hotel & catering

Hotel & Catering Outlook For 2022

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Hotel & Catering Key Trends

For many industries, 2021 has been a year like no other… but for the Hotel & Catering industry, it’s been one of the hardest and strangest years of all time. The hospitality industry essentially closed for over a year and we’ve seen firsthand the huge impact it’s had on Hotels, Bars, Restaurants and Corporate Catering sectors.

When the time finally came to re-open (some doors are still closed and may never re-open) those that were lucky enough to still be in business faced a number of challenges with staffing being the most critical issue of all.

Let’s start with front of house:

A large proportion of people working as Bar staff, Waiters and in Accommodation come from countries outside of Ireland. Travel for the most part has been off the cards for many people for quite some time, and we simply don’t have the numbers of people available to fill the amount of jobs that we have.

What about hiring local staff?

Since March 2020, the industry has been virtually closed and we no longer have the interest from people who are finishing up in schools or colleges. This is mainly because the Hospitality Industry is now seen as a precarious one that could be closed again within a few weeks or months at best.

Looking for experienced staff?

A lot of people coming into the industry work part-time or during holidays while in college, but the industry has been closed more than it’s been open which has led to a massive shortage of people that have a year or two experience in the market.

What’s happening in the kitchen?

The Chef crisis is still in full swing, but the big issue of the moment is where are all the kitchen porters and the reply is simple… there are none!

As with front of house, we simply do not have the people coming into the country that we used to. The English Language Schools are back open, but we’re seeing people making the choice to study online. This is mainly because they can now do this from the comfort of a warmer and cheaper climate. Candidates are also realising that the salary and conditions are better in the manufacturing or distribution industry.

In addition to all of the above, many people who were only working part-time in the past and who earned circa €200 to €400 per week are now getting the PUP payment at €350 per week. So, with no questions being asked for staying at home and receiving (in some cases) higher wages, this brings another massive challenge to the Hospitality Industry.

Solutions – Can We Throw Money At It?

With many establishments not being able to operate at full capacity, it leads to a high proportion of events, weddings and conferences getting cancelled or being put off for the foreseeable future. Money is in short supply, so the emphasis is put on ‘what else can we offer’.

Working from home is not an option for most roles, so the industry can’t jump on this bandwagon. However, they can take a look at what else is important to the people they employ like flexible rosters, job sharing, or ongoing training and development.

The feeling that workers are being valued is the most important thing that we are hearing from candidates. But of course, supply and demand along with more increases to the minimum wage have also played their part and we are seeing a lot of movement in the traditionally lower paid positions. For example, Kitchen Porters and Accommodation staff along with Bar and Waiting staff have all seen increases. The new normal wage is close to €12 and €13 per hour for Kitchen Porters / Accommodation staff while Waiting and Bar staff positions are moving closer to €13 and €15 respectively.

Chefs have also taken a huge leap forward with €34,000 now being the standard salary paid by the 3 & 4 star Hotels for Chef de Partie and increases in the Commis rates all down the line.

The only place we are not seeing much movement in is the area of Head Chefs, but our Director Shane McLave believes that when the corporate catering sector fully re-opens without closures, there will likely be more competition in this area.

What’s Next?

Between the combination of an uncertain future and the over heated market that we are currently seeing, a lot of companies are moving towards the temporary and contingent workforce. This is particularly evident in traditional areas such as Waiting staff, Chefs and the emerging trends of Accommodation Staff / Management.

The industry is now seeing the benefits of having a recruitment partner that both understands their business and has the ability to flex up and down when required. This leaves businesses in a much better position as they will be more equipped to deal with staff shortages.

Get In Touch

If you’re looking for a recruitment partner or you wish to find a job in Hotel & Catering, please visit our Hotel & Catering section on our website by clicking here. Alternatively, you can email us at


Ballyfin Demesne named Irish hotel of the year


Ballyfin Demesne has been named the AA’s hotel of the year 2018.

The five star hotel in Co. Laois is a former boarding school which underwent an extensive nine-year restoration before opening as a luxury hotel in 2011. It stands on 600 acres of grounds and is home to a series of formal gardens designed by Jim Reynolds. The hotel was previously voted best hotel in the world in 2016 by readers of US travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler.

The B&B rate at Ballyfin starts at €960 for a double room, running to €1,710 for the best suite in the house. Most guests, however, opt for the full board package (from €1,275 for two people), which includes lunch or afternoon tea on arrival, cocktail hour, dinner in the State Dining Room or the Van Der Hagan Room, and breakfast the following morning.

Until 2015, Ballyfin was open only to residents, however reservations are now accepted for dinner for groups of up to six guests, who have variety of menu options to choose from, costing from €105 for three-courses à la carte, to €125 for an eight-course tasting menu.

Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, presenting the award to Ballyfin’s general manager Damien Bastiat in Dublin last night, said: “The story of Irish tourism over the last 10 years has been one of hard work and perseverance to get through the troubled times of the economic downturn in order to come out the other side as a thriving industry. “Ballyfin Demesne, with its welcoming staff and steep history only highlights the best of what the hospitality industry offers to visitors from at home and abroad.”

The other main award winners were Aldridge Lodge in Duncannon, Co Wexford (AA Guest House Accommodation of the Year), and The Twelve hotel in Barna, Co Galway (AA Courtesy and Care award).

New 134 room hotel planned for Galway

Press Up Entertainment, Ireland’s largest and fastest growing pub and restaurant group, are said to have acquired a site in Galway with planning permission for a 134-bedroom hotel.

The site is located near Prospect Hill received planning permission for a hotel last year following an application by Highgate Properties. It is understood Press Up paid €4.5 million for the land. In addition to the bedrooms, there is permission for two bars within the building, which will ultimately have a total gross floor area of 5,310sq m. The acquisition comes as Press Up eye opportunities to expand into the UK market in the near future.

Press Up is the largest restaurant and venue group in the country and the group behind well-known restaurants such as Captain America’s, Roberta’s and the Dean Hotel. Press Up, which last year had a turnover of about €52 million, has said it hopes to open at least nine new hospitality venues over the coming year, including the Devlin hotel in Ranelagh, Dublin, which will open in the summer.

The group is also reported to be developing a 140-bedroom hotel in Cork. It is also planning a revamp of former private members’ club Residence on St Stephen’s Green, which it purchased recently. In addition, Press Up will soon open a cocktail bar in a three-storey building on Dublin’s Aungier Street, which company documents suggest will be called The Dutch Billy. The group’s other recent purchases include the well-known Elephant & Castle restaurant business in Temple Bar.

The best hotel breakfasts in Ireland have been revealed

The winners of the Georgina Campbell Irish Breakfast Awards 2017 were announced yesterday. The award’s aim to celebrate one of the most underrated aspects of the Irish food industry, the traditional Irish breakfast.Despite the focus on traditional Irish, the rise in popularity of American style brunch was reflected this year with the addition of a new category.

Georgina Campbell is president of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild and the awards are run in association with Fáilte Ireland.

The award’s main focus was on the traditional Irish breakfast with the judges criteria being “a flavoursome rendition of the traditional plate, together with wholesome accompaniments including traditional Irish soda bread and good Irish butter”.Providers of standout versions of the most important meal of the day were recognised in various categories including country houses, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, and three-, four- and five-star hotels.

At the highest end of the scale, The Merrion hotel in Dublin was awarded for its “range, consistency and seamless service”, with its baked goods, charcuterie board “showcasing both Irish and international meats and artisan cheeses”, and house-blend coffee, singled out for mention.

The award for best four-star hotel breakfast was scooped by Ballynahinch Castle in Co Galway, where “breakfast is a high point of the experience”, according to the judging panel, with hotel’s own rare breed pork forming part of their extensive offering. Gougane Barra hotel in Co Cork took the three-star honours, with praise for “the breakfast meats from Twomey’s craft butchers” and the proprietor’s “rich walnut and treacle bread”. Ballymaloe Country House in Co Cork also triumphed, with the judges noting their emphasis on “fresh, local and seasonal”.

The best B&B breakfast in Ireland can be found at Corrib House Tea Rooms & Guest Accommodation in Galway, according to the judges, who noted the offering of Kilbeggan porridge with banana and cinnamon, and buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup, in addition to the full Irish.

Full list of winners-


Five-star hotel: The Merrion, Dublin

Highly commended: Culloden Estate & Spa, Belfast and The Europe Hotel & Resort, Killarney

Four-star hotel: Ballynahinch Castle, Recess, Co Galway

Highly commended: The Mustard Seed, Ballingarry and Galgorm Resort & Spa, Ballymena

Three-star hotel: Gougane Barra Hotel, Macroom, Co Cork

Highly commended: Killeen House Hotel, Killarney and Raheen House Hotel, Clonmel

Country House: Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Co Cork

Highly commended: Roundwood House, Mountrath and Rathmullan House, Co Donegal

Guest House: Newforge House, Magheralin, Co Down

Highly commended: MacNean House, Blacklion and Inch House, Thurles

B&B: Corrib House, Galway

Highly commended: Ballinwillin House, Mitchelstown and The Mill Restaurant & Accommodation, Dunfanaghy

Welcome Standard: Burren Glamping, Kilfenora, Co Clare

Highly commended: Bervie, Achill Island and The Tannery, Dungarvan

Visitor Attraction: Overends at Airfield Estate, Dundrum, Dublin

Highly commended: Native by Yellow Door at the MAC, Belfast and Courtyard Café, Birr Castle, Co Offaly

Brunch: Rua, Castlebar, Co Mayo

Highly commended: Knox, Sligo and Hatch & Sons Irish Kitchen, Dublin

Irish breakfast foods

Meats: O’Neill’s dry cure bacon

Fish: Burren Smokehouse smoked salmon

Cereals: Flahavan’s Oats

Dairy: Clandeboye Estate yoghurt release mathematic formula for ‘perfect hotel’

Popular travel site have released their mathematic formula for the perfect hotel and according to the study, doing the simple things well matters far more than extras such as complimentary Wi-Fi.

The research was based on 148 comments pulled from over 5 million trusted guest reviews on hundreds of thousands of hotels worldwide. From the comments, were able to see what customers positively highlighted most often and using the date were able to create the formula for the perfect hotel stay. According to the research, cleanliness was the most important aspect of a hotel stay with reviewer mentions showing a squeaky clean hotel is 35 times more important than an extensive complimentary breakfast offering, an onsite swimming pool or free internet access.

Second most important was friendly,helpful staff, followed by a comfy bed in third place. The hotel’s location also ranked high in importance for reviewers. Regardless of price, value for money was also a high priority for visitors. The vast majority of reviewers said benefits such as soundproofing, swimming pools, free breakfast packages and complimentary Wi-Fi were less of a priority but were considered an added bonus or ‘cherry on the cake’ if they were available.

Below is’s formula for the perfect hotel stay. The letters signify each aspect of a hotel stay mentioned by the reviewers and the corresponding numbers indicating the level of importance traveller associated with each point.

C35 + F25 + B10 + D7 + P2 + ½H + Q + Br + S + W = Hotel Perfection


F = How friendly are the staff

C= Perceived cleanliness of the room

B= How comfortable is the bed

P= Perceived Reasonable Price

Q= Quietness of the room

S = Swimming pool

Br= Breakfast is included

D = Location/Walking distance/access

W = Free Wi-Fi

H= Hot drink available to make in room

HP = Overall hotel perfection

Ireland’s first floating four-star hotel and restaurant planned for Cork City’s quays.


Plans have been presented to Cork City Council’s planning office for Ireland’s first floating four-star hotel.The company behind the project plan to permanently moor a 105m luxury cruise vessel on the north channel of the River Lee at Penrose Quay, next to Michael Collins Bridge.

The cruise ship, named ‘My Story’ is 105 metres long and has three decks, 96 cabins with accommodation for 156 people, a panorama bar, several lounge areas, a swimming pool, and a sun deck. The vessel was built in 1971 and is based in Rotterdam, Holland. The vessel is entirely self-sufficient but will require a connection to the water main and the foul sewer.

The vessel, currently tied up for the winter season, has cruised along Germany’s River Rhine and Danube, Europe’s second longest river, but may take up permanent residence in Cork as soon as August 2017.

The cruiser is estimated to cost around €1.75m and its acquisition is subject to planning approval. Sick & Sore Ltd, the company behind the floating hotel project, are keen to get the project up and running and insist if this particular vessel cannot be acquired, the development will proceed with another vessel, similar in scale.

Sick & Sore Ltd is based in Dublin and headed up by Director Sam Corbett Jnr. Mr Corbett has been involved in several maritime projects around Ireland including, playing a key part in the project to acquire the former Cork-based tender vessel the Cill Áirne. Once acquired, the vessel was renovated and refitted for use as a restaurant on Dublin’s North Wall Quay in 2006.

Mr Corbett told CCC that the vessel is well made and effectively ready to go. A decision from CCC is expected mid-February and allowing time for the logistics of transporting the cruiser, Mr Corbett hopes the hotel could be operational by August.

Sick & Sore Ltd have said a high-profile hotel and tourist destination operator is lined up to operate the hotel and the company plans to recruit a high-end restaurateur to operate the business’ food element. The restaurant’s main focus will be on serving guests of the hotel, but will operate lunch and dinner services for the general public.

According to the planning application, the development will enhance Cork’s recreational and leisure amenities, “The proposed development would utilise the quay, attract tourists and provide an alternative/unique dining and accommodation experience for both residents and visitors alike.”


Photo William Murphy via Flickr

Irish hotel property sales expected to exceed €700 million


Sales of Irish hotel properties are expected to exceed €700 million in 2016.

Transactions for the year are expected to once again exceed €700 million this year with 55 properties around the country changing hands, according to CBRE Hotels. This year will also be the best year ever for visitor numbers, with more than 10.5 million. 2017 is expected to see further growth of 4.5%

2016 has proved another busy year for the sale of Irish hotels following a record-breaking 2015 where a massive 63 properties were sold, transactions worth €710 million.

A key ingredient to the success, according to CRBE Hotels, is Dublin’s RevPAR (revenue per available room) continuing to attract international buyers. The RevPAr has continued to build momentum since 2014 and has now increased to 23%.

2016 has seen a number of high profile transactions with some of the country’s most famous hotels changing hands during the year.

Blackstone sold DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel to a German investment fund for €180 million, double Blackstone’s original investment in the former Burlington Hotel property. Operations in the property are currently managed by Dalata under the Clayton Hotel brand.

Dublin’s iconic Gresham hotel also changed hands this year, being sold to the Spanish Riu Hotel Group for €92 million after a fierce bidding war. The 4 star 323 bedroom property now called the Riu Plaza Gresham Dublin has planning permission for 140 additional bedrooms and conference facilities.

Hotel occupancy in Dublin has hit record heights this year, at 82 per cent, and will probably continue into 2017 due to the well documented shortage of hotel beds. According to STR Global, the hotel bench markers, during the last twelve months, the average Saturday night occupancy in Dublin was 89.6%.

According to a report by Fitzpatrick Associates, conducted on behalf of Failte Ireland, the large shortfall in accommodation has been negated by Airbnb, which provides around 782 rooms every day. This is the equivalent to four 200-bedroom hotels.

There have been only four new hotels opened in the past eight years- the Gibson, the Temple Bar Inn, the Dean and the Marker. In 2016, one hotel closed (the 182-room Clyde Court) and one opened (the 198-bed Holiday Inn Express on O’Connell Street). Only 16 extra rooms have been added in a city estimated to desperately need an additional 5,000.

here are plans for up to 80 individual hotel projects. Some are new builds and others are extensions to existing properties. The largest hotel will be at Dublin Airport’s T2, with more than 400 rooms.

Other large projects are a hotel at the Convention Centre Dublin (300 bedrooms), the Coombe (260 bedrooms) and a selection of 200-room new builds in Spencer Dock, Bow Lane, Charlemont Street, O’Connell Street, and Mill Street. Most of these won’t be operational until 2018 or 2019

Outside Dublin, a small number of big sales also boosted tourism growth.

Lyrath Estate outside Kilkenny city sold for far more than its €20 million guide price. The 1,250-acre Farnham Estate in Cavan, was sold for more than €22 million. Other country properties that have changed hands this year are the Clarion in Sligo for €13 million to Dalata; the Pillo in Ashbourne to Podium Hotels for €11 million; and Tulfarris Estate at Blessington to PremGroup for €8 million, a good deal higher than the asking price of €5 million.

New hotel planned for Dublin’s Bow Lane


Dublin City Council has given the go-ahead to plans for a new 300-bedroom hotel on Dublin’s Bow Lane, near the iconic St. Stephen’s Green. In July, city planners for Dublin City were approached by the British group Marlin, a hotel and serviced apartment group. The group which is owned by Irish businessman John Corless, looked to add an additional 120 bedrooms to the original plans for the development at Bow Lane East.

The council planners are happy for the project to proceed and are insisting that the hotel will not adversely affect the character of the area. The hotel’s planned location is in a hugely historical part of the city and includes one of the earliest habitable houses in Dublin.The project, which is expected to cost around € 60m, will be built by McAleer & Rushe, a Northern Ireland group. The hotel will be up to seven storeys in height, and will take at least 30 months to build. In its application to DCC, Marlin said a shortage of hotel rooms within Dublin and the rest of the country was having “a significant negative impact” on the Irish economy and it was keen to start building.

An Taisce, Ireland’s National Trust, had raised concerns about the “significant bulk” of the proposed hotel, resulting in Marlin scaling back the proposal from 311 rooms to 300. The new hotel is expected to be the focal point of the rejuvenation of the Liberties area in the capital, along with two brand new student accommodation blocks which will service the nearby DIT and Trinity campuses.

Maldron Hotel brand to launch in England



Ireland’s largest hotel operator Dalata has begun to expand its successful Maldron brand into the UK market, opening a new location in Newcastle. Dalata signed a lease agreement to build a new Maldron Hotel with ES Newgate Limited, a division of McAleer & Rushe.

Once the building has been completed, Dalata will commence operations in the hotel with a 35-year operating lease. Five rent reviews will take place over this time, linked to the retail price index.The new 4-star property has a provisional opening date of Summer 2018. The property will have 226 bedrooms, a restaurant, and meeting room facilities.

Founded in 2007, Dalata is Ireland’s largest hotel operator, with a current portfolio of 40 hotels. Dalata already operates nine hotels in the UK, including six Clayton hotels. The firm also operates the Croyden Hotel in London, and a Maldron in both Belfast and Derry.

Deputy chief executive Dermot Crowley is optimistic about the new venture and says the development is an “exciting opportunity” to launch the brand in the English market.

“This development provides us with an exciting opportunity to launch our Maldron brand in the English market, in line with our strategy of rolling out our Clayton and Maldron brands in the large regional UK cities. We are delighted to be working on this project with our development partner, McAleer & Rushe, and look forward to opening in Newcastle in summer 2018.”

New Boutique Hotel Set For Ranelagh

Ranelagh is set to get a new boutique Hotel, after planning permission had been granted to Irish businessman Paddy McKillen Jnr. The boutique Hotel will be built in the heart of the South Dublin suburb in Dublin 6. The residence in question is 117 – 119 Ranelagh Main Street, former site of Laser Video.

McKillen also owns the Harcourt Street and this new Hotel is believed to be modelled in a similar format. The top floor will encompass a rooftop restaurant and outdoor terrace, with the first and second floors comprising of 41 rooms. The Hotel’s basement will also contain a 50 foot cinema and conference facilities.

Planning permission was highly contested with 30 individuals including TD Ruari Quinn arguing against it. The two buildings which currently reside in 117-119 Ranelagh will be demolished to make way.