodation favour Airbnb hosts. This tax disadvantage must be addressed. As hotel capacity in Dublin city centre starts to increase to meet demand over the next couple of years, this disparity is likely to start impacting more negatively on hotels, particularly those in the capital.
Editor: Maev Martin Email: maev.martin@ ashvillemediagroup.com Telephone: 01 432 2271
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NEWS GAME OF THRONES IS TOP OUTDOOR CAMPAIGN
ns e Ross, nd.
(l-r): Elmagh Killeen, Mark Henry and Brian Twomey, all Tourism Ireland; (back, l-r) Rochelle Parry, Dave O’Sullivan and Ben McKee, all Publicis, with some of the 20+ awards for Tourism Ireland’s Game of Thrones campaign.
Tourism Ireland’s 2016 Game of Thrones campaign has been selected by advertising and marketing magazine Campaign as the UK’s number one outdoor campaign of 2016. Tourism Ireland’s ‘Doors of Thrones’ campaign to attract visitors to Northern Ireland has reached an estimated 61 million people around the world, with the campaign’s short films being viewed 17 million times – generating coverage worth about Stg£11.3m. The campaign has not gone unnoticed by the marketing and advertising industry, racking up over 20 awards and accolades across Europe.
TRADING EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS AT DALATA
INVESTMENT FOR WILD ATLANTIC WAY Fáilte Ireland, in conjunction with five local authorities from Donegal to Galway city and in partnership with Tourism Ireland, launched a 500K Wild Atlantic Way advertising campaign in Britain on January 2nd. The campaign is being driven by a joint International Marketing Fund provided by Fáilte Ireland and local authorities in Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, and Galway (county & city) to raise international awareness of the Wild Atlantic Way in targeted international markets with direct access to Ireland, and to encourage and support incremental short breaks in the shoulder seasons.The four-week campaign runs across different mediums, including a combination of out of home advertising in prime commuter and shopping locations in key urban centres which have direct access into the region, a radio partnership with the Bill Turnbull Show on Classic FM and a digital (Search Engine Optimisation) campaign. Additionally, local taxis are wrapped in high impact Wild Atlantic Way imagery in a number of the cities, including Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester.
Trading at the Dalata Group in the final four months of 2016 was marginally ahead of expectations. Recent STR results to the end of November 2016 show that RevPAR in their largest region, the Dublin market, increased by 16.6% for the 11 months to the end of November versus 2015. RevPAR in their own Dublin hotels was up 20.8% for the same 11 month period. The Group’s development pipeline on the island of Ireland will add over 950 rooms to its owned and leased portfolio. Construction is underway on the Maldron Hotel in Belfast and is due for completion in the second quarter of 2018. Construction is also underway on the Clayton Hotel Charlemont with completion due in the middle of 2018. The Maldron Hotel Kevin Street is due to open in the second quarter of 2018 and full planning permission has been received for the 140 room extension at the Clayton Hotel Dublin Airport. Construction is due to commence in the second quarter of next year with completion in the third quarter of 2018. Dalata is currently completing a planning application for the new Maldron Hotel South Mall in Cork, which they expect to open in the third quarter of 2018. JANUARY 2017 | HOTEL
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DELIVER AUDIENCE OF ONE BILLION Last year was a bumper year for international media coming to Ireland. Over 1,000 representatives from print, broadcast and online channels across the world descended on our shores during the year, providing Irish tourism with an overall reach to over one billion readers and viewers worldwide. The advertising value of this reach is estimated at over 87m. Fáilte Ireland, together with Tourism Ireland, coordinated over 400 itineraries resulting in the media representatives meeting with over 4,000 Irish businesses across the country. The Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East and Dublin were heavily profiled, and there was a strong emphasis on both business and food tourism. One of the key highlights of the year included a group of high profile international journalists who landed in Skellig Michael to follow in Luke Skywalker’s footsteps and see for themselves how the force was awakened. Another highlight involved a group of European media (with a circulation of almost six million) visiting Lisdoonvarna for the Outing Festival and to document the Irish LGBT tourism experience.
Journalists Ben Groundwater, Australia, and Riana Andrews, enjoying their visit on Skellig Michael
BUSINESS AWARDS DOUBLE FOR SODEXO’S SLATTERY Margot Slattery, Country President for Sodexo Ireland, has achieved a unique double in winning two of Ireland’s most high profile awards for women in business in the same year. Last year Margot was named Businesswoman of the Year at Irish Tatler’s Women of the Year Awards and also received the title of CEO of the Year at the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards.
IRELAND SCOOPS ‘BEST DESTINATION’ AWARD Ireland scooped a major travel award in New York – for the third year in a row. In December Ireland was named ‘best destination: Europe’ at the annual Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards, beating off tough competition from England, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Travel Weekly is the leading weekly newspaper for American travel agents and travel professionals and 15,000 of its readers voted in the various categories earlier this year. Ireland also won this award in 2014 and 2015.
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GAS NETWORKS SPONSORS ‘THE RESTAURANT’
(l-r): Chefs Louise Lennox, Stephen McAllister, and Gary O’Hanlon, with Denis O’Sullivan, Head of Commercial, Gas Networks Ireland (third from left).
Gas Networks Ireland is sponsoring TV3’s The Restaurant, which returns to screens this year for its 11th series. The new series of The Restaurant goes into production this month and will air on TV3 in early 2017. The show returns this year to Marco Pierre White’s Courtyard Bar & Grill in Donnybrook, with the world-class chef joining the critics’ table alongside resident critic Tom Doorley and a guest critic each week. Voiced by well-known Newstalk presenter Sean Moncrieff, The Restaurant will see six celebrities become head chefs over six weeks.
BEST WESTERN LAUNCHES NEW BRANDS Best Western is introducing three new offerings to the Irish market. These include Executive Residency by Best Western, where hotels feature flexible spaces to make extended stay experiences more enjoyable, with standard hotel rooms also part of the development, and the BW Premier Collection, where hoteliers can access Best Western’s $4.1bn global reservations system without extensive branding requirements. With Vib, their new boutique concept, hoteliers and developers get the plans and tools to open a cost effective property in urban centres. Each hotel includes a communal lobby space with a bar and ‘Grab & Go’ area, front desk pods, kiosk check-in, virtual concierge, gaming zones, communal seating zones, a café with a premium coffee programme, and free Wi-Fi throughout. Smart travellers will also have use of an onsite fitness centre and rooms are designed to maximise the 200 square feet to 290 square feet assigned to all Vib guest rooms. “We’ve only begun to roll out Vib and already the interest is strong, particularly from developers, which is no surprise given the stark lack of bedrooms in our cities, particularly in Dublin,” says Neville Graham, Managing Director, International Member Services at Best Western Hotels & Resorts.
(l-r): Kate O’Driscoll, Origin Green Ambassador, Amsterdam, Diarmuid Greene, Bord Bia Marketing Fellow, Dubai, and Aoife Carr, Bord Bia Marketing Fellow, Dusseldorf, launch the talent search.
BORD BIA TALENT SEARCH GETS UNDERWAY Bord Bia and the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School started their search on January 4th for 30 professionals who can become future leaders in Ireland’s food industry. The Bord Bia Marketing Fellowship and Origin Green Ambassador programmes are run in conjunction with UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. Successful applicants on both programmes will have their tuition fees fully paid, in addition to receiving a bursary towards living expenses. The 18-month Bord Bia Marketing Fellowship Programme (MSc International Marketing Practice) commences in June 2017 and is recruiting 20 individuals. It involves carrying out commercial assignments on behalf of Irish food, drink and horticultural companies in 12 key international markets. The Bord Bia Origin Green Ambassador Programme (Msc Business Sustainability) commences in September 2017 and is recruiting 10 individuals for key placements with the world’s leading organisations. For further information on both programmes and the application process, visit www.smurfitschool.ie/bordbia.
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MUSGRAVE SPONSORS CHEF NETWORK Musgrave MarketPlace has launched ‘The Chef Blog’ as part of a sponsorship agreement with Chef Network. The new blog allows chef members to submit guest blogposts on a range of topics, including food and industry trends, Irish food heritage, seasonality, specific chef skillsets and nurturing talent, to help expand chefs’ knowledge base and encourage greater collaboration. (l-r): Ruth Hegarty, Head of Community for Chef Network, Mark Anderson, Member of Chef Network Advisory Council, Tara Brennan, Musgrave MarketPlace Marketing Manager, and Aine Gilligan, Musgrave MarketPlace Digital Marketing Specialist.
IRELAND LAUNCHES FRENCH CAMPAIGN Tourism Ireland in France launched its marketing plans for 2017 at an event in Paris attended by 50 leading French tour operators, travel agents and travel journalists. Major promotional themes will include the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route, living historical stories and Ireland’s Ancient East, as well as city breaks to Dublin and Belfast. Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for Southern Europe, says that 2016 was the best year ever for French visitor numbers to the island of Ireland. By year end, Ireland had welcomed more than 500,000 French visitors and Tourism Ireland is aiming to grow French visitors numbers by +3.5% in 2017.
Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC), Finola O’Mahony, Tourism Ireland, Mylène Campalto, Abbey Ireland Group, and Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland, at the Paris launch of Tourism Ireland’s marketing plans for 2017.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT AT CATEX 2017 Food will be a major component of this year’s Catex exhibition in the RDS, Dublin, from February 21st to 23rd. The Chef Network Hub at Catex will feature a variety of formats, including panel and informal ‘round table’ discussion, soapbox sessions where all chefs can have their say, and chef-to-chef interview and Q&A sessions. Participating chefs include JP McMahon – Aniar Restaurant & Eat Galway group; Stephen Holland – Lough Erne Resort; Niall Hill – The Butler’s Pantry; Mark Anderson – Gather & Gather, and Ross Lewis – Chapter One Restaurant. The Pop Up restaurant in association with the Restaurants’ Association of Ireland (RAI) and Bunzl Catering Design Solutions promises to be one of the hottest seats at Catex. Seating 90 people and hosting a different restaurant each day, the Pop Up Restaurant is available to book and the online reservation system will launch early in 2017. Euro-Toques Ireland returns to ‘The Kitchen’ at Catex which will feature masterclasses focusing on techniques such as curing and cooking with tea, and culinary innovations from master chefs, including Derry Clarke and Sunil Ghai. Almost 1,000 chefs will descend on Catex to take part in Chef Ireland’s national culinary competitions. The Panel of Chefs -organised competitions will see chefs competing in a number of categories over the three days. Leading names exhibiting at Catex 2017 include Bunzl, Bewleys Ltd, BD Foods, Calor, Henderson Foodservice Ltd, Hugh Jordan, Lynas Foodservice, and Stephen’s Catering Equipment. Attending for the first time are BWG Foods, Aluline Group, Ash and Ro, Cordelia Foods, Elavon, Gecko Catering Equipment, JMC Packaging Ltd, Plassey Food and Sauceworks. Leading catering equipment supplier, Caterline will make its debut at Catex 2017.
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ARAMARK MANAGER WINS HOSPITALITY AWARD Aramark frontline manager Yvonne Pugh won the Irish Hospitality Manager of the Year award at the Irish Hospitality Institute’s 50th anniversary founders banquet in December. The awards recognise outstanding achievements within the hospitality industry. Frank Gleeson, Managing Director of Northern Europe for Aramark, said that Yvonne has shown a constant commitment to excellence in her work for many years, while Yvonne Pugh said that it was ‘incredibly motivating’ to receive the award, given the level of competition in the hospitality sector in Ireland. The awards were attended by over 500 hospitality industry professionals from across Ireland.
4 STARS FOR CLYBAUN HOTEL
Pictured at the Irish Hospitality Institute Annual Awards are (l-r): Jim Reeves, Customer Director, Unilever Ireland, award sponsor, Irish Hospitality Manager of the Year Award winner Yvonne Pugh, Aramark, and IHI President Martin Mangan, General Manager, Conrad Dublin.
ANIAR AMONG 1,000 OUTSTANDING RESTAURANTS
(l-r): Dermot Hogan, Sales & Marketing Manager, John Divilly, Financial Controller, Nouman Zeb, Assistant Manager, and Fintan Loftus, General Manager.
Galway’s Clybaun Hotel was recently awarded four star classification by Fáilte Ireland. The recent award to the Knocknacarra-based hotel follows an extensive million euro refurbishment and upgrading of facilities and amenities over the last year and a half. “Refurbishment work started in March 2015 when the hotel’s ballroom was completely refurbished and remodelled,” explains General Manager Fintan Loftus. “The function suite now caters for weddings and large events for up to 300 people. Our wedding business has really taken off since the ballroom was completed and we are extremely busy with show arounds and wedding consultations on a weekly basis. We have bookings in for 2017, 2018 and 2019. All 100 bedrooms were also refurbished to a very high standard with different themes and designs, giving our guests a unique experience. Also, late last year we introduced a brasserie style O’Gorman’s Bar which opens from 10.30am daily, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our newly-created ‘Maritime’ restaurant opens daily from 6pm and caters for large parties of up to 50 persons.” The Clybaun Hotel also received a 2016 Service of Excellence award from Trip Advisor, as well as accolades from Booking. com, Holiday Check and RSVP Wedding magazine.
Galway Michelin-star restaurant Aniar has been included in the prestigious international restaurants guide ‘La Liste’, which features the world’s top 1,000 Outstanding Restaurants for 2017. La Liste is compiled by aggregating reviews of the world’s top restaurants by more than 300 guidebooks and trusted publications. These guidebooks and publications are graded by several thousand chefs who rank them from zero to ten according to trustworthiness. Online customer reviews are then factored in and given a 25% weighting to produce a final score. Aniar, which scored an 87.25 grade, was one of 11 restaurants in Ireland and the only restaurant in Galway to make it onto the list for 2017. Two Northern Ireland restaurants are on the list.
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THE TWELVE GM HONOURED BY PRESTIGIOUS WINE GUILD Fergus O’Halloran of The Twelve in Bearna has been inducted as an expert into one of the oldest wine guilds in the world and is now a Confrére of the Confrérie Saint-Etienne d’Alsace. The guild held its first chapter and conferring in Ireland on November 20th, when a number of wine experts were inducted into their elite Alsace guild. A delegation from the Confrérie Saint-Etienne d’Alsace took part in a ceremony and gala dinner in Barberstown Castle, inducting Fergus O’Halloran, General Manager of The Twelve Hotel and the man responsible for the hotel’s stellar reputation as a wine destination, and others, including friend and fellow Galway native Elizabeth Fox of GMIT in Galway, into the oldest wine guild in France. A delegation of Confrérie officials, including its Chancellor and its Grand Master 2016, flew over from Alsace for the ceremonial occasion, which included a wine tasting, the inductions into the Confrérie, and a gala dinner with Alsace wines from the Confrérie’s own cellars.
DONEGAL TOPS COOL LIST FOR 2017 National Geographic Traveller named Donegal as its top tip to visit in 2017 as it published its ‘Cool List: 17 for 2017’ on December 1st. The list captures the ‘top culture capitals, hipster hotspots, wild escapes and places generally keeping it cool’, and which the publication recommends checking out in 2017. Other destinations making the list are Santiago, Helsinki, Greenland, Peru, Aarhus, Canada, Portland, India and South Africa.
LOUGH ERNE SERVES UP A WINNING DINNER
Compere Pamela Ballantine congratulates the Lough Erne Resort team - Andrew McKee (left), winner of the ‘Best Main Course’ category and Lee Brunt (right), winner of the ‘Best Service’ category.
As part of the Year of Food and Drink, the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation hosted a competition to find the best hotel restaurant in Northern Ireland. On November 28th 2016, some of Northern Ireland’s leading hotels gathered in the Galgorm Resort & Spa where the prestigious accolade of ‘Hotel Restaurant of the Year 2016’, sponsored by Stephens Catering Equipment, was awarded to Lough Erne Resort. The judges described the dining experience as “a faultless evening with local ingredients taking centre stage.” Guests were treated to a fine dining menu with wines from J.E.McCabes. Support was also provided by the Food Standards Agency, Flogas, and Henderson Foodservice. Lough Erne also secured the Best Main Course category and the Best Service awards on the night, with Chefs Andrew McKee and Lee Brunt emerging as worthy winners. The Best Dessert category, supported by the FSA, was won by Corick House Hotel and Spa who produced the ‘perfect dessert’ using a selection of local ingredients from a mystery basket selection.
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In 1905, Ismay & Pirrie sought the brightest and the best to create liners of legend at Queen’s Island. Fast forward Summer 2017, the historic Harland & Wolff headquarters will become one of Belfast’s greatest hotels - Titanic Hotel Belfast. We are seeking the brightest and the best hospitality managers.
Available Positions • • • • • •
General Manager Revenue Manager Sales & Marketing Manager Human Resources Manager Operations Manager Sales Executive
Are you a senior manager with hotel experience? Do you work to 5* standards and are looking for your next challenge? If so, Titanic Hotel Belfast is now recruiting a team of senior experienced managers to work in one of the most prestigious buildings in Belfast. Candidates require minimum 5 years’ experience in a similar role. Create a new chapter of excellence at Titanic Hotel Belfast. Send applications to Sarah Grange at firstname.lastname@example.org
2017 TITANIC HOTEL REBUILDING LUXURY
1905 HARLAND & WOLFF PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES
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NEW WILD ATLANTIC
wo new touring routes, branching off the Wild Atlantic Way, have been unveiled by Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan. These new routes, which are located along the Shannon Estuary and in the Burren, are part of a new Fáilte Ireland pilot scheme to encourage visitors to discover the variety of inland visitor experiences as they travel along the Wild Atlantic Way. Further routes are planned for 2017.
FÁILTE IRELAND IS KICKING OFF THE 2017 TOURIST SEASON WITH NEW SIGNAGE AND PROMOTIONAL INITIATIVES FOR ITS IRELAND’S ANCIENT EAST BRAND, ADDITIONAL CAPITAL EXPENDITURE TO ENHANCE THE VISITOR EXPERIENCE, AND THE OPENING OF NEW TOURING ROUTES ALONG THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY.
‘IRELAND’S ANCIENT EAST’ SIGNS
he first phase of Fáilte Ireland’s orientation signage for Ireland’s Ancient East continued into the end of 2016 with 76 key visitor orientation signs now in place in counties Kilkenny, Wexford, Tipperary, Waterford, Meath and Louth. The new signs are designed to encourage visitors to stay longer and explore the wider region by highlighting the wealth of things to do and see in the surrounding area. Find out more at www.failteireland.ie/IrelandsAncientEast
Find out more at www.failteireland.ie/wildatlanticway
Pictured at the new orientation sign on the Castle Parade in Kilkenny are Jenny De Saulles and Sarah Fitzpatrick, Fáilte Ireland, with Colette Byrne, Kilkenny County Council.
Brian Kennedy, Limerick City and County Council, Patrick O’Donovan, TD, Minister of State for Tourism, Orla Carroll, Fáilte Ireland and Ger Dollard, Clare County Council, at the launch of two new touring routes, branching off the Wild Atlantic Way.
OVER 1.6M ALLOCATED
FOR MAJOR FESTIVALS
áilte Ireland is making over 1.6m in funding available to 16 key national festivals and events as part of the first phase of its 2017 National Festivals and Events Programme. A further phase of national festivals funding will be announced by the tourism body in early 2017, dealing largely with festivals taking place in the latter part of the year. Among the 16 approved festivals receiving funding in Phase 1 are St Patrick’s Festival Dublin, Cork International Choral Festival, and Galway International Arts Festival. Galway Arts Festival
You can find a full list of festivals on www.failteireland.ie.
GREETED BY IRELAND’S ANCIENT EAST
new promotional campaign to heighten awareness of the Ireland’s Ancient East brand with both international and domestic visitors has begun. Ireland’s Ancient East branding has been erected at key points of entry to the country, including Dublin, Cork, and Waterford airports, Rosslare Europort, and the Port of Cork.
Daithi de Forge, Coillte, with Orla Carroll, Director of Strategic Development, Fáilte Ireland, and Minister Patrick O’Donovan, TD, at Curraghchase Forest Park.
new capital funding package of 550,000 for Coillte has been announced by Fáilte Ireland as part of a new strategic partnership aimed at boosting the tourist experience at a number of the state-owned forestry company’s sites. This 550,000 funding package will support the development of feasibility and design for six projects across Ireland, with more projects to be announced in 2017. Jenny De Saulles, Head of Ireland’s Ancient East with Fáilte Ireland, and Niall Mac Carthy, Cork Airport, pictured as a new promotional campaign for Ireland’s Ancient East begins.
A full list of projects can be found on www.failteireland.ie
UP THEIR GAME
ore than 20 visitor attractions in Dublin City have successfully completed Fáilte Ireland’s Management Development Programme. Following a series of workshops, expert guest lectures, mentoring sessions, and a benchmarking site visit to Edinburgh, the participants are now ready to further enhance their attractions and deliver compelling and engaging cultural experiences to their visitors. Find out what’s happening in Dublin at www.failteireland.ie/Dublin
Pictured with Marion O’Connor, Fáilte Ireland (centre) are 21 Dublin visitor attractions who successfully graduated from Fáilte Ireland’s 2016 Management Development Programme in Trinity College Dublin.
Where do we go FROM HERE?
The Irish tourism industry is now worth over €8bn, following a record 2016. Overseas visitors’ spend has increased by nine per cent to €4.7bn, and tourism now employs 230,000 nationally, but a failure to agree on the best way forward could jeopardise future growth.
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WE WANT A FIVE-YEAR CAPITAL PROGRAMME OF 350M AND WE WANT THAT TO KICK IN LATER THIS YEAR. WE WILL HAVE OUR PLAN READY FOR WHEN THE MIDTERM REVIEW OF THE CAPITAL PROGRAMME OCCURS THIS YEAR.
peaking last month at ITIC’s launch of its end of year review, Paul Gallagher, Chairman of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation, criticised Junior Minister Patrick O’Donovan’s plans to have local authorities become more involved in tourism strategy. Earlier in the month the Minister said that he wanted every local authority to produce a tourism strategy by the end of March, and called for ‘a key set of actions’ that councils were going to take. “I disagree with that policy,” says Paul Gallagher. “Councils have very scarce resources, so adopting a county mindset is useless in terms of generating revenue growth. I believe that councils using county brands to engage in overseas marketing is a waste of money because overseas tourists don’t recognise county boundaries. It is also confusing for the domestic market. Plans for developing tourism shouldn’t be defined by county boundaries. I know of five county councils developing tourism logos and I regard that as a total waste of resources. Sometimes county councils develop tourism strategies to satisfy county councillors and that is no use to anyone. We have emerged from decades of fractured thinking in relation to tourism and it is only since 2008 that we have developed proper brands that illustrate cohesive thinking on the delivery of a proposition on which people will visit.” Paul would prefer to see councils defining the type of investment they need to develop capital projects and developing the tourism product around those projects. “And that product should not just be defined by county boundaries, so they need to develop strategic partnerships to develop the best product ideas and from that they can apply for large capital grants under Failte Ireland’s large capital projects allowance programme,” he says. “We need to analyse the product on the ground that is going to anchor tourism growth, so councils would be better working with the brands that have been developed so far by Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland. That is where real growth will be achieved, through cooperation and by developing a strategy that creates a hook on which people will choose to visit individual locations. The industry has led the creation of Ireland’s Ancient East and, through the Grow Dublin Task Force, the ‘Dublin, A Breath of Fresh Air’ brand, and it was the industry that grew the Wild Atlantic Way. None of these brands were council-led – they inputted into them but they weren’t led by them. In fact, at the time that we were developing ‘Dublin, A Breath of Fresh Air,’ Dublin City Council was developing its own brand that never saw the light of day. They were running a twin track approach to brand development which was completely counterproductive.” Paul stresses that his views on Minister O’Donovan’s tourism plans policy for local authorities are reflective of the wider industry. “The government ministers are aware of our concerns and we are always open to continued dialogue to develop new ways of addressing these issues,” he says.
significant growth. There was an increase of 10% in holiday visitors, while business visitors and those coming to visit friends and relatives (VFR) were up 12%. Domestic tourism demand also picked up, generating an estimated 1.75bn, with a further 300m earned from visitors from Northern Ireland. “20,000 new jobs have been created in the sector in the last year and tourism is now Ireland’s largest indigenous employer,” says Paul. “Irish tourism businesses are positive about 2017 and are investing heavily in marketing, as well as focusing on the need to continue delivering good value for money. The domestic market, which underpins many tourism enterprises, is expected to see further pick-up in the demand for short leisure breaks as personal finances improve.” Despite Brexit concerns and capacity constraints, ITIC believes that the tourism industry can grow by a further three per cent to five per cent in overseas visitors. “Tourism has much more potential for Ireland, but only if the right strategies and investment policies are pursued,” says Paul. “ITIC believes that,
A NEW ROADMAP FOR GROWTH According to the CSO, the number of overseas visitors grew by 10% to 8.8 million in 2016, the highest number on record, with all four top source markets recording
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WE NEED TO ANALYSE THE PRODUCT ON THE GROUND THAT IS GOING TO ANCHOR TOURISM GROWTH, SO COUNCILS WOULD BE BETTER WORKING WITH THE BRANDS THAT HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED SO FAR BY FÁILTE IRELAND AND TOURISM IRELAND.
From top: frontline tourism staff championing ‘Dublin, A Breath of Fresh Air’; Ireland’s Ancient East signage; a recently launched UK advertising campaign for the Wild Atlantic Way.
based on anticipated tourism revenue growth, at least a further 7,000 jobs can be created in the tourism industry in 2017. It is one of the few industries that provides regional balance and delivers jobs in all parts of the country, but investment in the tourism product and infrastructure is at an all-time low.” ITIC is calling for a significant increase in tourism infrastructure spending in the upcoming review of the National Capital Plan. The confederation argues that overseas earnings generated by Irish tourism can be worth 7bn annually by 2025, a 50% increase on the current export value. “The current national government tourism targets to 2025 are unambitious and modest,” says Paul. “It is high time that a new strategy was put in place for tourism growth that is led by the industry and facilitated by pro-tourism policies from the government. ITIC will be developing its own tourism plan. We are 300m off the government’s target for tourism and we will meet it in 2017, so ITIC will develop a more ambitious plan that will have more targets on which the industry can measure success or failure. The government is running a five-year 27bn capital programme and out of that tourism will recieve 106m over five years. That is a paltry amount of money. Tourism is the biggest indigenous employer in Ireland, so that allocation is derisory and doesn’t reflect the real needs on the ground. We want a five year capital programme of 350m and we want that to kick in later this year. We will have our plan ready for when the mid-term review of the capital programme occurs this year, and we will be more prescriptive in our report about the type of tourism assets that Ireland needs to develop. For example, there is a need for tourism product development north of Dublin and north of Galway and we want to explore the opportunities for the development of a Midlands and Shannon regions brand.”
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ON THE MOVE
NEW POSITION CHIEF EXECUTIVE
NEW POSITION MARKETING DIRECTOR AND DIVERSITY EXECUTIVE
NEW POSITION GENERAL MANAGER
EMPLOYER FÁILTE IRELAND
Michael Cawley, Chairman of Fáilte Ireland, recently announced the appointment of Paul Kelly as Chief Executive of Fáilte Ireland. Mr. Kelly, who was appointed after a competitive process undertaken by the Board of Fáilte Ireland, is a highly experienced senior executive. He has previously held positions as Marketing Director, Diageo Ireland, and European Marketing Director for Aviva, and is currently Strategic Marketing Director for UCD Smurfit Business School. He is a native of Wexford and a commerce graduate from University College Dublin. The appointment will be effective from February 1st 2017.
New Appointments, Promotions and Recruitment
Aramark has appointed Carolyn Hails as their Marketing Director and Diversity Executive for Northern Europe. Carolyn’s appointment comes as Aramark implements ambitious plans for continued growth in Ireland, the UK and Northern Europe. With 30 years of diverse industry experience, Carolyn joins Aramark’s executive team to lead a new consumercentric strategy to deliver a targeted growth plan across Northern Europe. Prior to joining Aramark in November 2016, Carolyn Hails successfully ran her own marketing and design company called Thinkspace Partnership and has a strong background in strategic leadership, proposition and brand development, consumer insight, food management and the hospitality business.
EMPLOYER GIBSON HOTEL
Garret Marrinan has been appointed General Manager at the four star Gibson Hotel, Dublin which was recently acquired by the Dalata Hotel Group. He joins the hotel with over 25 years’ experience in the hospitality industry in the US, the UK and Ireland. Garret most recently held senior management roles within the Choice Hotel Group, including the role of General Manager at the Clarion Hotel Cork and Clarion Hotel Liffey Valley Dublin. In his new role as General Manager, Garrett hopes to sustain and further develop the growth path that the Dalata Hotel Group has successfully pursued over the last decade by delivering on the operational, financial and strategic targets.
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ON THE MOVE
NEW POSITION DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
NEW POSITION DIRECTOR OF GOLF
NEW POSITION EXECUTIVE CHEF
EMPLOYER CARTON HOUSE
EMPLOYER CARTON HOUSE
EMPLOYER CARTON HOUSE
Carton House announced the appointment on November 29th of a new expert trio to join its experienced management team. Éanna Hassett takes over as Director of Operations, Matthew Murphy as Executive Chef, and PGA professional David Kearney is the new Director of Golf. Over the past two decades, Éanna has held senior roles in F&B departments with some of the world’s top resorts, including the Ritz-Carlton group in Dubai, Hong Kong and Tenerife, building a career in flagship properties and playing a vital part in the opening of new hotels and destinations. His most recent position was at Ashford Castle where he held the position of Food & Beverage Director.
Commencing January 2017, David Kearney will take up his role as Director of Golf at Carton House. He is a world-renowned and highly respected PGA professional and a Director of the Irish Ladies Golf Union High Performance Unit. David’s career, spanning over three decades, has taken him all over the world where he has been honoured to represent the ILGU, the R&A and the PGAs of Europe. David joins Carton House from Grange Golf Club where he was Head Professional and his appointment comes hot on the heels of leading the Irish ladies team to bronze glory at this year’s World Amateur Team Championships in Mexico. He hopes to bring some of that experience to assist the rest of the team in hosting a successful World Amateur Championships at Carton House in 2018.
Matthew Murphy has recently occupied the role of Executive Chef at Carton House. He has just returned from the US following an extensive and impressive career worldwide with the Ritz-Carlton brand and as owner of his Irish House gastro pub in New Orleans. He is well known stateside as a result of his many TV appearances on The Today Show, E Network and The Food Channel. Matt’s culinary expertise has earned him international acclaim, including the award of ‘Top 4 Farm to Table restaurants’ by Travel and Leisure magazine for his M Bistro at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans, and his Irish House gastro pub was voted the number one Irish pub in the US.
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Interior DESIRE Hotel & Catering Review talks to renowned interiors photographer James Fennell about his latest project, The Green Barn café in Kildare.
The Green Barn at Burtown House OCEAN BLUE TUKANG SEVEN DRAWER CONSOLE, puji.com
James Fennell RECLAIMED WOOD STORAGE CUBE ON INDUSTRIAL CASTORS, iansnow.com
DRAYCOTT TERRACE, NO. 143 PAINT, mylands.co.uk
WICKER PAMPELUNE CHAIR IN TURQUOISE, pib-home.co.uk
INDUSTRIAL STEEL COUNTERBALANCE DESK LAMP, madewithlovedesigns.co.uk
GLASS MOSAIC BOWLS, guru-shop.de
018_H&C_Dec/Jan 2017_Interior Trends.indd 18
When interiors photographer and owner of The Green Barn, James Fennell, began his design of the venue, he aimed to create a contemporary and rustic industrial space. “It was based on a basic Scandinavian-inspired green barn, but with a New England-style twist.” says James. One important aspect of the design was the use of salvaged materials, such as correlated iron, scaffolding and reclaimed wood. “We used correlated iron to give it that barn-type colonial feel, like something you might see in Zimbabwe or Botswana,” he explains. “But inside we used salvaged material and scaffolding and we bought lots of old panelling.” The open layout of the café further contributes to the atmosphere that James Fennell was aiming to create. “The layout of the seating is very important to the atmosphere because the whole side of the building is glass fronted and it looks out onto a section of the garden,” he says. Providing the diners with a view of the garden that houses the organic produce served at The Green Barn was a key design feature for James.
ROGUE GIANT FIDDLE PLANT, roguehome.com.au BESAR INDUSTRIAL PENDANT CEILING LIGHT, cuckooland.com
RUSTED GOTHIC GARDEN LANTERN, miafleur.com
WOODEN SHABBY CHIC COUNTER, guru-shop.de
GOLD LEAF PLANT POTS, miafleur.com
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EDUCATION & TRAINING
CHEFS HEAD FOR THE CLIFF
The newly-branded Cliff, formerly the Cliff Collection, is so passionate about addressing the chef shortages in Ireland it has set up its own in-house course for school leavers. Maev Martin talks to GM Adriaan Bartels, tutor Martin Potts, and Executive Chef Martijin Kajuiter, about this unique offering. 20
driaan says that Cliff established the in-house training programme after experiencing the recruitment problem first hand and then trying to set up an internal programme with other chefs and Michelin rated restaurants. “This did not work out so we used the network of Relais et Chateaux hotels in Ireland as a basis for setting up a chef training programme between the members,” he says. “During this process we met Martin Potts and Patrick Flanagan from Synergy ProChef and we put together the bones of the programme. The programme required a base to do the training from and, after the purchase of the Village at Lyons, now known as Cliff at Lyons, which already contained a cookery school facility for leisure guests and corporate team building, Cliff were able to put the plan into action, following its approval by City and Guilds.” The Cliff at Lyons in Celbridge is now enrolling for City & Guilds certified professional cookery courses for 2017. Commencing Monday, January 30th, the Cliff Academy courses are suitable for school leavers with a passion for the culinary arts, amateur chefs, and those who are already working in the hospitality industry. With only 12 places on offer, the City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking (Culinary Arts) is designed to be hands on. Successful graduates will be well positioned for working in commerical kitchens on completion. Led by Martin Potts and Patrick Flanagan of Synergy ProChef, the 20-
week course fees are 5,950 and materials supplied include uniform, workbooks and knife set. This is a non-residential course. The curriculum for year one will include food preparation across a wide range of produce, including fish and shellfish, meat, poultry, offal, fruits, pulses, baked good and desserts. It also includes food safety, safe work practices and catering operations, as well as budgets and menu planning. Healthier foods, food nutrition and special diets will also be covered. Term 1 commences on January 30th and runs Monday through Wednesday, 9am to 5pm, until June, with a two-week work placement at a five-star hotel property. Students can also apply for a second year of schooling,
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EDUCATION & TRAINING Main: Cliff Executive Chef Martijn Kajuiter, (left) Cliff House Hotel General Manager Adriaan Bartels, (below) Academy Tutors Patrick Flanagan and Martin Potts.
...THERE ARE NO ADEQUATE TRAINING PROGRAMMES FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO WORK AT THE CRAFT LEVEL...THE OLD CERT COURSES THAT USED TO TRAIN STAFF IN HOTELS THAT WERE CLOSED FOR THE WINTER SHOULD BE RE-INTRODUCED, AS THIS PROGRAMME WORKED WELL IN THE PAST. commencing September 2017. Year 2 will offer a City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking (Patisserie), as well as a City & Guilds Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Food Preparation and Cookery Supervision. The courses will cover gastronomy, international cuisines and global trends, as well as kitchen and staff supervision, resource management, budgets, planning, and food production. Further advanced courses will start in late 2017. Is the training on offer at the Cliff at Lyons an exact replica of the City & Guilds courses available in Institutes of Technology or does it differ from those programmes in any way? “The City and Guilds courses are designed to allow people to earn and learn concurrently, so at Cliff we are running the courses over three intensive days to allow
for the industry to train as well as work,” says Adriaan. “The Advanced Diploma in the second year is designed to be run as part of the workplace in order to make the training as real as possible for students. The international course offerings are slightly different to the English model but the first year sits in line with QQI Level 5, while the second year Advanced Pastry and Advanced Diploma are benchmarked at QQI Level 6.” The culinary courses at the Cliff Academy are being led by tutors Chef Martin Potts and Patrick Flanagan of Synergy ProChef, which was set up in 2014 to deliver training programmes and chef consultancy to the Irish hospitality industry. “With over 50 years international culinary experience between them and 20 years teaching experience in Ireland, Australia, England and the US, Martin and Patrick are the go to guys in the Irish market when it comes to hospitality training,” says Adriaan. “Synergy Prochef was introduced to the Cliff through Martin’s connections with Fáilte Ireland where he worked for six years as part of the industry training division, delivering culinary training programmes across Ireland.” A full programme of masterclasses delivered by Cliff chefs will also be launched in the coming weeks. The first masterclass, ‘A Taste of the House Restaurant,’ will be delivered by Cliff Executive Chef Martijn Kajuiter and takes place on January 21st 2017. In fact, Cliff is no stranger to innovation when it comes to training their staff. Hotel & Catering Review featured a story in 2015
on their unique on-the-job training programme, which is run by Adriaan Bartels in the Cliff House Hotel in Dublin. The highly successful Max programme is an online staff self assessment programme that integrates a human resource function with e-learning, communication, guest satisfaction, idea generation and performance appraisal. What is Adriaan’s view of the current state of the training available for new entrants to the industry? “I think what Ireland offers is excellent in most parts for addressing the management of the industry but there are no adequate training programmes and facilities for those that want to work at the craft level, such as waiting staff, barmen, sommeliers etc,” he says. “The old CERT courses that used to train staff in hotels that were closed for the winter should be re-introduced, as this programme worked well in the past.” Of course, Fáilte Ireland (formerly CERT) has introduced a new apprenticeship programme, developed in conjunction with a number of other industry bodies. Martijn Kajuiter, the Cliff ’s Executive Chef at the Michelin Star House restaurant, says that “unfortunately, I do not have any experience of this programme yet as it is still in the early stages so it is difficult to comment on it. However, in my experience, chefs with even basic cooking skills are in short supply, so that is why a course such as that offered by the Cliff Academy is critical to plugging this gap. It targets this shortage directly.” Cliff Academy chef and tutor Martin Potts believes that the introduction of this in-house culinary training programme at the Cliff at Lyons may inspire other hotels to do the same, but he stresses that they will need to have the proper facilities, otherwise it won’t work. “It is our goal for our industry colleagues to see Cliff Academy as the place to send their aspiring chefs to get accreditation or to upskill,” he says. “We all need to pull together as an industry and support programmes like this, so that more chefs can be trained, and thereby alleviate the shortages that currently exist.”
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The Brexit effect and the need for linked promotions between the tourism industry in the north and south of the country were among the topics discussed at the National Tourism Forum in Killarney on November 25th and 26th.
haired by broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan, the forum also explored the future of tourism in Ireland, international trends, tourism policy and the development of rural tourism. Organised by the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotels Federation, SKAL Republic of Ireland, and Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, events on the 25th were based in the Muckross Park Hotel in Killarney where in excess of 20 guest speakers contributed to the debate. They included Trinity College Professor of Finance, Brian Lucey, Dalata Hotel Group Chief Pat McCann, Irish Hotels’ Federation President, Joe Dolan, Irish Tourist Industry Confederation boss Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, MEP Sean Kelly, Kerry TDs Michael Healy-Rae and Brendan Griffin, and Chief Executive of the
Irish Tourist Industry Confederation, Eoghan O’Mara Walsh. FALSE VOTE BASED ON MISTRUTHS Ireland South MEP, Sean Kelly, told delegates that he had a feeling Brexit might not happen but that there was certainly a hardening of attitudes towards the UK in Europe. “Brexit was a false vote, based on emotion and mistruths,” he said. “There had been 20 years of falsehoods from the British tabloids and they were never contradicted. The decision to exit was also based on keeping migrants out.” The Fine Gael MEP said it was becoming clear that the attitude in Britain had changed, with the latest poll showing that 56% would now vote to remain in Europe with the
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Opposite: Conor Hennigan, Hospitality Consultant, Tom Randles, Randles Hotel, Pat McCann, Dalata Hotel Group, Nicola McGrane, Conference Partners, and Stephen Hanley, The Shelbourne Hotel; above: Terence Mulcahy, Chairman, Kerry Branch of the IHF making a presentation to Sean and Marie O’Driscoll on behalf of the Kerry Branch of the IHF for their professionalism in hosting the inaugural National Tourism Forum and branch ball in the Muckross Park Hotel. Also in photo are, in front, Joe Dolan, President, IHF and Margaret Creedon. Second row, Brian Bowler, Geraldine and Michael Rosney, Sally and John McKenna, and Noel Creedon. At back, Padraig Treacy, Conor O’Connell, Tim Fenn, IHF CEO, and Patrick O’Donoghue.
‘vast majority’ of young people against Brexit. Mr Kelly said he believes British Prime Minister, Theresa May, might call a General Election next June or July and everything could change after that. But, in the meantime, the MEP warned that the return of a hard border would impact enormously on the peace process. Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Business Development, Paul Keeley said there was no need for panic over Brexit as the average British tourist stays in Ireland for a shorter period and spends less than holidaymakers from other markets. He said that the focus must be on markets that can be controlled in a better way and that the important thing for Ireland is to concentrate on providing good value for money and quality service. Dr Howard Hastings, Chairman of Visit Belfast and Managing Director of Hastings Hotels, said that, contrary to forecasts from ‘doom mongers,’ the tourism economy has powered ahead since Britain voted to leave the EU. “In July to September this year, in the aftermath of the Brexit result, there were three million arrivals to the island of Ireland,” he said. “That is up 10% on last year. September itself was 10% up, so the rate of growth has not slowed and growth has been from every region.” Dr Hastings said that, even if a slowdown from Britain is feared, the momentum from other markets is undiminished, with Benelux up 27%, Spain and Italy both up 12%, and France increasing by seven per cent.
JOINED-UP THINKING The pressing need for joined up thinking and linked promotions between the tourism industry in the north and south of the country was emphasised at the forum. Dr Hastings said it doesn’t make sense for a county the same size as Scotland to expect international buyers in the industry to attend two separate promotional events – Meithal in the Republic and Meet The Buyer in Northern Ireland – and that steps must be taken to organise just one show which rotates around the country. “Some of our tourism hubs, like Westport and Kinsale, who have led the way on joined-up tourism at a local level, will confirm that there are no quick fixes,” he said. “However, if we can replicate on an all-island scale a little of what they have produced for their regions, a sizeable prize awaits us.” He said themed trips are a good idea going forward and that food and drink tourism was a big attraction. The influential hotelier wondered when Dublin stopped becoming a destination and was redesignated as a product? “What possesses Fáilte Ireland, together with industry, to launch what amounted to a ‘go it alone’ campaign in Britain last year, where the creative was devised outside the Tourism Ireland branch architecture, and where the call to action was to a separate website?” he asked. “To me, this is like aiming at a target with a double barrelled shotgun where the two bores are not aligned. In a world of joined-up tourism, we must
Above: Geraldine Dolan, General Manager, and Jason Higgins from The Aghadoe Heights Hotel, Killarney, at the National Tourism Forum; below: at the Kerry Branch of IHF Ball in the Muckross Park Hotel are Deputy Michael Healy-Rae, Terence Mulcahy, Chairman, Kerry Branch, Joe Dolan, President of the IHF, and Danny Healy-Rae.
WHAT POSSESSES FÁILTE IRELAND, TOGETHER WITH INDUSTRY, TO LAUNCH WHAT AMOUNTED TO A ‘GO IT ALONE’ CAMPAIGN IN BRITAIN LAST YEAR, WHERE THE CREATIVE WAS DEVISED OUTSIDE THE TOURISM IRELAND BRANCH ARCHITECTURE, AND WHERE THE CALL TO ACTION WAS TO A SEPARATE WEBSITE?...IN A WORLD OF JOINED-UP TOURISM, WE MUST DO BETTER THAN THAT. JANUARY 2017 | HOTEL
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THERE IS NOT ENOUGH FUNDING BEING PUT INTO THIS SECTOR...IT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED BY THE GOVERNMENT...IF WE WANT IT TO GROW, IT NEEDS FINANCE. WE NEED TO GET PEOPLE INTO THE REGIONS...
do better than that. Joined-up tourism makes it easy for the customer to try and buy the product. There still seems to be a reluctance on the part of central government to invest as much as the industry would wish in overseas markets, so hoteliers must ensure that every penny counts. We have an established brand and we have agreed that brand building and destination marketing are down to Tourism Ireland, and that product development and the promotion of products, like golf and business tourism, should be down to the two domestic boards. The segmentation of the best prospects in the market and the brand architecture best suited to capturing these prospects has been painstakingly researched and developed, and delivered cohesively by Tourism Ireland.” TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT Dr Hastings said the industry needs to significantly step up to the mark in terms of staff training and development to prepare for changing markets. “In 2008 and 2009 the first thing we did was cut people development and now we’re seeing the consequences of that,” he said. “We will always have a recruitment problem unless we have development and training.” Killarney-based hotel consultant Conor Hennigan, of Hennigan Hospitality Services, said that every hotel needs a clear training and development programme and that there is “a body of work” to be done in that respect. “There is not enough funding being put into this sector,” he said. “It needs to be addressed by the government. If we want it to grow, it needs finance. We need to get people into the regions and we need focus and marketing assistance to achieve that.” Stephen Hanley, General Manager of the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, said that when it comes to recruitment and choosing between skills and personality,
Top left:Sean O’Driscoll presents John and Mary Concannon with the SKAL Leader in Tourism Award for his work on the 1916 Commemoration Project throughout Ireland at the annual SKAL dinner in The Brehon Hotel. Also in photo are Brian Bowler, President, SKAL Kerry and Nora Cronin, President, SKAL Cork. Above: Hotel Staff get ready to serve the banquet at the IHF Ball.
it is personality that wins ‘seven days a week’. “You can get somebody that is robotic with great skills but you need personality,” he said. The Shelbourne Hotel employs 550 people and there are always 50 jobs available. “It doesn’t matter whether they are from Caherciveen or Warsaw, it’s personality we want to recruit,” he stressed. SUPER SOLUTION The provision of a super train travelling between the airports in Shannon and Dublin, with an estimated journey time of just 45 minutes, would be a sure-fire solution to the problems of access and regionality that are impacting on the industry. That’s according to Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae, who told delegates that it would open up the west of Ireland and provide a great boost for the entire western seaboard. “It would be a shame and a scandal and a disgrace if one more euro was spent on improving Dublin Airport,” he said. “We need to break this Red Cow barrier and this proposal makes perfect sense.” He said the new line could be provided immediately over the existing rail line between Limerick and Dublin and that would eliminate any need to acquire land or enforce compulsory purchase orders. Deputy Healy-Rae also urged the government to sanction 2m to safeguard the future of the Valentia Ferry.
#Poor Access IHF President Joe Dolan said that poor regional access is the biggest single problem facing the Irish tourism industry. “Despite that, the country is doing very well and people are arriving in droves and are spending a lot of money,” he said. But he expressed concerns about what he described as the inequitable distribution of tourism, with 80% of revenue generated in five counties Dublin, Kerry, Cork, Clare and Galway. “The more remote you are, the more seasonal you tend to be,” he said. Mr Dolan said bad weather, seasonal closures and the unavailability of product in the off-season weren’t helping the regions and that the availability and cost of car hire was a major impediment.
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WINEMAKING IN THE BLOOD
THE TORRES FAMILY HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN VITICULTURE FOR MORE THAN THREE CENTURIES. TODAY, THE 4TH GENERATION OF THE FAMILY IS REPRESENTED BY A LEGEND IN THE WORLD OF WINE, THE COMPANY’S PRESIDENT, MIGUEL A. TORRES, WHO WAS WARMLY RECEIVED ON A VISIT TO IRELAND LAST YEAR.
orres has become one of the foremost family-owned wine companies in the business, with vineyards in Spain, Chile, and California, employees numbering more than 1,300 people, and exports to more than 150 countries. Miguel Torres works alongside the fifth generation, headed by his son Miguel Torres Maczassek, General Manager of the Torres Group, and his daughter Mireia Torres Maczassek, General Manager of Torres Priorat, Jean Leon, and the department of R&D and Innovation.
PAST GLORIES, FUTURE PROSPECTS The company is currently celebrating the 2010 vintage of its flagship Mas La Plana, the 40th bottling of this iconic wine that firmly put not only Torres, but Spain in general, on the fine wine map. Now one of the most famous Spanish wines in the world, Mas La Plana made its name by beating Château Latour and other classed Bordeaux wines in
The Torres Family
a blind tasting competition in Paris in 1979, shocking the wine world and forever changing the status quo. Since then the accolades have continually rolled in for Torres, with the company most recently continuing its unprecedented run in Drinks International’s annual World’s Most Admired Wine Brands rankings by being named the Top European Winery for a sixth year in a row, the only brand to achieve such an accolade. And the Torres brand continues to expand and innovate. A project to explore Spanish wine regions outside of their home in Penedès began in Ribera del Duero with their famous Celeste, now the most exported wine from the region, and today covers other premium D.O.s, including Rioja (Altos Ibéricos), Priorat (Salmos and Perpetual), and Rías Baixas (Pazo das Bruxas).
THE ENVIRONMENT & THE FUTURE The Torres family’s philosophy of wine growing begins with respect for the land: winemaking at the company has always respected the environment and used biological alternatives to chemicals that can be aggressive towards the natural surroundings. The Torres family has always been aware of the fact that ‘Wine is the fruit of the earth,’ and they have worked with this responsibility over the years, with generation after generation committed to ecological conservation. Meaures that prove their environmental commitment include using renewable energy sources, resurrecting ‘lost’ varieties that are better suited to increased temperatures, and setting themselves the target to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% per bottle by the year 2020. “We live from the earth and we are a family-owned company, so this combination leads us to care for our land and resources, not just for this generation, but also for future generations”, says Miguel A. Torres.
Torres wines are exclusively distributed in Ireland by Findlater Wine & Spirit Group. Visit www.findlaterws.ie for more information.
CRUNCH TIME in the CAPITAL Irish tourism’s strong recovery in recent years has shone a spotlight on the shortage of hotel accommodation, particularly in the capital city. The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC) looks at the prospects for any imminent capacity increases.
áilte Ireland, through consultants Fitzpatrick Associates, published a report entitled Analysis of Visitor Accommodation in Dublin in June, which estimated that there would be 5,500 additional bedrooms in Dublin open and trading by 2020. These additional rooms would be needed to meet projected visitor numbers. Should the planned developments not materialise, corrective and proactive policies will need to be deployed. This is now more valid than ever in light of the new economic uncertainties of Brexit and a Trump Presidency; two factors that were not envisaged within the Fitzpatrick Report. A shortage of hotel stock in Dublin has potentially serious consequences. Tourism numbers into the city have increased by 33% over the last five years at the very time that hotel bedroom stock has actually declined by six per cent. This, of course, is a legacy of the property and financial crash that the country suffered, but with demand and supply so out of sync, there has been upward pressure on prices, and Dublin risks becoming uncompetitive. With occupancy in Dublin over 85% throughout 2016, according to STR, the leading hotel benchmarking index, one wonders how much better tourism numbers may have been if additional capacity had been available. Certainly some tour operators have been unable to place business in Dublin due to availability limitations. And, of course, adequate capacity within Dublin is critical for the health of Irish tourism as a whole - the majority of international visitors to Ireland spend at least one night in the capital.
ACTIONS TO DATE According to Fáilte Ireland, and the Grow Dublin Tourism Alliance, there is an annual target of attracting 6.4 million international visitors to Dublin by 2020. The question, of course, is where are they going to stay? The Fitzpatrick Report highlighted that Dublin needed circa 5,500 new bedrooms by 2020 if supply was to adequately match a steady rate of projected demand. Room size regulations for new builds have subsequently been standardised to European norms, meaning that hotel developers can now increase the number of bedrooms within a site, thereby improving economic returns. Fáilte Ireland and the Irish Hotels Federation are also in discussion about revised hotel classifications, and Dublin City Council has approved Poolbeg West as a Strategic Development Zone, which should hasten redevelopment of the area. There have been
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STOCK SHORTAGE welcome construction developments, including the opening on O’Connell Street of the new 198 bedroom Holiday Inn, and announcements including a planned new hotel at Dublin Airport. However, objections and delays to sites such as the 40m 263-bedroom hotel near St Patrick’s Cathedral show that developments are a costly and complex process and need ongoing review. Tourism isn’t the only sector that badly requires adequate hotel stock - businesses and multi-nationals considering relocating to Dublin as a result of Brexit are also analysing the situation carefully. MARKET ANALYSIS ITIC has consulted with a number of commercial property agents and financial institutions on the subject in recent times, including CBRE, who are happy to share their most recent views on new hotel developments for the Greater Dublin Area. It should be noted that this is a fluid situation and CBRE have highlighted that their figures are constantly adapting. The CBRE analysis makes for interesting reading and shows that there has been significant activity of late. Currently (late November/early December 2016) there are 49 ‘shovel ready’ schemes with full planning consent granted. If constructed, this would provide an extra 4,642 bedrooms open for business by 2020/21, with 935 in extensions and 3,707 in new builds. Sixteen other schemes have
been lodged or are under appeal. A further 22 other schemes are at pre-planning stage and seven schemes have been refused, some of which may be resubmitted for planning. Funding of hotel developments has been an issue to date, but there are signs that this has been improving in recent times with finance becoming more available for the sector. As the graphic below highlights, CBRE are expecting quite a number of new builds and extensions to go on site in the next 12 months. Regrettably, due to construction and planning timelines, the bulk of new hotel bedrooms will not be open until 2018 and 2019. The situation needs to be carefully monitored as a slowdown in funding or delays due to planning obstacles could have serious consequences. ONGOING MONITORING ITIC urges the industry to compare actual builds to previous projections on an ongoing basis. The Confederation is calling on Fáilte Ireland to publish a six monthly review of demand and supply projections for the period up to 2020 in light of the latest strong tourism numbers, changes in regulatory regimes, and the possible economic shocks of Brexit and a Trump Presidency to the hotel development economy. Should the supply of hotel developments slow
CBRE DEVELOPMENT PREDICTIONS
For guidance purposes only - November 2016
3,000 PROPOSED ROOMS OPENING
CBRE | DUBLIN DEVELOPMENT PIPELINE
2,000 1,726 All bedrooms are already open
1,000 593 390
or not materialise, ITIC urges prompt intervention, including: a fast track planning unit to be established within local authorities for hotel developments; the encouragement of financing from Irish banks for hotel development or, if necessary, from other EU banks; the early completion of classification criteria to be agreed by Fáilte Ireland and the Irish Hotels Federation; hotel prospectus pitching Dublin as an investment opportunity to be funded and implemented by Fáilte Ireland and local authorities if hotel developments do not materialise; the creation of new Strategic Development Zones within the GDA; and the identification of reasons why hotels with planning permission granted have not proceeded.
It looks like there will be a very limited new supply of hotel rooms until 2019 at the earliest. According to Tom Barrett, Head of Hotels at Savills, the net addition of hotel rooms in 2017 will only be around 250. Irish real estate investor Tetrarch is focused on expanding its hotel capacity via a 40m dedicated hostel development platform. The company now plans to expand its budget offering by developing a new hostel in Dublin 1 or 2 by the end of 2018. Tetrarch has already entered this market with its 7m acquisition of Jacob’s Inn in Dublin city centre in 2014. Their medium term target is to acquire or develop at least four hostels. According to Damien Gaffney, Managing Director of Tetrarch Hospitality, the company’s approach for future acquisitions and development is to focus on areas that they see as underdeveloped, such as hostels, budget hotels and aparthotels.
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BRIDGING THE SME TECH GAP Small to medium sized hospitality operators have been slow to make the move to digital for a variety of reasons. Maev Martin talks to Enda Larkin, Managing Director of software service provider Dobiquity, to find out why and how the industry can address the tech lag.
obiquity (www. dobiquity. com) is a software service that makes it easy and affordable for hoteliers to digitise multiple operational tasks from the same platform. The growing suite of apps covers a broad spectrum of work activities, including a Mystery Shopper App, which allows operators to self-manage the mystery shopper process without the need to engage the services of a professional shopper, an Employee Survey App, which streamlines how operators measure employee satisfaction and engagement levels using an online survey tool, a Customer Feedback App, which digitises the customer feedback process, and an On-the-Job Training App, which removes day-to-day paperwork from operational skills training. The latter app strengthens management oversight of this critical activity, and improves legal compliance. “Our digital platform enables small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) to
increase efficiency and reduce costs by replacing inefficient manual processes with easy to use web and mobile apps,” says Dobiquity Managing Director Enda Larkin, who has over 25 years’ experience in the industry, both as a manager and consultant. In 2014, only a fifth of Irish SMEs had invested in cloud computing solutions and 60% of micro-firms hadn’t invested in any digital infrastructure, according to research published in the McCann Fitzgerald Corporate Outlook 2014. “As I worked with clients in Ireland and abroad over recent years, I saw first-hand just how pronounced the tech lag was and how it represented a significant lost opportunity for SMEs, placing them at a disadvantage compared to their larger counterparts,” says Enda. “Dobiquity is helping to level the playing field. At present, if a small business operator wants to digitise a variety of operational tasks, he/she needs to signup with different app providers for each, which is cumbersome and costly. Dobiquity is the only provider enabling managers to digitise multiple operational activities from the same platform, which makes it really easy to do more digitally.” Enda believes that the first wave of digitisation presented hospitality businesses with a significant opportunity to use technology to better engage with their customers. The industry, or at least the larger players, grasped that opportunity with both hands. In fact, in many respects, the hospitality industry is leading the way when it comes to using technology to secure and retain customers. “However, the second wave of digitisation is now focused upon internal digitisation and in this respect our industry can unfortunately be considered a real laggard,” he argues. “You only have to look at any hospitality operation to see the range of daily tasks that are still manual or paper-
based when they could easily be made more efficient using technology. A classic example of this is on-the-job training which, if it happens at all, is usually accompanied by paper checklists and training records. Add to that the tree-killing SOP manuals that supposedly accompany the process, but never actually see the light of day. This is just one critical operational activity that is ripe for digitisation. Think of other tasks too, like hygiene and safety management, complaint handling, accident reporting etc. and you will see that, as an industry, we have been extremely slow to make the move to digitisation at an operational level. And the digital lag is even more extreme at the level of the SME, with one EU study in 2015 showing that only 19% of SMEs in the hospitality sector were making use of cloud services.” Intrigued by the tech lag, Enda conducted research among 100 hospitality SME operators in Ireland and the UK to better understand why
YOU ONLY HAVE TO LOOK AT ANY HOSPITALITY OPERATION TO SEE THE RANGE OF DAILY TASKS THAT ARE STILL MANUAL OR PAPER-BASED WHEN THEY COULD EASILY BE MADE MORE EFFICIENT USING TECHNOLOGY.
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DIGITAL DESK Clockwise from below: Dobiquity user dashboard; Dobiquity Knowledge Hub; Dobiquity website.
Clockwise from below: Dobiquity Mystery Shopper App; Dobiquity mystery shopper report; Dobiquity Mystery Shopper App
the digital uptake is so low. Some interesting points emerged from the study. “When asked whether they would like to ‘do more digitally’ at an operational level, over 80% of the respondents expressed strong interest in embracing technology, yet most had not done so and many were frustrated at this failing,” he said. “Five factors emerged as being key barriers to internal digitisation and, in reverse order of importance, included technophobia - many respondents indicated that they weren’t technicallyminded themselves and that this was a barrier to them using cloud-based solutions and technology generally. Concern about how the technology would be used within the operation and who would manage the account on a day-to-day basis was another factor. Most managers were worried about what the set-up and on-going costs associated with the technology would be, and there were security concerns - all of those interviewed identified the risk of data or service loss as a
significant inhibitor to embracing digitisation. However, the greatest barrier identified by respondents was the fact that to digitise many tasks meant signing up with multiple providers, which was cumbersome and costly. Our platform cuts out the need to sign up with multiple app providers, and our apps are simple to set up and use, making it really easy and affordable to do more digitally.” Dobiquity will launch a Manager’s Log App shortly, which will allow managers and staff to digitally log complaints, accidents and incidents, maintenance issues and shift handover comments on a daily basis. They will also introduce apps in the areas of hygiene, management, employee communications
and appraisals over the coming months and, later in 2017, Dobiquity will launch the first suite of benchmarking tools that will allow managers to compare operational performance against peer and industry norms. “What we have found since launching Dobiquity in late 2015 is that managers in the hospitality industry are indeed slow to embrace new things, or are so caught up in the day-to-day stuff that change falls off the agenda,” says Enda. “But we have also found that the many enterprises that have already subscribed to Dobiquity, ranging from five star hotels to individual pubs, are seeing benefits in terms of cost savings and efficiency gains by using our apps.”
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KEY TO THE DOOR
KEY TO THE
Openings, Closures, Refurbs and Acquisitions
MHL ACQUIRES THREE HOTELS The MHL Hotel Collection announced on November 22nd that it had completed the acquisition of three Dublin hotels - the Spencer Hotel, the Morgan Hotel and the Beacon Hotel - from the Fitzpatrick Lifestyle Hotel group. Following these acquisitions, MHL will become the largest owner of five and four star hotels (by number of bedrooms) in Dublin city centre. MHL (previously the John Malone Partnership) involves John Malone, Chairman, Liberty Media and Liberty Global, Paul Higgins, and John Lally. All of the Collection’s individual hotels will continue to trade under their existing names and brands, and the rebranding of the hotel group is currently nearing completion. MHL is now the second largest hotel group in Dublin city with over 1,150 five and four star bedrooms, all in prime locations.
LYNAM’S HOTEL SOLD
NEW HOTELS FOR CITY CENTRE? Dublin City Council’s decision in December to grant planning permission for the redevelopment of the former Clerys department store should alleviate some of the pressure on the capital’s hotel capacity. Natrium, the group that owns the O’Connell Street site, has been granted planning permission for a new mixed-use development, which will include high-end retail units, a boutique hotel, office space, and entertainment and leisure facilities. Meanwhile, Brown Table Solutions Ltd has applied for planning permission for the redevelopment of a former convent, Loreto Hall on 77 St Stephen’s Green, into a multi-storey 95-bedroom boutique hotel. Wave Point Ltd has applied for permission for the development of a four star, 136 bedroom, seven storey hotel on 21 Ship Street, Dublin 8, and planning permission for the development of a 17 bedroom hotel on 72 Abbey Street in the north inner city has been filed by Weiyu Wu.
CBRE’s hotel division is believed to have achieved in the region of 6m for Lynam’s Hotel on O’Connell Street in Dublin’s city centre. The agent had listed the mid-sized hotel for in excess of 4m when it went to market in September. The four storey over basement building was redeveloped as a hotel in 2001. Located in a former period bank building opposite the Spire, Lynam’s spans 1,280 square metres and has 42 bedrooms and a ground floor restaurant. There is a Spar shop at ground floor level at the front of the building, which is separately owned and was not included in the sale. Given the high demand for hotel accommodation in the city centre, we can only hope that the new owner will re-open the hotel as a boutique hotel.
‘COMPACT LUXURY’ IN D2 Appalachian Property Holdings Ltd has applied for planning permission to turn the site of the former Andrews Lane Theatre into a 155 bedroom, nine storey over low ground level ‘compact luxury’ hotel. The rooms are intended to be around 14 or 15 square metres. The ground floor will feature a reception area with self service check-in and a coffee dock, but no bar, restaurant, conference facilities, gym or spa on-site. In return, room costs are expected to come in under typical market prices and could be as low as 150 per night. The development will involve the complete demolition of the old theatre, currently in use as a nightclub. It is anticipated the hotel will be open in spring 2019, subject to planning permission.
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KEY TO THE DOOR
DALATA COMPLETES DOUBLE TREE TAKEOVER Dalata announceed on December 6th that they had completed the takeover of the Double Tree Hilton hotel in Ballsbridge and will now manage the operations of the landmark hotel on Burlington Road. The hotel will operate under their Clayton hotel brand and will be known as Clayton Hotel Burlington Road. The hotel comprises 502 recently renovated guestrooms, meeting and events facilities, including a ballroom with a capacity for 1,400 delegates, an executive lounge, and a 24-hour fitness suite. In December 2016 Dalata rebranded the Clarion Hotels in Sligo, Limerick and Cork to Clayton Hotels, adding over 1,000 rooms to its portfolio.
DEVELOPER PLANS SPORTS HOTEL Cyclist Sean Kelly and Irish Olympian Philip Cassidy are supporting an application by developer Johnny Ronan’s Ronan Group Real Estate to develop a 141-room hotel in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow. The proposed hotel in the grounds of St Valery’s House is aimed at the growing market for sports tourism, with the developer seeking to attract cyclists, walkers, kayakers and others to the garden county. RGRE says the proposed hotel would add to the diversity of Enniskerry and Wicklow’s existing hospitality offering. The company expects the project to bring approximately 150 jobs to the local area if it receives approval from Wicklow County Council.
30-BED EXPANSION FOR BELFAST HOTEL The Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast has secured planning permission for a 7m 30-bed expansion following its acquisition last year by hotelier Michael Holland. The sister hotel to the Fitzwilliam in Dublin has been awarded a five star rating by Tourism Northern Ireland following the recent completion of a 2.4m refurbishment project and is expected to create 30 jobs when the extension to the rear of the premises is completed in 2018. The Fitzwilliam appointed London design firm Project Orange to redesign its 130 existing bedrooms and ground floor lobby. Construction on the extension will begin next year. It will have 30 additional bedrooms, gym and spa facilities, a rooftop terrace, and relocated conference rooms. The hotel had close to 1.4 million visitors last year and employs 130 people.
DALATA TO ADD 206 ROOMS IN BELFAST Dalata Hotel Group recently signed a development contract with McAleer & Rushe to deliver a 206room Maldron Hotel on Brunswick Street in central Belfast. Planning permission for a new 14 storey hotel, designed by Belfast architect Consarc, was granted in November 2015. The hotel will be built on the site of the former Belfast Metropolitan College, which McAleer & Rushe acquired in August 2014, and represents a Stg£21m investment, delivering in excess of 100 new employee positions for the local economy when the hotel is operational. Demolition of the site has already begun and construction is due to commence in June 2016. The hotel is expected to be completed in the first half of 2018.
STRONG THIRD QUARTER FOR HOTEL MARKET The Irish hotel market saw an exceptionally strong third quarter in 2016, with a very robust level of transaction activity recorded in the three month period, according to a new report from Cushman & Wakefield. A total of 143m worth of hotels transacted in the three months to September, exceeding that recorded in the first two quarters combined. This brought hotel investment turnover to almost 283m across 36 deals. Despite the strong third quarter, the value of transaction activity in the nine month period was 13.5% lower than that recorded in the same period in 2015. In addition, the volume of hotels sold was 29% lower year-on-year.
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HOTELIER HONOURED by GASTRONOMY BROTHERHOOD
A Kerry hotelier and pig breeder wins a major international award and Ireland’s longest running food festival names its culinary stars.
ermot Brennan, owner of the boutique Brook Lane Hotel, Casey’s Bar & Restaurant and No 35 Restaurant in Kenmare, Co Kerry, has won Champion of Ireland 2016 for Best Pork Sausage at the prestigious Fins Goustiers European Championships. The awards, which are held annually in Normandy, France, is the European Championships for certain meat products, namely sausages and white puddings. The awards, which aim to promote these meat products and uphold the standards of production, are widely regarded as one of the most prestigious for processed pork products. Established in 1973, a Best Grilled Pork Sausage category was added to the awards in 2005. The judging process is anonymous and carried out by two tables of judges who are overseen by a lawyer. The full title of the awards body is Commanderie des Fins Goustiers du Duché d’ Alençon. It was given the additional title of Confrérie de Gastronomie Normande, which translates as Brotherhood of Gastronomy Normandy, by Tripière d’Or de Caen, the oldest French gastronomy brotherhood. The judging takes place in October and the awards are presented in November at a traditional ceremony and dinner dance attended by members of other brotherhoods. The judging panel consists of the members
of the Commanderie des Fins Goustiers du Duché d’ Alençon, members of other gastronomy brotherhoods, butchers, and members of the general public. The awards are only open to artisan butchers who produce their own products. Sixteen products from Ireland competed for the title and the competing sausages were judged on three criteria appearance, seasoning and taste. Dermot’s award winning sausages contain 100% pork from his own pigs, use natural casings, and have naturally occurring salt and iodine. They can be found on the menus at Casey’s Restaurant in Brook Lane Hotel and in dishes such as the pork tasting plate with
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FOOD HEROES apple ketchup, cider jus and crackling in No 35 restaurant. “The standard of entries in the competition for the pork sausage was extremely high,” says David Beresford, Le Grand Prevost of Commanderie des Fins Goustiers du Duche d’Alencon. “Dermot Brennan did exceptionally well to achieve the award of Champion of Ireland in this category, beating some previous holders of the title who were also competing and some of the best butchers in Ireland.” Dermot, who owns and runs the hotel and restaurants with his wife Una, began breeding rare-breed, pedigree saddleback outdoor pigs five years ago on 20 acres of land one kilometre from the hotel. “The unique environment where our pigs live gives the meat its distinctive and very special flavour,” says Dermot. “We are situated two kilometres from the Atlantic ocean which gives our pork its unique flavour from the salt coming in off Kenmare Bay. The high salt levels and iodine-rich content of these plants and grasses that our pigs feed on make the muscle cells in the flesh retain more moisture, so the meat is juicier and melt-in-the-mouth tender, a taste that has been
largely forgotten in today’s mass produced pork.” The pigs that produce the free-range pork are born outside and spend their entire lives in the fresh air, with freedom to roam in large paddocks and root around in the soil. They have shelter when they need it in the form of large straw bedded mobile huts, and they grow at a much slower, more natural rate. Dermot also produces his own chorizo sausage, pork burgers, hams and dry-cured bacon. Most of the produce for the family-run hotel and restaurants is sourced locally, and the Brennans also keep their own hens, which supply their businesses with farm fresh eggs. HUNGRY CROW IS BEST EMERGING ARTISAN Meanwhile, at the 2016 Listowel Food Fair, award winners in various categories were announced at a celebration dinner at the Listowel Arms Hotel in November. Over 100 guests were treated to a magnificent nine-course culinary feast, with each course featuring the winning produce from the 2016 Listowel Food Fair ‘Best Emerging Artisan Food Product’ competition. Niamh O’Reilly from The Hungry Crow won the overall Best Emerging Artisan Food Product award for the company’s coconut caramel. The Local Food Hero Award went to Ian McGrigor of Gortbrack Organic Farm, while The Kerrygold National Cheese Competition, in association with Ornua, was won by Jim O’Brien’s Cheeses for its aged cheddar. ‘The World of The Happy Pear,’ by co-founders of The Happy Pear, David & Stephen Flynn, won the 2016 Listowel Food Fair Book of the Year award. John O’Connor of Prestige Foods won the Lifetime Achievement Award. The judging panel included Angela Sheehan of the Food Industry Unit of University College Cork, Tom Mulvihill, former Chief Grader of Ornua. Paul O’Connor, Garvey’s Supervalu and Aoife Hannon, Listowel Food Fair Committee.
Below: Stephen and David Flynn of The Happy Pear in Wicklow with Jimmy Deenihan, Chairman, after their book won the 2016 Listowel Food Fair ‘Book of the Year’ award;
Above: Niamh O’Reilly and Mark Stewart from ‘The Hungry Crow’ Clonakilty, the Overall Winners 2016 for their coconut carmel receive their award from Mary Coleman of Listowel Food Festival.
#Food On The Edge
Speakers have already been confirmed for the Food on the Edge 2017 symposium, which will take place on October 9th and 10th 2017. They include Paul Cunningham (above) of Henne Kirkeby Kro in Denmark and Ashley Palmer-Watts, Head Chef at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, as well as other interesting and controversial names that will be announced early this year. A new ‘Open FOTE’ initiative, which is due to be officially launched soon, is a new element planned for 2017. Open FOTE will be an open call to chefs and food industry professionals who would like to participate in the speakers line-up for 2017, and who feel they have something original or important to say based on the themes of the event. Details of how to submit a proposal for Open FOTE are to be announced early this year.
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Partners in Food
Partners DURING 2016 OUR PARTNERS IN FOOD SERIES GAVE READERS AN INSIGHT INTO SOME OF IRELAND’S PREMIER HOTEL, RESTAURANT AND CATERING OPERATIONS. IN THIS ISSUE WE TALK TO THESE KEY PLAYERS ABOUT FOOD TRENDS AND NEW CULINARY CONCEPTS FOR 2017. WHAT’S TRENDING Gourmet Food Parlour are reporting massive growth in brunch style eating. “Trendy style dishes that are enjoyed at weekends are all the rage,” says Lorraine Heskin. “In addition, our healthy eating and nutritional food options have proven to be extremely popular.” Laura Olson, Head of Business Development and Operations at The Q Café Company, is also reporting that wellness in the workplace is the biggest trend for them. The Q Café Company launched QWellness in 2015. “This grew from strength to strength in
2016, where we supported our clients in delivering healthy balanced food as part of their wellness programmes, alongside organised fitness programmes, workshops and nutrition talks,” she says. Health and wellbeing are also trending for contract caterers Baxter Storey. “We introduced a Food with Soul range of grab and go products fully calorie counted, made using specified recipes in our locations by our onsite teams,” says Executive Development Chef Audrey Crone. “However, we found that these frightened the customer off a bit. So, while we offer these, we have put more of a focus on the fact that we make 95% of our food products in house, using base ingredients, rather than pre-prepared sauces and, of course, locally sourced, where possible, to provide optimum nutritional value. We find that consumer confidence is enhanced when we showcase our ingredients and provide supplier information.” Derek Reilly, Culinary Director with Aramark, says that during 2016 Sri Lankan cuisine emerged as the new hot trend to watch.
“And layered over this appears to be the rise of the ‘new vegan’ or the new ‘flexitarian.’ In terms of eating format, grab and go is still growing and breakfast and brunch is one to watch, with more consumers making breakfast an eating out occasion in 2016.” Not surprisingly, our Partners in Food hoteliers are highlighting the increasing popularity of afternoon tea. “We have seen a vast increase in afternoon tea sales since we made our improvements on the menu and in terms of execution,” says Lyrath Estate Hotel’s General Manager Peter Wilson. “I anticipate huge growth for 2017, which will be driven in part by the fact that our lobby is a world class space in which to relax.” Mount Juliet Estate’s Acting General Manager Christine Murphy is also reporting a ‘huge increase’ in afternoon tea sales. Looking to 2017, Asheesh Dewan of Chakra by Jaipur, cites the emergence of vegetables on menus as whole plates, rather than just as sides or a salad, as a positive trend that will emerge this
year. “The limp lettuce that wound its way into a bin will be dehydrated and then charred, smoked, burnt, slow cooked, baked or torched,” he says. “Small bits of meat will be used as garnishes on main vegetable dishes to satiate our over active umami receptors. Also, we will end up eating parts of an animal we did not think were edible. Flank, round, rump steaks, eye of the round, brisket, or lesser cuts of lamb like the shoulder and belly, are becoming very common and acceptable on menus. The social animal in us that has reignited our passion for foraging also wants to graze, so the rise of the grazing, tasting or gourmet menus concept will continue into 2017. Our plates will get smaller, tasters will emerge, and sliders will reign supreme.” NEW MENUS Crowd pleasers at Gourmet Food Parlour include their protein start and kickstart breakfasts, which are nutritionally approved by their partners foodflicker, as well as their superfood salad, turkey
Partners in Food
reuben, and chefs signature burgers. “Our new tapas nights have been especially popular, particularly our slowroast lamb with beetroot puree, walnut and gorgonzola ravioli, and Tomahawk steaks,” says Lorraine Heskin. Fresh and colourful menus under their QWellness concept were most successful for The Q Café, which opened six new contracts in Dublin and Cork in business and industry and healthcare sites during 2016. Getting regional dishes and more authentic Asian foods onto their menus has been a key focus for Baxter Storey. “Mexican, pulled pork and Shawarma continue to be popular but we have noticed that Vietnamese and Korean foods are increasing in popularity,” says Audrey Crone. “People are familiar with certain foods based on their life’s experiences so we introduce new dishes on the basis of a ‘try it on Tuesday’ or ‘try before you buy’ taste experience.” Aramark introduced a number of new dishes that proved popular in 2016, including their Mexi-Co Taqueria concept – small soft tacos filled with pulled chicken, pork or vegetables - and their Chicago Bulls grilled cheese concept, as well as sourdough bread layered with two types of cheese and with fillings ranging from mac cheese to pastrami, grilled or served hot. The Dalata Hotel Group has completely revamped the breakfast offering at all of its properties. “The launch of our new vitality breakfast, with a clear emphasis on health and wellness, has been a fantastic success,” says Tony McGuigan. “Customer feedback ratings are much higher and it has really improved the overall experience for our guests.”
FOOD CONCEPTS The Dalata Hotel Group also introduced a major new aspect to its food and beverage
KEELINGS’ HOTEL & CATERING REVIEW FOOD PARTNERS FOR 2016 JANUARY Gourmet Food Parlour FEBRUARY Dalata Hotel Group MARCH Press-Up Entertainment Group APRIL Chopped offering in 2016 with the launch of the Red Bean Roastery coffee brand. “It features our own blend of coffee bean, a trained barista delivering an excellent coffee, and fresh home baked pastries and cookies,” says Tony. “Outlets have opened in Clayton and Maldron Hotels in Galway, Smithfield, Leopardstown, Dublin Airport, and at Chiswick in London, with more to follow throughout 2017.” Similarly, the Lyrath Estate Hotel will be putting a big focus on its coffee shop/patisserie product in 2017, which will feature a selection of homemade pastries and savoury products and a selection of coffees and teas.
Aramark added over 14 new food concepts during 2016, all based on key established high street trends. “Our aim is to bring the high street inside and offer our customers what they are seeing on the street, with no compromise over quality, authenticity or consistency,” says Derek Reilly. Baxter Storey has been producing variations of street food for many years. In August 2015, they introduced Pop Ups. “Our Development Chef Kwanghi Chan has been taking this to another level,” says Audrey Crone. “Kwanghi partnered with Mark Moriarty to host a Pop Up restaurant at one of our locations, which was a great success.”
Dublin: +353 (0)1 895 5301
Wexford: +353 (0)53 9147447
Cork: + 353 (0)21 4968088
Belfast: +44 2890324236
MAY Chakra by Jaipur JUNE Baxter Storey JULY The Q Café Company AUGUST Aramark SEPTEMBER Lyrath Estate Hotel OCTOBER Mount Juliet Hotel NOVEMBER Crowne Plaza Hotels
A QUICK CHAT
“While our menu has been influenced by the places I’ve worked and my culinary style, the people I’ve worked with have had the most influence on what is produced in the restaurant.”
INGREDIENT: IRISH BUTTER AND BACON
FAVOURITE DISH: CARBONARA AT HOME
They make everything taste better. Our butter and our bacon are the best in the world.
“The Bord Bia Just Ask award goes to restaurants that openly name where their produce comes from and that is what we do. It was nice to get their Restaurant of the Year 2017 award, particularly for our excellent suppliers.”
I’m not talking about carbonara with cream or mushrooms, just pancetta, eggs, Parmesan cheese, pasta, and the cooking water from the pasta. That’s it - no messing.
“The Bib Gourmand award is the holy grail. The week after the Michelin guide came out we had at least five or six tables that came because they had read that we got the award.”
WISH LIST: INDUCTION RANGE COOKER
I’d love my entire kitchen and equipment range to be induction or something that is low energy.
INSPIRATION: PAUL FLYNN
I’ve watched Paul since he opened the Tannery. I remember getting the Tannery cookbook and looking at it and just loving his style and how he treats ingredients.
Hotel & Catering Review talks to Chef Wade Murphy about the importance of quality suppliers for his award-winning restaurant, 1826 Adare.
“I use just one fish supplier, CS Fish. They fish their own crab and lobsters and they also buy from the fish markets. I buy my beef from Garrett’s Butchers in Limerick.”
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