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Ciara Walsh

Celebrating International Women’s Day: Supporting Female-Owned Businesses

As International Women’s Day approaches, it’s an opportune moment to reflect on the achievements of women worldwide and to celebrate their contributions to various facets of society. One impactful way to honor women is by supporting female-owned businesses. Female entrepreneurs face unique challenges in the business world, ranging from access to funding and resources to societal biases and stereotypes. Despite these obstacles, women continue to break barriers and establish successful businesses across diverse industries. By supporting female-owned businesses, we not only contribute to their growth and sustainability but also promote gender equality and create opportunities for future generations of women.

Female-owned businesses are significant drivers of economic growth and job creation. According to research, women-led businesses contribute billions to the global economy annually. By supporting these enterprises, we stimulate economic development, foster innovation, and enhance market competitiveness. Moreover, investing in women-owned businesses can lead to broader prosperity by narrowing the gender wealth gap and promoting financial inclusion.

Diversity fosters creativity and innovation by bringing together varied perspectives and experiences. Female entrepreneurs often bring fresh ideas, novel approaches, and unique insights to the table. By supporting their ventures, we not only promote diversity within industries but also spur innovation and drive positive change. From technology startups to sustainable fashion brands, female-owned businesses are at the forefront of innovation, offering products and services that cater to diverse consumer needs.

Female-owned businesses play a pivotal role in building resilient and inclusive communities. They create employment opportunities, support local suppliers, and reinvest profits back into their communities. Additionally, women entrepreneurs are more likely to prioritize social and environmental initiatives, contributing to the overall well-being of society. By supporting female-owned businesses, we strengthen the social fabric, promote community development, and create a ripple effect of positive impact.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let’s recognize the invaluable contributions of female entrepreneurs and commit to supporting their businesses year-round. By championing gender equality in entrepreneurship, we create a more inclusive and prosperous world for all. Whether it’s through conscious consumption, collaboration, or advocacy, each of us has the power to drive positive change and uplift women-owned businesses.

Hospitality Expo 2024: Connecting, Learning, and Inspiring

Last week marked an exhilarating experience for our team as we participated in the Hospitality Expo 2024 held at the RDS. The atmosphere was buzzing with innovation, enthusiasm, and a shared passion for the hospitality industry. Reflecting on our time there, we’re thrilled to share the highlights of our journey and the invaluable insights we gained.

The Expo provided a dynamic platform for us to delve into the latest advancements and emerging trends within the hospitality sector. It was great to see so many other Irish businesses in attendance, and learn from their experiences and anecdotes. Engaging with exhibitors and attending informative sessions expanded our horizons, equipping us with fresh perspectives to enhance our own practices. 

One of the most rewarding aspects of the Expo was the opportunity to connect with others. From like-minded hospitality suppliers to potential clients and partners, networking at the event proved invaluable as we exchanged ideas, forged partnerships, and gleaned insights from visionary entrepreneurs. Each interaction was a reminder of the power of collaboration and the potential for mutual growth within our industry. Throughout the event, we had the privilege of hearing from industry leaders who imparted invaluable wisdom and insights. Each speaker was a source of motivation and inspiration.

We are very grateful to the organizers for orchestrating a truly exceptional event. We are also deeply grateful to everyone who visited our stand and expressed interest in our endeavors. Your support and interest fuels our drive to continually raise the bar and grow our business.

Last but certainly not least, we extend a resounding round of applause to our exceptional team whose dedication and hard work made our presence at the Expo a resounding success. Each member contributed their unique talents and expertise, embodying our shared vision and values every step of the way.

The Ultimate Guide to Tipping in Ireland

In Ireland, navigating tipping etiquette can sometimes be difficult. For travelers and locals alike, understanding how much to tip in Ireland can ensure that your gratitude is appreciated without overstepping cultural norms. 

Restaurants and Cafes: When dining out in Ireland, tipping is appreciated but not always expected. In many establishments, particularly those in tourist-heavy areas or upscale venues, leaving a gratuity of 10-15% of the bill is common practice for good service. 

For counter service or casual cafes where you order and pay at the counter, leaving behind your spare change or using a cashless tipping service such as JustTip can be a nice gesture to show appreciation for friendly service.

Pubs and Bars: In traditional Irish pubs, tipping at the bar is discretionary. If you’re enjoying a pint or a glass of whiskey, rounding up to the nearest euro or leaving a small tip for table service is customary, particularly if the bartender has been attentive or friendly.

Hotels: When staying at hotels in Ireland, tipping is less common than in some other countries. If a porter assists you with your luggage, offering €1-€2 per bag is appreciated. Additionally, if housekeeping provides exceptional service or goes above and beyond, leaving a small tip in the room upon departure is a thoughtful gesture.

Taxis: For taxi rides in Ireland, rounding up to the nearest euro is typical, although it’s not uncommon to add a few extra euros for excellent service or help with luggage. However, if you’re taking a longer journey or using a private car service, a gratuity of 10-15% may be more appropriate.

Tours: If you’re embarking on guided tours or excursions in Ireland, tipping for exceptional service is always appreciated but not obligatory. For tour guides who provide an informative and enjoyable experience, a gratuity of €5-€10 per person is customary.

Exploring the Evolution of Gratuity in the Gig Economy

In the dynamic landscape of modern work, the emergence of the gig economy has revolutionized traditional employment structures, ushering in a new era of flexibility and autonomy. Yet, amidst this transformation, the practice of tipping remains a crucial component, presenting both challenges and opportunities for gig workers navigating the intricacies of gratuity in their daily endeavors.

Gig workers, from rideshare drivers and food delivery couriers to freelance creatives, often find themselves at the forefront of tipping culture, relying on the generosity of patrons to supplement their income and sustain their livelihoods. However, unlike their counterparts in traditional employment settings, gig workers face unique circumstances that shape their experiences with gratuity.

One of the defining features of the gig economy is its reliance on digital platforms and apps to facilitate transactions and interactions between workers and customers. In this digital landscape, tipping has undergone a transformation of its own, with in-app tipping features becoming increasingly prevalent across various gig-based platforms. These features not only streamline the tipping process but also serve as a direct conduit for patrons to express their appreciation for the services rendered.

Yet, the ubiquity of digital tipping platforms also introduces challenges, particularly concerning transparency and fairness. Gig workers often rely on customer ratings and feedback as a measure of their performance, with tipping serving as a tangible indicator of customer satisfaction. However, the opacity of these rating systems, coupled with the subjective nature of tipping, can sometimes result in inconsistencies and disparities in gratuity earnings.

Moreover, gig workers grapple with the unpredictable nature of their income, which can fluctuate from one day to the next depending on factors beyond their control. While gratuities can provide a welcome boost to their earnings, they also underscore the precariousness of gig work and the absence of stable income sources typically associated with traditional employment.

Despite these challenges, tipping remains a vital source of support and validation for gig workers, offering not only financial assistance but also emotional affirmation of their contributions. Stories abound of generous patrons who go above and beyond to show their appreciation for the dedication and service of gig workers, highlighting the profound impact of gratuity on both livelihoods and morale.

Embracing the Warmth: A Journey Through Ireland’s Vibrant Coffee Culture

While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Emerald Isle, Ireland’s love affair with coffee is a delightful blend of tradition, innovation, and community spirit. Traditionally known for its tea-drinking habits, Ireland has seen a remarkable transformation in recent years, with coffee culture taking center stage. What was once a nation of instant coffee and tea bags has now blossomed into a thriving coffee scene, characterized by a passion for quality, sustainability, and creativity.

At the heart of Ireland’s coffee revolution is a newfound appreciation for quality beans and expert brewing techniques. Coffee connoisseurs can find an array of specialty cafes and roasteries dedicated to sourcing the finest beans from around the world. Local roasters like Badger & Dodo and Cloud Picker are leading the charge, roasting beans to perfection and delivering a cup of coffee that’s rich in flavor and character. 

But it’s not just about the coffee itself – it’s about the experience. In Ireland, coffee culture is as much about community and connection as it is about caffeine. Cafes serve as gathering spaces where friends meet for a chat, artists find inspiration, and strangers become friends over a shared love of coffee.

Ireland’s coffee culture is also marked by a spirit of innovation and creativity. Alongside the classic espresso-based drinks, you’ll find inventive concoctions that showcase the imagination and skill of the country’s baristas. From seasonal specials infused with local flavors to experimental brewing methods like pour-over and cold brew, there’s always something new and exciting to try in Ireland’s coffee scene.

In an era of increasing awareness about the environmental and social impact of our consumption habits, Ireland’s coffee community is also committed to sustainability and ethical sourcing. Many cafes prioritize Fairtrade and organic beans, support local producers, and implement eco-friendly practices like composting, recycling, and reducing single-use plastics.

Coffee culture in Ireland is a delightful blend of old and new, tradition and innovation, warmth and hospitality. So the next time you find yourself on the Emerald Isle, be sure to raise a cup to Ireland’s vibrant coffee culture – Sláinte!

Public Consultations on Tipping Legislation

The Government has recently launched a public consultation to evaluate the effectiveness of the Payment of Wages (Amendment) (Tips and Gratuities) Act 2022, which came into effect on December 1, 2022. This legislation requires a review after one year to assess its impact on how businesses handle tips. The consultation will gather feedback from both workers who receive tips and business owners to identify possible weaknesses in the current legislation and explore avenues for improvement.

The Payment of Wages (Amendment) (Tips and Gratuities) Act 2022 introduces several key provisions that employers must adhere to:

  • Employers are mandated to display information on how tips are distributed to employees.
  • The displayed information must outline whether tips are distributed among employees and specify the method of distribution.
  • Employers must clarify whether mandatory charges, or any portion of them, are distributed among employees.
  • The legislation requires transparency regarding the method of distribution and the amounts allocated to employees.
  • Employers failing to comply with these requirements may face charges and fines for offenses.

The aim of the public consultation is to identify areas where the current legal framework might be lacking and to explore opportunities for improvement. Interested parties have until 3 pm on Thursday, February 22, to submit their feedback and recommendations for potential improvements to the current legislation.

How do Ireland’s tipping traditions compare to other countries in Europe?

Tipping customs in Europe are as diverse as the continent itself, with each country boasting its own unique approach to showing appreciation for good service. But how do Ireland’s tipping traditions compare to other places in Europe?

In Ireland, tipping is generally considered a gesture of appreciation rather than an obligation. When dining in restaurants or cafes, leaving a tip of around 10-15% is common, and patrons may also tip for services such as hairdressers and hotel staff. However, the Irish approach to tipping is laid-back, emphasizing genuine friendliness and quality service over the size of the tip. Unlike some other European nations, service charges are not always included in the bill.

In France, the notion of “service compris” (service included) is prevalent. Many restaurants include a service charge in the bill, which means tipping is not obligatory. However, it is customary to round up the bill or leave small change as a token of appreciation for good service. In more upscale establishments, patrons may choose to tip a little extra, but it’s not a strict requirement. This reflects a balance between acknowledging good service and not burdening customers with an additional social obligation.

Italian dining customs often involve a “coperto” or cover charge, which is a fee for the bread, table setting, and service. Tipping in Italy typically involves rounding up the bill or leaving spare change, with patrons expressing gratitude for excellent service. While tipping is appreciated, it is not as structured as in some other European countries. Italy’s tipping culture mirrors its emphasis on conviviality and enjoying the culinary experience, with a gesture of appreciation rather than a standardized percentage.

In Spain, tipping is not as deeply ingrained in the culture as in some other European nations. While leaving a small tip is appreciated, it’s not considered obligatory. In many restaurants, a service charge may be included in the bill, especially in tourist areas. Locals often round up the bill or leave loose change as a sign of appreciation.

Ireland’s casual approach to tipping contrasts with the French inclusion of service charges, the Italian custom of rounding up the bill, and the Spanish relaxed attitude. As travelers explore European dining scenes, adapting to local tipping norms enhances cultural understanding and fosters a more authentic connection with each unique destination.

Embracing Digital Tipping: The Vital Role in a Cashless Society

In an era dominated by digital transactions and the growing prevalence of cashless economies, the concept of tipping has undergone a transformation. The act of expressing gratitude for exceptional service has evolved from traditional cash exchanges to digital tipping platforms. With the advent of mobile wallets, contactless payments, and online banking, traditional forms of currency are gradually becoming obsolete. Many businesses are actively encouraging the use of digital payment methods for their efficiency, security, and convenience. 

One of the primary advantages of digital tipping lies in its convenience and accessibility. In a world where people carry their smartphones everywhere, tipping becomes a seamless process. Digital tipping also brings an added layer of transparency and accountability to the process. Traditional cash tips can be subjective and challenging to track, making it difficult for service providers to receive fair compensation. With digital platforms, the transaction history is recorded, ensuring that tips are accurately distributed. This transparency benefits both the service provider and the consumer, fostering trust in the tipping process.

The service industry is one of the primary beneficiaries of the shift towards digital tipping. From restaurant staff and delivery drivers to baristas and taxi drivers, service workers often rely on tips to supplement their income. Digital tipping not only simplifies the process for consumers but also ensures that service providers receive their tips promptly, contributing to the financial stability of these workers. The ease of digital tipping encourages individuals to acknowledge and appreciate the hard work and dedication of service providers, fostering a positive and appreciative culture.

Supporting Local Businesses Amidst the Rising Cost of Living in Ireland

Local businesses are at the heart of Irish community life. However, as the cost of living continues to rise, these establishments find themselves facing new challenges.

The impact of the rising cost of living on local businesses is unmistakable. Small enterprises often bear the brunt of increased expenses, from rent and utilities to the costs associated with sourcing materials or products.

By supporting these businesses, we foster a sense of connection and belonging. These establishments contribute to the unique character of our neighborhoods, creating a distinct identity that sets our communities apart from the generic landscape of multinational corporations. Local businesses are often rooted in the local culture and history, offering products and services that reflect the unique identity of Ireland, and these businesses play a vital role in preserving our cultural heritage.

As well as this, Every purchase made at a local business has a direct impact on the local economy. Unlike multinational corporations, local businesses are more likely to reinvest their earnings back into the community, supporting other local services and contributing to the creation of jobs. This economic cycle strengthens the overall financial health of the community.

Practical Ways to Support Local Businesses include shopping locally, engaging with their social media, and supporting events held by local businesses.

New Fines Announced to Protect Hospitality Workers’ Tips

On Friday, the Department of Enterprise revealed stringent measures aimed at safeguarding the rights of hospitality workers and ensuring fair treatment regarding tips and gratuities. The regulations come as a response to concerns about employers violating rules related to tipping practices.

Employers found breaching tipping regulations will now face on-the-spot fines.This move is intended to act as a deterrent and strengthen the protection of employees in the hospitality sector.

Patrons who fail to provide employees with accurate terms of employment or deliberately provide false information will be subject to a substantial fine of €1,500. This measure, falling under the Payment of Wages Act 2022, emphasizes the importance of transparent communication between patrons and employees.

Employers who neglect to furnish employees with a written statement outlining the distribution of tips and gratuities or those who misclassify a service charge as a tip will face fines of €750. This underscores the significance of clear communication regarding the allocation of tips within the workplace.

A €500 fine will be imposed on employers who neglect to display a ‘tips and gratuities notice’ or a ‘contract Workers Tips and Gratuities Notice.’ This requirement aims to enhance transparency, ensuring both employees and patrons are informed about how tips are handled.

Inspectors from the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) will conduct visits to ensure businesses comply with tip-related legislation. In the event of a breach, the WRC can issue fines. Failure to pay will lead to referral to the WRC’s internal legal affairs committee, which will decide whether to proceed with prosecution.