Despite being in a fight for survival, the Irish hospitality sector is reportedly blighted by poor service in restaurants and bad beds in hotels.
This is the experience of food writer Georgina Campbell, who has been travelling the country inspecting food establishments for her annual food awards and hospitality guides.
However, she also said the hospitality sector was finally seeing green shoots of recovery after years of recession.
Announcing the winners of the awards yesterday, she said falling standards of service in restaurants and other food establishments was “a real problem”. She had been judging the awards with a team of assessors since 1991 but never remembered a year when service was so poor.
“We’ve seen it everywhere this year, from pubs and cafes to five-star hotels and leading restaurants,” she said. “It’s a thing that all the assessors have commented on this year . . . there’s definitely a warning sign going out there. Something has got to be done about it. ”
Ms Campbell said it appeared all the focus had gone on issues such as food and decor while investing in staff training was overlooked.
There was also “quite a problem” with tired furnishings in hotels and other accommodation providers. “We’re talking about very fundamental things like bedding and mattresses and so on.”