Small businesses feel the strain as Dublin Bus strike action continues

Restaurants are reporting shortfalls of up to 50%...

Small businesses feel the strain as Dublin Bus strike action continues

RollingNews

Dublin Bus strike days are due to add up for businesses in the city centre with 13 days of additional industrial action on the way if the pay dispute is not settled.

Dublin Town, a group which represents over 2,500 businesses in the city centre, says that footfall has been 17% below expected levels on strike days. 

For many smaller businesses, September can be a difficult financial month as customers tighten their purse strings after splurging on holidays, festivals, and other leisure activities during the summer months. It is also the final month before bills which are paid quarterly fall due.

Jack Fox, co-owner of Bread & Bones, an Asian street food restaurant in Millennium Walkway's 'Italian district' says that strike days have resulted in takings falling by up to "half."

While lunch business has suffered, it is dinner servings which have taken the real hit. He says that customers just "aren't coming in" to the city centre at night if they don't have to as they would rather stay home than deal with the hassle of getting in and out while the strike continues.

Mr Fox notes that business will pick up for most restaurants from October onwards but with more work stoppages looming city centre businesses are set to feel the pinch.

Other employers such as Noel Anderson, MD of The Bridge Pub in Ballsbridge, and Lemon & Duke on Duke's lane in Dublin have taken to social media to register their frustration.

The Duke Lane establishment only having opened three weeks ago, Anderson told Newstalk that people trying to start businesses simply don't need events like bus strikes "working against" them.

He adds that business has seen a "direct correlation" between shortfalls in turnover and strike days, and that the four slowest days for the new business have been these days of industrial action.

With this trend established, businesses are taking action and cutting their rosters. "There's no point in having people there to serve nobody," Mr Anderson continued.

He notes that the city centre establishment has taken the brunt of the downturn, as traffic chaos and a lack of parking spaces puts punters off from venturing into the middle of the city.

"Everyone deserves to get paid - but this is doing no one any favours," he added, saying that a compromise will have to be reached eventually, and he hopes that the pay dispute can be solved rather than dragging on.