Following today’s announcement by the Stormont Executive Michael Henderson, director of the Northern Ireland Takeaway Association said: “Although most takeaway businesses have already put a wide range of Covid-19 measures in place and are operating as safely as they can these new restrictions will create further economic impact on the takeaway sector.
“Most of the takeaway sector here in Northern Ireland in main towns and cities are wholly dependent on the passing trade from local hospitality businesses, the closure of these will make it very difficult for those takeaways to match their weekly financial requirements.
“Of course there is also the situation where many of the existing takeaway businesses will become concerned as the market becomes more saturated with restaurants who are being forced to pivot in these uncertain times.
“Whilst we understand the difficulties these restrictions are causing, as an organisation dedicated to supporting the takeaway industry here in Northern Ireland we will be working closely with all our members both existing and new to help them navigate the challenges ahead.
“The new restrictions will allow takeaways to open as normal until 11pm each night with strict Covid-19 precautions being taken. After 11pm all shop fronts must be closed and the business will be required to operate on a delivery only basis.
“We believe financial packages will be put in place and we hope these will be suffice to support the industry and we call on the Executive to make swift decisions and to keep the industry fully updated as quickly as possible. If anyone is unsure as to how to avail of any packages being announced they can contact us for advice and support.
“We are advising everyone in the takeaway industry across Northern Ireland to spend valuable time assessing their offering and ensuring all their marketing materials are up to date and listings on online delivery platforms are current and showcase the best of your menu.
“For those considering entering the takeaway market our advice is to carefully research the competition in your area and ensure that you’re offering something different and something unique in order to give consumers the best takeaway experience across the board.
“The NI Takeaway Association has put together a consultation package where members both new and existing can avail of a range of free advice. From pivoting your business into takeaway, improving your current offering and human resources to legal, financial, marketing and advertising we have industry experts ready to help businesses overcome the challenges ahead.”