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A Dublin 8 business open just one year when lockdown happened

‘Staffing crisis with the hospitality industry is dire and the lack of chefs is a huge problem’

Shane Rigney is looking forward to the Christmas season.

Shane Rigney is looking forward to the Christmas season.

 

Shane Rigney started his eaterie in Inchicore in January 2019 and was open for just a year, almost to the day, when lockdown started.

“I had retrained as a chef about 10 years ago and was working for myself in catering and private chef gigs before opening the business.

“This past summer was full of ups, downs and irregularities and I think that the business will be more stable and predictable through the winter months. As a local business we did well with our loyal, regular customers but the summer can have really busy runs with good weather and quiet stretches with more and more business opening up in the city centre, for example, and people travelling on staycations etc. We operate on a first come, first serve basis so we didn’t experience a lot of disruption with bookings or cancellations. But we did have a lot of enquiries and will have a bookings system in place for the colder months when we will lose outside seating due to weather.

“We are so used to the constant changing of restrictions over the past 18 months, that we aren’t overly concerned about lockdowns but feel that any steps in that direction would be reductive in general and just a further blow to ever getting back to business as normal and would be so disappointing. We’re looking forward to the Christmas season and expect it to be busy with customers looking to get indoors and out and about eating more with friends and larger groups.

“The staffing crisis with the hospitality industry is dire, though, and the lack of chefs is a huge problem. Many colleagues are reporting the same thing in their cafes and restaurants and it makes the uncertainty of running the business under those unsettled conditions very hard and demoralising.

“Hopefully a clean-up of PUP payments and incentives to get back to work are coming down the line soon and may help to rectify this or I fear many small restaurants will give up the ghost with new untenable post Covid challenges to their business.”