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Challenging times Dublin restaurant Mr Fox adapting at pace as Irish eateries prepare to reopen


WITH restaurants, gastro pubs and cafes reopening this week, one Dublin businessman has revealed his struggle to keep his business afloat.

Anthony Smith, the owner and head chef of Mr Fox restaurant on the city’s Parnell Square opposite the Gate Theatre, said his biggest challenge amid Covid-19 has been hanging on to his staff.

“When we closed down we didn’t know when we were going to open back up, so it’s hard to plan, it’s hard to keep staff,” Anthony says.

“We switched over from the second lockdown to takeaway. We didn’t have jobs for front of house staff. Now we might be opening soon and we don’t have the proper staff in place to open the way we were.

“That is probably the biggest challenge. A lot of the front of house staff have either retrained or went back home, went to France and Australia, because they have no hope for the future, they don’t know what’s going to happen. They’ve been sitting at home for the best part of nine months not knowing when their jobs are going to come back.”

From Friday, gastro pubs, restaurants, and cafes can reopen with indoor seating - and the "€9 euro substantial meal" rule will apply when it comes to drinking.

The hour 45 minute limit will still apply too, although if you're more than 2m apart from the next table you can stay for longer.

It'll be max of six at a table and there's no limit on the amount households like there was last time.

However, under the new Level 3 restrictions, many pubs that had been opening before will remain closed this time around because they don’t have the facilities and kitchens on site to cook their own food. Under the new rule, meals now have to be made on-site.

Anthony Smith added that he has adapted the restaurant to make it a safe environment for his customers.

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