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Restaurants & Cafes reopening – Failte Ireland Guidelines published

Failte Ireland Guidelines to assist restaurants & Cafes post Covid-19

Failte Ireland has released set of guidelines to assist restaurants and cafes in Ireland with their re-opening following the lockdown implemented to deal with Covid-19. Bars, restaurants, cafes and hotels in Ireland have all been closed since March 2020 and following the latest version of Irish Government’s plan to re-open businesses in Ireland, restaurants and cafes, as well as bars serving food, can re-open on the 29th June 2020. The plan to re-open is welcome news to businesses in this area, but some clarity is needed around the impact of the regulations following the Covid-19 outbreak.

Failte Ireland has also introduced a number of supports for the hospitality industry. In an attempt to assist with the regulations affecting the operation of restaurant, bars and cafés, they have devised a set of guidelines issued and updated on their website as the regulations themselves are implemented and adapted. The regulations concerning cafés and restaurants can be downloaded here.

One of the issues that has arisen particularly for bars wishing to re-open on the 29th June is the requirement for a restaurant certificate. Bars and pubs in Ireland operate typically operate on an ordinary seven day on licence authorising the sale of beers, wines and spirits. To serve food to customers, bars would require a restaurant certificate. This is an add-on to an existing licence and is created by an application to the District Court for the area in which the bar or pub is located. There is now an indication that the restaurant certificate requirement will be waived in the current Covid-19 environment. This however is yet to be confirmed and the advice currently to bars and pubs which do not hold a restaurant certificate, it to procure one.

This addition to the licence is renewed annually in September of each year and, in the event the Covid-19 environment changes and the normal legislative regime applies again, then the certificate itself will have already been procured. It appears that service of food in bars and pubs will be an integral part of the business model going forward.

Our Licensing Solicitors in Dublin provide specialist legal support for bars, pubs, restaurant and cafes in Ireland and are happy to deal with any queries with the regulations affecting the hospitality industry, particularly in light of the impact of Covid-19 and Irish Government regulations.