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ISSUE 9 2019

Fancy some Boxty? Boxty without Borders celebrates food and drink culture, both North and South

Power up energy special

with our

PLUS

are OTAs a necessary evil?

The Right Stuff OFC_HCR_September_ 2019_Coverv2.indd 1

Frylite quality products and excellent service for over 30 years 14/09/2019 13:39


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Go to hotelandcatering review.ie for the online edition

Contents ISSUE 9 2019

IN THIS ISSUE

11

13

The Right Stuff

14 In 1988, Frylite Founder and Managing Director Eamon McCay set out to visit his first customer with a simple idea – to deliver quality products by way of exceptional service. That approach still embodies the company’s ethos and continues to drive not only success but continued innovation.

35

36

NEWS

BOOK SHELF

A QUICK CHAT

21 28

REGULARS

04

18

A QUICK CHAT WITH GAVIN COUPER

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REFURBISHED & REFRESHED A new extension at Castle Leslie has added 21 bedrooms and a 40-seater conservatory to the 4 star lodge

MARLIN HOTEL OPENS IN BOW LANE EAST Located at 11 Bow Lane East, the new €55 million Marlin Hotel spans nine floors across 110,000 sq ft and houses 300 bedrooms

BRIDGING THE GAP 150 guests descended on a bridge linking Cavan and Fermanagh to enjoy the very best food and drink the two counties have to offer

POWER UP More than ever, being energy efficient can enhance a company’s reputation and help to attract more customers. We take a look at how hotels and restaurants can save money on energy costs, while getting more customers through the door

OTAs – A NECESSARY EVIL? New research shows that hoteliers might be happy to accept online bookings from OTAs, but the skyhigh commission is less welcome

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Editor Denise Maguire Creative Director: Jane Matthews Art Director: Áine Duffy

Welcome to issue 9 of Hotel & Catering Review 2019

Designer: James Moore Photography: Food on the Edge, Shane O’Neill, Ballynahinch Castle, Irish Guild of Sommeliers, Welbilt, DELI-LITES, Dunnes Stores, Photographicmemory.ie, Minibar Systems, Jenn-Air, Baidu, Percipia, Hodder & Stoughton, Brewer’s Publications, Penguin, Dan Dennison Stock Photography iStock Infographics: www.flaticon.com Production: Claire Kiernan Sales Director: Trish Murphy Managing Director: Gerry Tynan Chairman: Diarmaid Lennon

Published by: Ashville Media, Unit 55 Park West Road, Park West Industrial Estate, Dublin 12, D12 X9F9. 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 2019. 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.

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Editor’s View Rather than highlighting their disconnectedness, Boxty without Borders worked to highlight the similarities between Cavan and Fermanagh when it comes to food and drink culture. Boxty is a dish that's indigenous to the areas of Cavan, Fermanagh and Monaghan and played a central role in the meal enjoyed by the 150 guests that took their place at a table that sat on the stone bridge that crosses the Belcoo river. The event wasn't about Brexit; it was about recognising and celebrating the connectedness of these communities, despite their border. For more on Boxty without Borders, turn to page 18. Elsewhere in this issue, we take a look at the newlyopened Marlin Hotel in Bow Lane East and at Castle Leslie, which has just opened its new €4 million wing. Frylite is the subject of this month's cover story, a company that has grown from a one man operation to a team of 240 and a network that spans the island of Ireland. This is a company that isn't afraid of growth and innovation. A new site is due to open in Lisburn by summer 2020 while a 'Managers for the Future' programme helps the company retain and grow the talent it has. Read more about Frylite's impressive journey on page 14. Our energy special takes a look at the schemes and funding initiatives out there to help businesses in the hospitality industry save money on costs. Finally, are OTAs a necessary evil? We examine the role that online booking platforms play in today's increasingly competitive industry. As always, there’s plenty to enjoy in this issue. If you have any thoughts or opinions on this month’s content, please do drop us a line.

Editor: Denise Maguire Email: denise.maguire@ ashvillemediagroup.com

Denise Maguire www.hotelandcateringreview.ie | info@hotelandcateringreview.ie @HC_Review | facebook.com/hotelandcateringreview

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News News

Your monthly round-up…

Gareth Mullins, Executive Chef, The Marker Hotel

NESPRESSO REIGNITES COLLABORATION WITH THE MARKER HOTEL The ‘Le Drunch’ partnership between Nespresso and The Marker Hotel was reignited for September 2019. The Marker Hotel Executive Chef Gareth Mullins has created the menu for ‘Le Drunch’ which will take place every Sunday during September in The Brasserie, at The Marker Hotel. A selection of Nespresso coffees have been paired with the rich dessert on the menu; guests will be presented with a choice of a latte, cappuccino or macchiato using the Nespresso Espresso Leggero, Lungo Forte and Espresso Origin Brazil. A cocktail, called the Origin Horchatta Cocktail, has also been specially created.

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Julie Ennis

SODEXO APPOINTS MARGOT SLATTERY TO GLOBAL ROLE

Margot Slattery

Margot Slattery, the current country president for Sodexo in Ireland, is set to become its global chief diversity officer from September 2019. Julie Ennis will take over as country president, which she will combine with her current role as managing director of corporate services in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Margot will continue to be based in Ireland and will have responsibility for the strategic direction, implementation and alignment of Sodexo’s integrated global diversity and inclusion initiatives.

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News

BEEF & LOBSTER OPENS IN GALWAY CITY With two of the steak and shellfish restaurants already established in Dublin, the Oliver Dunne Restaurant Group has opened Beef & Lobster in Galway city centre. This will be the chef and restaurateur’s first venture outside the capital and it will specialise in dry aged steak cuts, Irish lobster and shellfish.

EXCEL RECRUITMENT LAUNCHES BARISTA SCHOOL Excel Recruitment and sister company Futureproof Training has added barista training to the menu by establishing ‘The Irish Barista School’ to meet skills shortages in the hospitality industry. The establishment of the school comes in direct response to increasing requests for skilled baristas from a variety of hospitality businesses. Shane Mclave, Director at Excel Recruitment, said: “The barista school came about because of the sheer number of our clients requesting knowledgeable, fully-trained baristas. We have hundreds of fantastic staff that are great at customer service, bar and wait staff duties. They just need the additional knowledge piece.” The Irish Barista School will also partner with Skillnet, Ireland’s national agency responsible for workforce learning and will offer full barista training courses including equipment and maintenance, coffee theory, customer service and more.

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News

1 IN 5 RESTAURANTS COULD CLOSE WITH NO-DEAL BREXIT

The Restaurant Industry in Ireland

€2.2bil ion Restaurant, tourism and hospitality sectors worth to economy

VAT Key to survival of businesses and jobs in the restaurant, tourism and hospitality industry

T

he Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) is calling on the Minister for Tourism, Transport and Sport, Shane Ross, to protect the restaurant, tourism and hospitality industry ahead of Budget 2020. Adrian Cummins, CEO of the Restaurants Association, said: “The VAT increase has put a huge strain on our members. Small businesses are struggling to cope with the huge increase around the cost of doing business. Around one in five restaurants in Ireland will close if a hard Brexit goes ahead. The 9% VAT rate is critical to restaurant survival in Ireland. Minister Ross must listen to the industry and defend the tourism and hospitality industry in Ireland. Given the potential for long term and far reaching consequences from a no-deal Brexit, the government must act now to ensure the viability of the sector post Brexit.” According to the RAI, raising the VAT rate to 13.5% has

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8% or 175,000

people employed in accomodation and food service activities

1IN5 Restaurants in Ireland likely to close if a no-deal Brexit happens

Visitor

Numbers Spending down by

4% Nights spent in Ireland down

3.2%

undermined the competitiveness and viability of Irish businesses and at a time when other rising costs, such as insurance and commercial rates are only going up, it makes it harder for businesses to stay afloat. If the restaurant VAT rate is not reversed ahead of a no-deal Brexit, it will only worsen the divide between urban and rural tourism and continue to put businesses at risk. The accommodation and food services sector employs almost 8% of people in the country and contributes over €2.2 billion to the economy. While there has been significant growth in the number of tourists visiting Ireland, figures for 2019 show that visitors are staying for less time and spending less money. A breakdown of visitor figures shows that the UK accounts for over a quarter of all overseas tourism revenue and almost half of visitors to Ireland, further compounding worries about a hard Brexit.

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News

FOOD ON THE EDGE 2019 LAUNCHES

NEW VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN MENUS AT GLOVERS ALLEY Glovers Alley has launched a new vegetarian tasting menu and vegan tasting menu to showcase the extraordinary flavours and combinations plant-based food can offer. Andy McFadden, Executive Head Chef, said: “We took time developing these menus because we wanted not only to cater for vegetarians and vegans, but also to offer exciting vegetarian and plant-based options which would catch the eye of any diner. We have such wonderful produce available to us, we didn’t want our vegetarian and vegan options to be an afterthought.”

The national launch of Food On The Edge 2019 took place recently at Dylan McGrath’s Fade Street Social in Dublin. The main theme of this year’s event is ‘Migration’, looking at “how food travels and how that affects people’s perception of food”. This year’s line-up includes cult chefs and stars of the Netflix series Chef’s Table, namely Brazil’s most influential chef Alex Atala of D.O.M and New Zealand-born Ben Shewry of Attica restaurant. Columbian chef and winner of 2017 Best Female Chef in Latin America, Leonor Espinosa of Leo Cocina y Cava, will be attending as well as trailblazer Daniel Giusti, former head chef of Noma in Copenhagen. Darina Allen and Rachel Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School will also take to the stage along with Esben Holmboe Bang, head chef and co-owner of Norway’s three Michelin-starred Maaemo and Billy Wagner, owner, host and sommelier of Berlin’s Nobelhart & Schmutzig. The event will take place on the 21st and 22nd of October in Galway.

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News

APPOINTMENTS Adare Manor has appointed three new members to the culinary team at the resort. Gavin Couper has been announced as the new Director of Food and Beverage, Patrick Collins is the new Chef de Cuisine for Banqueting and Liam Simpson has been appointed Food & Beverage Manager of The Oak Room. Gavin joins Adare Manor from One Aldwych London where he was Director of Food & Beverage, overseeing all dining outlets of the business including Eneko-Basque Kitchen & Bar. Munster native Patrick Collins joins Adare Manor from his previous position as Head Chef of Wood and Bell Café and Restaurant in Killaloe, Co Clare. Scotsman Liam Simpson previously held the role of Senior Assistant Restaurant Manager at the one Michelin-starred restaurant Chez Bruce in London.

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CASK BRINGS HOME THE BIG ONE AT BAR AWARDS Cask in Cork took home the highest honour on the night at the Bar of the Year Awards 2019, winning Bar of the Year for the second year in a row. The gala awards ceremony took place on the 19th of August at the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road. It was one of three awards that Cask took back to Cork, the others being Cocktail Bar of the Year 2019 and Bar Manager of the Year 2019 which went to Andy Ferreira.

NEW SCANDI-STYLE APARTMENTS IN CORK CITY Hotel Isaacs has launched the first phase of 11 new fully-serviced apartments in Cork’s Victorian Quarter. The décor in the two- and three-room apartments draws on a Scandinavian aesthetic, featuring solid wood oak floors, plush carpets and vibrant pops of colour. The apartments are available for short or long stay guests, offering the comfort and convenience of a home, with the added security and amenities of a hotel. The eco-friendly apartments are a key part of the group’s five year plan to reduce their carbon footprint by 240 tonnes per year until 2021. The strategy encompasses various waste reduction policies as well as larger scale changes of hot water storage, heating, cooling and energy control.

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News

THE WESTBURY’S PHILIP DUNNE ON WAY TO NZ Philip Dunne, Head Sommelier at the Westbury Hotel, has been chosen to participate in Sommit 2019, the New Zealand Winegrowers International Sommelier Scholarship. The event will take place on the 23rd and 24th September 2019. To date, there have been six Sommit events; during that time, 97 sommiteers from 16 countries have travelled to New Zealand to take part in this unique event.

Ingredients

JENNY FLYNN ON NOT BEING ABLE TO LIVE WITHOUT CELERIAC

RESTAURANTS TO START PAYING FOR SANDWICH BOARDS Dublin City Council is looking at removing sandwich boards from Dublin streets, particularly from outside protected structures and at locations within Dublin’s Architectural Conservation Areas. The Restaurants’ Association of Ireland is now looking at seeking legal advice after being notified of the move. Many popular restaurant spots land within Dublin’s Architectural Conservation Areas including Drury Street, South William Street and George’s Street, with there being 23 areas in total. As well as a ban in these areas, Dublin City Council also wants to implement a charge of €630 a year to restaurants who advertise on boards outside of the 23 locations.

Celeriac is the vegetable I couldn’t live without in my kitchen. It’s a welcome and flavoursome part of my winter cooking repertoire. Celeriac is a vegetable that’s available all year because of its long growing period; a warty, pockmarked globe with hairy dangling roots, celeriac invites you to investigate its inner beauty. It has the basic flavour of celery but is milder and sweeter with nutty overtones. Celeriac is a globe vegetable that I love to use coming into this time of year as it’s great as a side, it fits well with game it’s also delicious roasted. Love or hate the look of it, celeriac is a very versatile vegetable. I use it in the bases of all my soups and stocks. It’s great roasted with some honey and wholegrain mustard and the delicate flavour also works really well as the base for a puree. It can even be eaten raw. One of my favourite uses of celeriac is to make a celeriac remoulade in which finely grated celeriac is mixed into mustard and homemade mayonnaise and served with crab meat. It also has some important health benefits – celeriac is a nutritional powerhouse and a good source of fibre plus vitamins b6, C and K! Jenny Flynn is Head Chef at Faithlegg, Co Waterford

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CATERING REVIEW

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News

Refurbished

and Refreshed

A new extension at Castle Leslie has added 21 bedrooms and a 40-seater conservatory to the 4-star lodge The new €4 million wing also features original artwork by local artists Geraldine O’Reilly, Joan Mallon, Neil Greig and Eileen Ferguson. It took just nine months to complete the new conservatory and bedrooms and it was, said CEO Brian Baldwin, very much a team effort. “We planned to open the last weekend in June to take full advantage of the high season. The construction phase was planned to take place over the quieter months, with only a small impact on May and June. Obviously, a key element was not intruding or taking away the enjoyment of our guests staying on the estate.” One of the biggest challenges for the construction team was not being able to work early in the morning or at weekends. “It really was about ensuring that when workers were on site, they had sufficient resources available to them to make the process as seamless as possible.” Consarc Design Group were the architects on the project. “Consarc have completed several projects at Castle Leslie over the years. They’re very much in tune with conservation buildings and projects that require a certain sensitivity when it comes to both the landscape and the environment in which they’re working. The contractors they brought on board shared that understanding; there’s no point bringing in a contractor that would look at this like a city centre property or shopping centre. It was more about ensuring that sensitivity was carried across all elements of the project.” Substantial demand led to the addition of the new bedrooms. “We created such a demand for The Lodge that we were bursting at the seams! There were countless nights where we ran out of rooms to sell and were refusing guest bookings. We’re also now employing even more new local people as a result of the expansion.” Brian and the team has seen a 300% increase in turnover over the past few years, a growth cycle that continued during the

recession. “Part of what makes Castle Leslie so unique is its location in Co Monaghan. We’re set in a breathtaking location and getting that message out to the wider world has been part of our business plan over the past few years. By building loyalty and delivering consistency and continuity, we were able to build repeat business. We’re not in the tourism eye of the country; you have to make an effort to come to Monaghan and that’s something we’ve worked really hard on. With the new extension, we’ll continue to create a genuine visitor experience, one that adds to the community and preserves this piece of history for generations to come.”

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News

Marlin Hotel

opens in Bow Lane East

ocated at 11 Bow Lane East, adjacent to St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, the new €55 million Marlin Hotel spans nine floors across 110,000 sq ft and houses 300 bedrooms. Interior designers O’Donnell O’Neill was tasked with translating Marlin’s ethos of ‘Don’t Just Stay – Live’ into a unique ground floor space that will appeal to corporate and leisure markets alike. According to the hotel, the result is a fun, engaging space where hotel patrons can socialise, work or simply hang out. Guests entering from Bow Lane are greeted by the sight of a full-size wooden tree sculpture along with a reclaimed horsebox which serves as a coffee dock and sandwich bar by day, with a selected drink offering at night. From there, guests can choose to check in at the selfservice check in desk or opt for the front of house team. An indoor garden features a kiln dried olive tree centrepiece and an open fire while the Marlin also has a large outdoor terrace (due to open late September). Also on the ground floor, a music zone complete with a vast collection of vinyl, record players and headphones along with a fully stocked games area and library, will keep guests entertained. The hotel’s 300 bedrooms start from Cosy King rooms (€179 per night), each featuring a 2m x 2m custom sized bed, along with a 43” HD Smart TV with Google Chrome cast connectivity, high-speed broadband, LED mood lighting, Bluetooth speaker, air conditioning, media hub and automated privacy and electronic black out blinds. Executive rooms (€215 per night) or suites (from €279 per night) are also available along with 16 Universal Access rooms. The development is being spearheaded by Irish owned Marlin, one of London’s largest privately owned hospitality operators. Marlin was recently granted planning permission for serviced apartments, a bar and restaurant at 22-24 Aungier Street, Dublin 2. The development will form an annex and an on-street entrance from Aungier Street will lead to the Marlin Hotel restaurant, bar and outdoor terraces.

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Cover Story

Last year marked 30 years of Frylite becoming the leader in fresh oil delivery and collection, serving the hospitality industry across Ireland and beyond

A Recipe for

Success T

o celebrate this milestone, Frylite set out to raise £30,000 for charity. This was achieved with the help of the local communities in which it works and supported by its people across Ireland at its 2018 Gala event. This year marks the start of even bigger ambitions and more growth. In August, Eamon McCay, Frylite founder and Managing Director, turned the sod at Frylite’s new Lisburn site, set to be operational by summer 2020. Over the last 30 years, the business has gone from one man to a team of 240 and a network that spans the island of Ireland with depots in Dublin, Galway, Cork, Coleraine and where it all started, Strabane. In 1988, Eamon McCay set out to visit his first customer with a simple idea – to deliver quality products by way of exceptional

“Over the last 30 years, the business has gone from one man to a team of 240 and a network that spans the island of Ireland...” service. That approach still embodies the company’s ethos and continues to drive not only success but continued innovation. Today the Frylite Group supplies, collects and recycles cooking oils for customers in Ireland, Great Britain and Europe. In Ireland alone, that adds up to over 7,000 customers – a whopping 60% of the market and includes leading restaurants, hotels, bars, takeaways, food processors and caterers. Customers benefit from Frylite’s national depot network and clear focus on helping them to operate with quality products, reliable delivery and collection and personal service. Developed

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Cover Story

“It has always been clear to me that businesses need to make the health and wellbeing of their employees a top priority.”

Top right: Eamon (MD) with Woodvale Contractors Right: Managers for the Future programme

by Eamon, it’s a groundbreaking, complete supply and waste collection service that’s now further enhanced by the innovative FWD (Food Waste Diversion). Set up to help customers meet the increasing demands and costs of increasing regulation in the food industry, FWD is a food waste collection service that’s tailored to each customer’s need. All customers benefit from avoiding expensive landfill costs, knowing that their waste is

“All customers benefit from avoiding expensive landfill costs, knowing that their waste is recycled into useful resources...” recycled into useful resources, a dedicated fleet of energy efficient vehicles operating across Northern Ireland and a lowered carbon footprint. None of this would be possible without the dedication of Frylite’s 240-strong team, said Eamon. “Our market-leading success is grounded in ways of working and delivering for our customers that have, even through incredible growth and change, remained constant over the last 30 years. Our talented and hardworking staff do a fantastic job ensuring we remain number one in our industry. They deliver the quality, professionalism, friendliness and reliability that set us apart in the industry and in return, we invest in their development and wellbeing.” Most recently, that investment in people has included initiatives such as an in-house

‘Managers for the Future’ programme, run in conjunction with Square Box Consultancy. The programme is designed to help Frylite retain and grow the talent that is already in the business, while individuals benefit from new skills including leadership, team dynamics and managing people. Managers are also empowered to take the lead on improvement projects aimed at further enhancing Frylite’s carbon neutral status, employee wellbeing and product upselling. Many of the business improvement ideas are now being implemented. Frylite has also signed up to IBEC’s workplace wellness accreditation, The KeepWell Mark. This is part of Frylite’s commitment to providing the newest and highest standards of workplace wellness, health and safety to its employees. All of this energy and ambition is fuelled by the Frylite values; everyone is encouraged and enabled to work with respect, to build good relationships, have a good work ethic and be committed to excellence to deliver success. Eamon is committed to exploring further opportunities to support and enable his team across Ireland to build the business along with their own skills and abilities. Those include providing investment in further and higher education and apprenticeship schemes and increasing practical vocational education. “It has always been clear to me that businesses need to make the health and wellbeing of their employees a top priority. We’ll continue to invest in our people so that they can see the tangible benefits of the improvements we’re making and enjoy enhanced benefits such as a Health Cash Plan and family friendly policies. It’s all part of our strategy to grow success over another 30 years,” said Eamon.

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Partner PROFILE

New experiences FOR VISITORS TO IRELAND 'TASTE THE ISLAND' Kicks Off

‘Irish TV presenter, Angela Scanlon and Fáilte Ireland CEO, Paul Kelly at the launch of the Taste the Island programme’.

I

rish TV presenter Angela Scanlon recently revealed the line-up for the much anticipated Taste the Island programme, a 12 week celebration of Ireland’s seasonal ingredients, adventurous tastes and bold experiences which kicked off at the start of September and runs through October and November. The programme includes more than 700 food and drink-related events and experiences across the country, along with a new all-island marketing campaign. ‘Taste the Island’ is an all-island initiative that will significantly enhance Ireland’s reputation for its food and drink experiences. It is a three-year programme developed by Fáilte Ireland in conjunction with Tourism Northern Ireland and Tourism Ireland. Paul Kelly, CEO Fáilte Ireland said: “Food and drink play an intrinsic role in the visitor experience and account for 35% of overseas tourism revenue – this equates to €2 billion, making it a critical contributor to the strong exchequer returns the tourism industry delivers. Indeed, our own research tells us that tourists are not always aware of our high-quality produce and sustainability credentials around our food and drink before visiting here. ‘Taste the Island’ aims to address this lack of awareness, which will in turn play a role in visitors' destination choices and contribute to their experience of Irish culture. Furthermore, scheduling ‘Taste the Island’ across Ireland’s off-peak season will give Irish tourism businesses across the country the opportunity to leverage a greater share of tourists during traditionally quieter periods."

Search is on for best health and well-being tourism destination in Ireland Fáilte Ireland is searching for emerging destinations providing a ‘health and well-being’ tourism experience as part of the European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) Awards. EDEN is an EU project promoting sustainable tourism development across the European Union and is currently held every two years in 29 member states. Applications are now open to find a destination in Ireland offering a sustainable and welldeveloped health and well-being tourist experience characteristic of their region with a potential to grow visitor numbers. The closing date for entries is 4pm on Friday, 27th September, 2019. For full competition details, please email eden.helpdesk@failteireland.ie

Find out more about ‘Taste the Island’ at www.failteireland.ie/taste-the-island

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Partner

PROFILE

PREPARING FOR BREXIT THE BREXIT DEADLINE IS FAST APPROACHING AND WITH THE WORRYING RISK OF A NO-DEAL, FÁILTE IRELAND IS HELPING THE TOURISM SECTOR TO STEP UP ITS PREPARATIONS

D

ue to the ever-changing situation, it is still difficult to quantify the exact range and scope of impacts that Brexit will have on the tourism industry” says Helen McDaid, Manager of Enterprise & Hospitality Supports at Fáilte Ireland, “Fáilte Ireland research has shown that it is the number one concern amongst businesses. Our key message for all businesses is to ‘prepare and diversify’ - review business operations and nurture existing buyer relationships to ensure market retention and look to new sources of business.” Fáilte Ireland’s Brexit Response Programme is helping businesses to assess risks, respond to changes, improve their channel mix and diversify into other markets. Speaking about the supports available to businesses, Helen said: “We run a number of development programmes that offer insights and expertise from top tourism specialists and subject experts in the areas of selling internationally, B2B pricing, contracting, business performance and competitiveness. This is practical advice that businesses of all sizes can use to adapt and prepare for Brexit.” The first step for any business looking to prepare for Brexit is to complete the Fáilte Ireland Brexit Readiness Check – it takes less than 10 minutes to complete and provides a useful report that helps businesses prioritise and focus on key actions. More than that, it also provides practical advice and directs them to the specific Fáilte Ireland supports most relevant to their business.

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Fáilte Ireland’s Brexit Response Programe Brexit Mentor Panel

Competitiveness and Value for Money

Market Diversification Programme GB and NI Retention and Growth

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International Sales Optimisation Scheme

Get China Ready Programme Research and Insights

Brexit Readiness Check

Online Knowledge Hub

Find out more at: www.failteireland.ie

16/09/2019 12:14


Food Culture

150 guests descended on a bridge linking Cavan and Fermanagh recently to enjoy the very best food and drink the two counties have to offer

Bridging O n the 15th of September, the towns of Blacklion and Belcoo on both sides of the Cavan/Fermanagh border were host to a unique initiative showcasing the best of food and drink culture, both north and south. Boxty without Borders was a celebration of local cuisine and boxty in particular, a dish that’s indigenous to the area of Cavan, Monaghan and Fermanagh. Taking over the stone bridge crossing the Belcoo river and connecting the north on one side to the south on the other, 150 guests took their places for a long table banquet and were treated to a feast of the best local food and drink. The bridge connecting Blacklion in Cavan to Belcoo in Fermanagh has received much media attention since the advent of Brexit, where the Belcoo river forms the border. Instead of highlighting the separations caused by Brexit, Boxty without Borders served to highlight the interconnectedness of the distinct cultures in the surrounding counties. The brainchild of the Olde Post Inn Head Chef Gearoid Lynch, food activist John Mulcahy and the Irish Food Champion

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Assembly (IFCA), the event was a celebration of connectedness and community in the area. It began with an apéritif from Fermanagh’s Boatyard Distillery - a local Double Gin Punch featuring blackthorn honey, Armagh apple juice, gorse sherbet and wild blackberry bitters. Next, guests were served seasonal produce including Carlingford oysters, Lough Neagh eel and a ham hock terrine made using rare breed pork from Rigneys Farm, Limerick. Pan fried boxty using potatoes from both sides of the border followed, served alongside slow cooked short rib of beef, finished on fire pits by Head Chef Gearoid Lynch and team. Autumn garden greens, heritage potatoes from Ballymakenny Farm, Corleggy goat’s cheese and freshly baked batch bread were also served, accompanied by Armagh Cider and Jack Smyth Beers. After lunch, an artisan producer’s market for the general public kicked off, with local musicians providing a soundtrack to the occasion. This celebration of food and drink both sides of the border was made possible by the Irish Food Champions, a collective of food producers, activists and academics located all over the Ireland. Speaking about the event, John Mulcahy, who was instrumental in setting up the Irish

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Food Culture

the Gap Food Champions, said: “Boxty without Borders is a tangible demonstration of what the food champions can do. They have connections, they know what’s happening on the ground, they know who the artisan producers are and they can pull that together to create an event. What the Irish Food Champions really want to do is promote, market and develop food and beverage tourism in Ireland, because that’s the infrastructure of every parish. All we need to do is create those connections between farmers and local consumers, to connect all of those little pockets of activity that happen within a parish or region.” Currently consisting of 17 members on both sides of the border, the Irish Food Champions represents a unique gathering of culinary skills, knowledge and experience that allows the creation of such a unique event. Gearoid Lynch of the Olde Post Inn and one of the Irish Food Champions wants to start organising food events to promote the food and drink we have in Ireland. “Everybody has a skill set to bring to the table, so when you have all 17 of us supporting a local project, there isn’t really anything that we can’t do ourselves.” On the genesis of Boxty without Borders, he said: “We wanted to come up with an idea that

would be a good Taste the Island project. I brought up the idea of a long table between north and south. We thought, what about trying to close the road between Blacklion and Belcoo, it’s a very picturesque village. The bridge has a lot of history, what about having this long table connecting Cavan and Fermanagh where we can celebrate all that’s good about Irish food and drink.” For the Irish Food Champions, the event is instrumental in demonstrating the benefits of having no borders and a common goal for tourism enterprises in both jurisdictions. “We put it on the bridge on the border to illustrate that the border doesn’t exist, that food acts as this means of communication for people,” said John Mulcahy. The event also contributes to raising awareness of the region, an area where the tourism spotlight doesn’t always shine. “Boxty Without Borders is an introduction, if not a reminder, to all locals and visitors of the incredible potential that exists in the region around Belcoo Bridge, particularly counties Cavan, Leitrim, Fermanagh and Tyrone. Although this is a one-off event, the hope is that it will serve as an exemplar of what is possible and will set the groundwork for future food, beverage and tourism collaboration,” said John.

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Coke Signatures Advert Hotel Review A4.pdf

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Power Up Energy

More than ever, being energy efficient can enhance a business’s reputation and help to attract more customers. Hotel & Catering Review takes a look at how hotels and restaurants can save money on energy costs while getting more customers through the door

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Oriental botanicals, Gunpowder tea & Irish curiosity.

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Best Gin Oscar 2019 “The Best Spirits Known to Mankind”

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Energy

Neven goes electric

FLOGAS Flogas now supplying electricity to the hotel and hospitality sector

“The easy to control, clean, instant versatility of Flogas makes it a joy to work with...”

N

even Maguire’s MacNean House and Restaurant in Cavan has switched to Flogas electricity for all its lighting needs. Flogas is now supplying electricity to the hotel and hospitality industry in Ireland and has some very special rates for the sector. Flogas has been supplying LPG and Natural Gas as well as providing energy solutions and technical advice to the hospitality industry for many years.

Our gas fires provide guests with the cosy comfort of a fire burning in the hearth; they are efficient, economical and attractive and very, very clean. Flogas water heating provides instant, unlimited hot water at the turn of a tap. As our directfi red water-heaters only heat the water needed at any particular time, there is no heat loss caused by piping heated water around your building when it’s not needed. There’s also a gas tumbledryer in the gas appliance range. It is bigger than a conventional dryer and up to 35% cheaper to run. OUTDOOR LEISURE ACTIVITIES The new Flogas Gaslight cylinders, suitable for barbeques, are about half the weight of the traditional steel cylinders and will lessen any heavy lifting for your staff. The Flogas Gaslight cylinders are also suitable for patio heaters. THE FLOGAS ENERGY SOLUTIONS TEAM As an energy solutions specialist, our business goes beyond simply managing and accommodating your gas needs. Working to a simple brief, to cut customers’ energy costs, we create and implement a complete ‘turnkey’ energy solution specific to your business. With our expert technical advice, dedicated aftersales service and all Ireland distribution network, you can see that Flogas has all the right ingredients for your business. For more details on what Flogas can do for your business, contact us on 041 983 1041 or info@flogas.ie, www.flogas.ie

FLOGAS - IDEAL FOR THE PROFESSIONAL CHEF For many of Ireland’s top chefs, there is no question that gas is the type of energy they prefer to use for a culinary performance par excellence. “The easy to control, clean, instant versatility of Flogas makes it a joy to work with”, commented Neven Maguire who uses Flogas LPG not only for cooking but also for central heating, hot water and the gas fire in the lounge at his premises, the world renowned MacNean House and Restaurant, in Blacklion, Cavan. Flogas LPG and natural gas has many advantages as it is cheaper and more flexible than other forms of energy. Another attraction for the hospitality business owner is its complete independence. Our customers have no fear of power cuts or strikes. This is a major advantage for the catering business, especially during periods of peak usage. A FULLY INTEGRATED RANGE OF APPLIANCES FOR YOUR ESTABLISHMENT Flogas provides advice on a full range of gas appliances to the hospitality business owners and we co-operate with some of the leading equipment companies to promote sales of gas equipment.

Neven Maguire’s MacNean House and Restaurant has switched to Flogas Electricity for all its lighting needs

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W Energy

Use renewable heat SAVE Using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels for heating can translate into cost savings for hotels and the food service sector. The Sustainable Authority Of Ireland (SEAI) outlines how you can save money while reducing your carbon footprint

“Switching to a renewable heating system can help you save money and make you more resilient to rising energy costs”

O

ne particular sector that spends a significant amount of money on heating is the hotel and food services sector. Switching to a renewable heating system can help you save money and make you more resilient to rising energy costs. You will also reduce your carbon footprint. For companies in this space, it’s increasingly important to show that you are taking genuine steps to improve the sustainability of your business. The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat can help you start using renewable energy. Government funded support is available to either receive a tariff for the heat you create and consume from a biomass, biogas or CHP system or a grant to install a heat pump.

TARIFF FOR BIOMASS OR BIOGAS HEAT Bioenergy is one of the world’s fastest growing renewable energy sectors and in Ireland, businesses are beginning to seize the opportunity. The use of biomass and biogas cuts heating and process costs. It’s also reliable and efficient. Under the Government funded tariff, you will receive an ongoing quarterly payment for 15 years based on how much heat you produce and consume. For example, a hotel of 4,500 sq m might typically expect to use 800 MWh of heat energy per year. This costs approximately €40,000 for gas. If they switched from a gas boiler to a biomass boiler, they could expect to pay a little more for wood pellet fuel – perhaps €53,000. However, they could expect a tariff of €32,000 per year payed quarterly for 15 years, bringing annual fuel costs to €21,000. That’s a net saving of €19,000 per year.*

BIOENERGY 101 BIOMASS BOILERS Biomass boilers are very similar to conventional fossil fuel boilers, providing you with space heating and hot-water. The key difference is they use wood pellets or chips. Trees take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. When biomass fuel is used to produce energy, the carbon dioxide stored in the trees is released back into the atmosphere. This is what allows biomass fuel to be considered carbon-neutral. Using sustainably sourced wood in place of fossil fuels helps prevent long-term climate change. BIOGAS DIGESTERS Biogas is a naturally produced biofuel when organic matter, such as food scraps and animal waste, break down in an environment absent of oxygen. The result is a blend of gases, primarily methane and carbon dioxide. Biogas digesters then channel that biogas so that the energy can be productively used. COMBINED HEAT AND POWER Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is the simultaneous generation of useable heat and electricity in a single process. It makes use of the heat produced in electricity generation instead of releasing it into the atmosphere. It is regarded as a highly efficient energy production process. Biomass and biogas CHP is supported under this scheme.

GRANTS FOR HEAT PUMPS In addition, a 30% Government grant is available from SEAI to install a heat pump system. Heat pumps are a renewable technology and an efficient alternative to heating systems that burn fossil fuels. They are electrical devices, which convert energy from the air, ground or water outside of your building into useful heat. This heat can be used for heating buildings, hot water and for use in manufacturing processes. In wellinsulated buildings, they are very economical to run. For full details and to apply, visit www.seai.ie * This is a hypothetical example for illustration only. Please contact an installer for a better idea of how much a heating system will cost and what you can expect to save.

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Partner PROFILE

Promoting the island of Ireland around the world

A HOST OF INITIATIVES FROM TOURISM IRELAND IS ENSURING IRELAND REMAINS AN ATTRACTIVE DESTINATION FOR TOURISTS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE

Tourism minister Shane Ross launches Tourism Ireland’s €12m

autumn campaign

T

ourism Ireland and Tourism Minister Shane Ross TD have launched a €12 million, multimedia autumn campaign, to boost late-season travel to Ireland from around the world. The September to December period usually yields as much as 30% of our annual overseas tourism business. A key objective for Tourism Ireland is to drive more overseas tourism business to our regions, throughout the off-peak and shoulder season months. • Addressing the challenges of Brexit Brexit remains an ongoing challenge for Irish tourism – giving rise to consumer concern, particularly in Britain and some Mainland European countries. The fall in the value of sterling has made holidays here more expensive for British visitors and has made Britain more affordable for visitors from many of our top markets. Therefore, attractive offers for good value fares and packages are a major focus for Tourism Ireland’s autumn campaign, in Britain and in other markets. An extensive programme of co-operative promotions with air and sea carriers, online travel agents, as well as traditional tour operators and travel agents, is under way. • Major focus on off-peak travel to the regions of Ireland Tourism Ireland’s autumn campaign incorporates a major focus on attracting visitors to more rural areas and our less visited attractions and locations, between now and the end of 2019. It is highlighting

Tourism Minister Shane Ross; Rishika Korada (from San Francisco); Joan O’Shaughnessy, Chairman of Tourism Ireland; Avantika Tiwari (from India); and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, at the launch of Tourism Ireland’s Autumn Campaign 2019.

the many reasons to come here including festivals and events like the new Púca Festival, Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, Savour Kilkenny, Cork Jazz Festival, Wexford Festival Opera and New Year Festival (NYF) Dublin. Highlights of Tourism Ireland’s autumn campaign include: • Fill Your Heart With Ireland: Tourism Ireland’s ‘Fill Your Heart With Ireland’ campaign continues to roll out around the world this autumn. The campaign is back on TV, on catch-up TV sites, in cinemas, in prominent outdoor locations, as well as on digital and social platforms, reaching millions of potential visitors in our major markets. • Capitalising on the Rugby World Cup in Japan: the island of Ireland was promoted to key Japanese tour operators, travel agents and travel journalists at two events, in Tokyo and Fukuroi. • Focus on Ireland’s Ancient East in France: an extensive outdoor ad campaign is promoting Ireland’s Ancient East to French holidaymakers, with a new video running on more than 300 digital screens in busy train stations, metro

stations and outside travel agencies around Paris. • Sales blitz to the US: Tourism Ireland will target hundreds of travel agents on the west coast of the US in Seattle, San Diego and San Fernando Valley. • Highlighting ‘Luxury Ireland’: Tourism Ireland will showcase our luxury tourism offering at various promotions and events including ILTM (International Luxury Travel Market) in Cannes, the Private Luxury Forum (PLF) in Montenegro, a luxury sales mission to the UAE and a showcase event in Paris for luxury French travel buyers. • Flavours of Ireland: a B2B workshop will target business from our longhaul markets through influential UKbased inbound tour operators. • World Travel Market 2019: Tourism Ireland will mount a significant presence at World Travel Market (WTM) in London, the largest B2B event in the global tourism calendar; around 70 tourism companies from the island of Ireland will attend. Tourism Ireland’s autumn campaign is being rolled out in North America, Mainland Europe, Britain, Australia and emerging tourism markets.

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Partner PROFILE

Sales blitz TO CANADA

Estelle Alley, Bord Bia; Siobhan McManamy, Tourism Ireland; Kian Louet-Feisser and Mary Louet-Feisser, both Carlingford Oysters; celebrity chef Clodagh McKenna; and Martina Bromley, Fáilte Ireland, at the launch of Taste the Island in Britain.

Celebrity chef Clodagh M cKenna joins Tourism Ireland to launch Taste the Island in Britain

T

ourism Ireland teamed up with celebrity chef Clodagh McKenna to launch Taste the Island in Britain. Clodagh created a ‘harvest lunch’ in the grounds of her home, Broadspear House, located in Highclere Park, where Highclere Castle, the set for Downton Abbey, is located. Tourism Ireland invited leading British food writers and influencers, as well as broadcast journalists, to the special foodie event. Clodagh was joined by Stevie Higginson (head chef and proprietor of the Square Bistro in Lisburn) and together, they created a delicious lunch to reflect the superb food offering from across the island of Ireland. The ‘harvest lunch’ event in Clodagh McKenna’s home in Britain marked the beginning of Tourism Ireland’s extensive programme of promotions to highlight Taste the Island around the world.

The delegation is pictured on day one of the sales mission, in London (Ontario).

Tourism Ireland, together with a delegation of 13 companies from the island of Ireland and Canada, recently undertook a three-city sales blitz to Canada. They met with group tour organisers and travel agents in the cities of London (south-west Ontario), Ottawa and Montreal, to continue to grow Ireland’s share of this important travel market. The sales blitz involved a B2B workshop and networking session in each city, where the participating tourism companies from Ireland had the opportunity to sell to influential Canadian travel professionals – telling them about the many opportunities the island of Ireland offers for group travel, as well as highlighting ease of access from Canada to Ireland, our rich heritage and culture and superb cuisine.

IRELAND GOES DUTCH!

Pictured in Amsterdam are Elaine McInaw, Abbey & Central Hotels; Kerensa de Vaan, TUI; Brian Miley, The Gleneagle Group; Maddy van den Bijgaart, Echt Ierland; Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland; Kati Lepistö, Original Irish Hotels; and Tony Dawson, Fáilte Ireland.

HOTEL

Leading Dutch tour operators, travel agents and online travel agents attended Tourism Ireland’s annual travel trade workshop, which took place recently in Amsterdam. Nine Irish tourism companies, including hotels, B&Bs and visitor attractions, took part in the workshop. The schedule included a series of one-toone meetings, giving the participating companies from Ireland a platform to do business for 2020 with the Dutch travel professionals. The workshop also provided Tourism Ireland with an opportunity to announce Taste the Island in the Netherlands – the exciting new all-island initiative, developed by Fáilte Ireland in conjunction with Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI, involving more than 500 food and drink-related experiences over 59 days.

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Technology

Are

OTAs a necessary evil?

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Technology

New research shows that hoteliers might be happy to accept online bookings from OTAs, but the sky-high commission associated with these platforms is less welcome

T

o find out a bit more about hoteliers’ relationships with OTAs (Online Travel Agencies), Avvio recently surveyed 150 hospitality professionals from across Europe. The research, which was carried out in collaboration with the Independent Hotel Show, made for some interesting reading. While the vast majority of respondents accepted online bookings from OTAs, 69% stated they were committed to growing their strategy to drive direct bookings. The survey also highlighted that although nearly all of the hoteliers who responded use OTAs as part of their distribution model, the overarching consensus was that the commission charged has reached unacceptable highs. This view that commission charged by OTAs is unfeasibly high isn’t a new one. Irish hoteliers have been making a concerted effort to ensure the best rates for their rooms are found on their own websites, rather than on the big-name OTAs. In 2018, it was reported that Dalata had begun to offer discounted food at its properties while Athlone’s Hodson Bay offers a free breakfast along with a spa voucher, all for bookings made directly. Research has shown that bookings made by phone have a cost of about 6-7% of the room rate, or 5% via the hotel’s website. That cost rises when a booking is made through an OTA; the cost can be as much as 20%. Although OTAs are an important source of revenue for hotels, there’s no doubt that overdependence can cause problems. The company that owns The Standard Hotel chain is looking to break that dominance of online booking platforms. It has launched a recommendations-based app that it describes as “the first social travel agency”. The app, which is called ‘Benny’, allows people to recommend rooms to friends at the best rate, earning a commission and therefore wresting bookings away from OTAs. It’s due to launch in October and it’s an interesting pushback that may set the scene for more of a shift away from online booking sites that have, according to some, eroded hoteliers’ profitability. According to Avvio, the findings from its research need to be taken with a pinch of salt. The company says that before OTAs, travels

Cooperating with the OTAs Almost all the hoteliers surveyed (93%) work with booking sites and realise the benefits of doing so. Only 7% refuse to receive bookings via OTAs because of excessive commissions From the 93% of the hotels that receive reservations via OTAs, more than 60% think that booking sites ensure a structured offer for the hotel guest that can be easily compared by timing and region Despite the high commissions, OTAs bring hotel guests from all over the world and more than half of the hoteliers surveyed acknowledge they can save on marketing costs due to the international reach of OTAs The majority (60%) of the hoteliers say they also rely on the booking sites to check prices of their competitors Over half (58%) of the respondents think a mix of 70% direct bookings and 30% OTA bookings is optimal, as almost half of the hotels consider the commission of the hotels as unacceptably high, especially when it comes to returning hotel guests Hotels put a lot of energy into the content of their own websites in order to improve the findability – with 73% stating this is how they hope to secure more direct bookings Having a “best price guarantee” on the site is then the most popular promotion used to stimulate direct bookings (71%) followed by incentives such as a welcome drink, late check-out and a discount for repeat bookings (70%). More than half of the respondents use loyalty programs to maintain direct contact with guests Almost 65% believe the most effective way to secure direct bookings is through promoting rooms on social media, followed by 50% who recommend using email marketing campaigns, aimed at returning guests. For social media channels, 60% say Facebook has been most effective followed by Instagram (33%)

agents were taking up to – if not over – 30% commission from hotel bookings, so their online counterparts have actually established cheaper distributions costs. Michael De Jongh, Avvio Chief Commercial Officer, says the focus needs to shift from cost to value and the value brought by OTAs must be recognised. “Allowing smaller independent hotel chains to take advantage of huge marketing machines with an otherwise incomprehensible geographical audience, OTAs ensure a high rate of occupancy is achieved and maintained.” Despite this, we’re undoubtedly facing the race to zero commission fees which we’ve seen across many industries, with banking and payments being the hardest hit. “As a result, we are likely to see the added value brought by using an OTA as part of a hotel’s business model diminishing alongside those fees or becoming an additional cost, as with the new wave of banking services such as Revolut which charges consumers an annual fee.” Personalisation should be playing a fundamental role in the travel industry, says Michael. “With their reliance on OTAs, many hotels still have very basic and out-of-date websites that inevitably lead all visitors to a ‘book now’ button and a third-party booking engine without any consideration for who the visitor might be. What about when customers who have already booked to stay at a hotel are browsing the website to see the additional services on offer? This is the opportunity for hoteliers to upsell and create a unique customer experience. The technology that’s available today means there’s no need to be showing irrelevant ‘book now’ messages to the wrong audience.” This is something that OTAs can’t offer and something that hoteliers need to capitalise on. With social media becoming an increasingly powerful marketing tool (64% of the survey respondents stated it’s an effective means of driving direct bookings at their properties), consumers are broadening their experiences and looking to try as many products as possible, whether it’s hotels, restaurants, beauty products, clothes, etc. “This has inevitably led to less personal hotel or brand loyalty, but it has established a platform for invaluable advocates and ambassadors. This new form of loyalty revolves around reviews and personal recommendations; it’s about constantly extending the fan base by providing your guests with an experience that they want to share.”

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Over 75 years of financial support and advice to Irish hotels Crowe is Ireland’s leading hospitality advisor. Over the years we have developed an unrivalled understanding of the Irish hotel industry and established a reputation for providing innovative and practical solutions to clients within the hospitality sector. Our Dublin-based team provide expert, impartial advice on hotel projects at every stage of the lifecycle. We help hoteliers make smart decisions today that create lasting value for the future. Smart decisions. Lasting value.

To find out how we can help your hospitality business succeed, contact: Aiden Murphy, Partner T: +353 1 448 2200 E: aiden.murphy@crowe.ie Audit / Tax / Advisory

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Books

Books out this month....

Pod Life... EATER’S DIGEST

The World Atlas of Wine 8th Edition Author: Hugh Johnson, Jancis Robinson Publisher: Mitchell Beazley RRP: €70 Available: www.easons.com Few wine books can be called classic, but the first edition of The World Atlas of Wine made publishing history when it appeared in 1971. It is recognised by critics as the essential and most authoritative wine reference work available. This eighth edition will bring readers, both old and new, up to date with the world of wine. To reflect all the changes in the global wine scene over the past six years, the Atlas has grown in size to 416 pages and 22 new maps have been added to the wealth of superb cartography in the book. The text has been given a complete overhaul to address the topics of most vital interest to today’s wine-growers and drinkers.

From Eater, the food and dining network of Find your sites from Vox next favourite Media, Eater’s podcast with Digest brings our pick of the you everything best you need to know about the world of food each week. Hosts Amanda Kludt, Eater’s editorin-chief and producer Daniel Geneen, call in the biggest names in the industry and journalists from the Eater newsroom to bring you the most Author: Ariana Madix, Danny Pellegrino important stories from Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt restaurants and kitchens RRP: €19.55 around the world. Available: www.amazon.com Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval, from Bravo’s show Podcasts or Stitcher Vanderpump Rules, have written a book featuring drinks for every situation. It includes a mix of classy OVERSERVED cocktails for fancy special occasions and trashier Overserved is a podcast recipes for those times when you just have a few about the stories random ingredients in your kitchen and want to behind the stories of keep the buzz going. Shots and recovery recipes are people involved in the also included in the new book. culinary world. Hosted by Ari Bendersky and Maggie Hennessy, the show spotlights the reality behind food and CHECK drink culture. Listen on Apple OUT SOME OF Podcasts or Stitcher

Fancy AF Cocktails: Drink Recipes from a Couple of Professional Drinkers

THE BEST FOOD RELATED BOOKS & PODCASTS ON THE MARKET RIGHT NOW

Shelf Book

ISSUE 9 2019 | HOTEL

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A GLASS WITH… A Glass With… is a podcast hosted by UK TV presenter Olly Smith. Each episode features a celebrity guest chatting to Olly as they share a glass of wine. Guests have included Marco Pierre White, Alex James, Prue Leith and Clare Balding. Listen on Stitcher or Apple Podcasts

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A Quick Chat

A Quick Chat with Gavin Couper

Gavin Couper, Director of F&B at Adare Manor, talks about preparing for the Ryder Cup and inspiring loyalty in staff

The Beginning

My first job was in a restaurant called Just 32. I was 16 and worked as a kitchen porter. The most important thing I learned was to listen and not to be afraid to ask if you don’t understand something or need help.

Success

I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing teams and leaders in some fantastic properties. I’m a big believer in the more effort you put into something, the more you’ll achieve. Not being afraid of hard work helps. Building lasting relationships with my teams has played a massive part in getting me where I am today.

Loyalty

Getting to know my team as individuals is key to building loyalty. Knowing what makes them tick, how to communicate with them, what motivates them but most of all, listening to what they have to say. Aside from this, I think it’s really important to build a common purpose and a direction of where we want to go.

The F&B Director Role

The most important aspect of my role is to create a nurturing environment and to build a strong team of highly energised individuals who understand what is expected of them and feel confident and trusted to provide a ‘Beyond Everything’ experience for our guests.

Events

The next big event that we’re preparing for is the JP McManus Pro-Am 2020. There will be lots of exciting food and beverage elements involved; what a great event to be part of! It will definitely help us to implement the processes needed for the amazing opportunity of the Ryder Cup 2026. It’s never too early to start preparing for such a big event!

Proudest Moment

It’s really tough to choose one to be honest. Being part of the reopening team of Hotel Bel Air back in 2011 and achieving the Forbes 5 star award stands out. Also more recently, I had the privilege of being part of the project team on the redesign, rebrand and relaunch of One Aldwych which was very special to me.

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uintessential Brands Ireland

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Renewable heat funding for the hospitality sector If you are in the hotel or food service sector, you can make substantial savings and reduce your carbon footprint just by switching to a renewable heating system. A Government funded tariff is available when you install biomass or biogas heating systems in new builds or in place of an existing fossil fuel heating system. You will receive an ongoing quarterly payment for 15 years based on how much heat you consume. Additionally, there are 30% grants available to install a heat pump system.

Find out how you could future proof your business at seai.ie

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Profile for Ashville Media Group

Hotel & Catering Review - Issue 9 2019  

Irelands premier hospitality magazine

Hotel & Catering Review - Issue 9 2019  

Irelands premier hospitality magazine