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NI Takeaway Association Calls For End To 11pm Delivery Restriction

The Northern Ireland Takeaway Association today (October 21) warned that the sector is facing devastation unless current restrictions preventing deliveries after 11pm are ended immediately.

Under the recent legislative restrictions delivery services must end by 11pm, resulting in losses, redundancies and potentially businesses being forced to close permanently.

A survey of members revealed that thousands of pounds are being lost every week, yet no financial aid is available.

“Members of the Takeaway Association are struggling as a result of this new restriction,” said Director, Michael Henderson.

“We have been there throughout the current crisis, providing an essential service, especially to the hard working key workers who often work irregular hours.

“Yet our members are being told we have to close at 11pm, for the first time since this began.”

The 11pm closing means for takeaways to get all orders out on time to customers with a high standard of food quality they would be limited to taking last orders around 9:45pm.

Mr Henderson said that in England, Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland no such restrictions are in place, even in the areas that are in the highest tier of lockdown.

“Previously the takeaway delivery trade were classed as essential workers which lead to the whole takeaway sector putting strict Covid-19 precautions in place spending hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of pounds to do so. By doing this the takeaway industry in Northern Ireland helped reduce the spread of Covid-19 with measures such as contactless deliveries and PPE equipment.”

Today the Takeaway Association has written to the Executive and MLAs to request that the 11pm delivery restrictions end in order to avoid damaging businesses. It has also sought urgent clarification to the financial package that may be offered that currently states ‘Cafe, pubs and restaurants that have been temporarily forced to close to limit their business to takeaway, delivery or outdoor service’.

Mr Henderson said that in response to a query from the Finance minister he was told that no financial aid was going to be made to the takeaway sector.

In an email to the NI Takeaway Association a colleague of Finance Minister Conor Murphy said: “I was speaking to the minister last night. He advised me that the legislation does not factor in takeaways firstly as they have not had to close, whereas restaurants and cafés do. In addition the legislation also deems them as not having lost as much custom through the legislation. The reduced delivery service is viewed as not being a hindrance to the businesses as there are no hospitality outlets (i.e bars and nightclubs) open and therefore the demand for takeaway food past 11pm is much lower than previously.”

Despite multiple attempts to meet with members of the Executive and several requests for clarification from the Executive press office Mr Henderson has said he no longer has a choice and must represent his members in the most public manner.

He added: “We were angered to learn that the attitude was that as takeaway and delivery services had been allowed to open previously they were not going to be included,” he said.

“Furthermore, it has been communicated to us that as hospitality outlets were not open the view was that takeaway and delivery services would not need to be available as there would not be any passing trade.

“This is preposterous, and the minister and the Executive should reconsider to allow the takeaway industry to continue to deliver past 11pm as a matter of priority.”

Mr Henderson also urged members to react quickly to the changing circumstances.

“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,” he said.

The association has created a consultation package for new and existing members can receive 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,” he explained.

Members looking for further information on this and other related subjects members can contact Michael Henderson direct on 07425846533 or michael@nitakeawayassociation.co.uk

To become a member go to >> https://www.nitakeawayassociation.co.uk/members-area

Food & Drink

4 Slow Food Causeway Events Not To Be Missed This November

Hungry for adventure? If you’re looking for something exciting to really sink your teeth into, then look no further.

From November 2021 to March 2022, Slow Food Causeway is hosting a series of unmissable events celebrating the unique cuisine of the Causeway Coast. 

The Slow Food organisation was initially founded by activists in Italy to promote the defense of regional traditions, good food, the joy of gastronomics – and the slow pace of life. Slow Food has since gone global – and has recently welcomed Taste Causeway as a Slow Food destination, the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, after awarding them the accreditation. 

From guided food tours to delicious tasting menus, Slow Food Causeway has a host of delicious events to choose from.

Here are 4 Slow Food events not to be missed this November:

1. A Taste of Mussenden by Mussenden Seasalt

Friday 5th November, 7pm to 10:30pm. 

Join Mussenden Sea Salt for an evening of luxury dining where sustainability meets great taste, in the beautiful surroundings of Mussenden Temple. 

You’ll be warmly welcomed by our hosts and guided along the atmospheric Downhill Demense to the steps of the Mussenden Temple, where your delectable eight course menu and white wine pairing awaits.

The menu for the evening will be crafted by none other than Paula McIntyre MBE, and will feature dishes from BBC Hamley Kitchen, showcasing the very best of the Slow Food movement here, in Northern Ireland.

The first of its kind, this event is the perfect way to kickstart the Slow Food Causeway experience.

For more information, click HERE

2. Guided Forage And Feast Walking Tour With Ursa Minor

Saturday 6th November and Tuesday 9th November, from 10am. 

Ursa Minor Bakehouse is known as one of the best bakeries along the North Coast. Creating bespoke, honest bakes that are crafted from high-quality local ingredients, encompassing the speciality of slow food with each of their creations.

This walking tour will be led by local tour guide, Ewen Friers, who will tell you all about the history of the area and the vast culture surrounding it.

Along the way, you’ll learn about the art of foraging, the hunt for wild food resources, with Clare McQuillan from Feasting With Weeds as you learn about the natural world around us. 

The guided tour will also feature a picnic feast on the majestic Causeway cliff tops, allowing you to appreciate the spectacular scenery as you bask in a panoramic view.

For more information on the 6th November event, click HERE and for the 9th November event, click HERE 

3. Sourdough Making Classes by Ursa Minor

Sunday 14th November and Sunday 28th November, 9am to 5pm

Have you ever wanted to learn the art of traditional sourdough making? 

Voted Best Slow Food Bakery in 2020, Ursa Minor invites you to get up close and personal with their professional bakers to learn about the craft of sourdough. During the event, participants will create three different types of sourdough bread. Guests will receive refreshments of tea, coffee and Ursa Minor nibbles in between baking. 

Get the behind the scenes experience from one of the North Coast’s most popular bakeries, with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere guaranteed.

To read more click HERE for the 14th November event and HERE for 28th November.

4. Bushmills Banquet at Causeway Visitor Centre

Friday 19th November, 7pm to 11pm

To celebrate the first month of Slow Food Causeway, we are hosting a red carpet event featuring a sensational feast crafted by local chefs along with an exclusive tasting menu from the famous Old Bushmills Distillery. 

Tickets include a drinks reception and delicious canapes to get your evening of wondrous tasting started. Guests will then sample a grazing platter, small plates and tasters, as well as scrumptious desserts that are all created in line with the Slow Food movement, showcasing the very best of our local produce. 

You will also enjoy a relaxing nightcap in the historic Causeway Hotel, the perfect way to end your evening. 

For more information, click HERE 

Taste Causeway is delivering Slow Food Causeway with funding from Tourism NI in partnership with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. 

For more information go to tastecauseway.com/slow-food-causeway or follow the hashtags #SlowFoodCauseway and #TasteCauseway  

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Food & Drink

Slow Food Causeway Joins Global Slow Food Movement & Launches 6-Month Event Programme

The Causeway Coast and Glens is Northern Ireland’s first accredited Slow Food destination, Taste Causeway, the collaborative network of local food and drink businesses was awarded the accolade by the global Slow Food Movement following a rigorous assessment process. 

To launch and celebrate this prestigious award Taste Causeway are running a six month programme of events, dining experiences, tours and special menus.

The global organisation dedicated to nurturing good, clean and fair food is coming to Northern Ireland from next month as iconic venues along the Causeway Coast come together to launch Slow Food Causeway by Taste Causeway.

Gary Quate, Food and Drink Experience Development Officer from Tourism NI said: “The launch of Slow Food Causeway presents a unique opportunity for visitors to embrace the exceptional food and drink offer of the Causeway Coast and Glens.

“With an outstanding array of fresh local ingredients, passionate producers, award winning chefs and dynamic distillers and brewers, Slow Food Causeway will provide visitors with an exciting programme of unique foodie experiences amidst the stunning backdrop of the region. 

“Tourism Northern Ireland are delighted to support the programme and the Slow Food accreditation is indicative of the quality of experience that visitors can expect. The enticing calendar of immersive foodie experiences offers something for everyone and is a celebration of the quality, innovation and creativity of our industry” he added.

Kicking off on November 5 to end March 2022, the programme will showcase the Slow Food ethos dedicated to supporting local artisan producers as well as spreading awareness of local food traditions and culture. 

Highlights include unique dining experience collaborations with the National Trust at the stunning Mussenden Temple and iconic Causeway Visitor Centre, a three day Slow Food and Drink Festival in March 2022 and a packed schedule of supper clubs, special menus, workshops and cookery classes, food tours involving over 60 local food and drink businesses.    

Sharon Scott from Taste Causeway who are delivering Slow Food Causeway with funding from Tourism NI in partnership with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council said: “Taste Causeway is  one of only a handful of accredited Slow Food destinations in Ireland to be awarded the accolade by the global Slow Food Movement. 

“Slow Food was initially founded by a group of activists in Italy during the 1980s with the aim of defending regional traditions, good food, gastronomic pleasure and a slow pace of life but has since grown into a global movement involving millions of people, in over 150 countries that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to the community and the environment.  We at Taste Causeway are proud to become part of this global food movement.”

Slow Food Northern Ireland is headed by chef Paula McIntyre MBE said she’s delighted to be part of the launch of Slow Food Causeway.

“Having worked closely with the producers, chefs and growing number of food tourism businesses and food retailers involved in Taste Causeway for many years now, their ethics and attention to great provenance is the perfect fit for the international Slow Food movement” said Paula, adding: “The varied, exciting programme of launch events is testament to the drive, tenacity  and imagination of these local businesses, who are only just recovering from the devastating impact of the Covid pandemic and will be a must for genuine food lovers across the island of Ireland.

“There are plenty of accommodation options available to make a fantastic short winter and early Spring break.”

The Slow Food campaign aims to reinvigorate people’s interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us. 

Chairman of Slow Food UK Shane Holland said: “We are delighted to award Slow Food Destination accreditation to Slow Food Causeway, in an area with such outstanding produce, and where consumers are looking for genuinely good local food.  

“With the support of Taste Causeway, we are delighted to see a network of local food and drink businesses from right across the local supply chain, collaborating and working together to deliver the aim and ethos of Slow Food across all parts of the destination.”

“We protect our logo fiercely, as it is recognised across the world as a quality marque endorsing Good, Clean and Fair food.  Wherever you see this iconic, internationally recognised logo displayed, you will be certain to find great local food which sustains the local economy, is produced to the highest standards, is of the place and respects the local environment.”

For more information about Slow Food Causeway go to tastecauseway.com/slow-food-causeway or follow the hashtags #SlowFoodCauseway and #TasteCauseway  

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