Firms in food service sector buoyed by new optimism

Survey by Pallas Foods published to coincide with 3-day food service industry event

Most firms in the Irish food service sector are confident of growing their businesses this year, while just under half are planning to hire additional staff.

This is according to a survey by food distributor Pallas Foods, published to coincide with Catex, a three-day food service industry event taking place in Dublin's RDS.

It found 80 per cent of business owners believed they could grow their operations in 2015 with a 45 per cent planning to create new employment this year.

The renewed optimism was put down to a number of factors, which were said to be creating a “positive momentum” in the sector.


These include general economic recovery which is encouraging consumer to spend more of their disposable income; increased forward bookings for the tourist season; and new food offerings to meet changing customer demands.

The survy found while most consumers were eating out more, they were not purchasing more when out. The survey also pinpointed the increasing cost of running a business in Ireland and competition as the two biggest challenges facing firms in the food service sector.

Some 30 per cent of those surveyed highlighted increasing overheads as an issue, while 29 per cent highlighted new competition and entrants to the market as an issue.

Peter Foley, executive vice president of Pallas Foods, said: "Pallas Foods looks to 2015 with the same optimism and confidence of our customers. That confidence is based on the recovery that is happening but is also related to the rate of innovation and change that is happening in the sector, all of which is geared to meet the growing needs and sophistication of Irish consumers."

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times