General News / June 28, 2024

The Fumbally Will Be Closing In August For Some Rest And Realignment

General News / June 28, 2024

The Fumbally Will Be Closing In August For Some Rest And Realignment

Words: Hannah Lemass

The Fumbally Cafe, a beloved fixture of Dublin’s food scene, has announced that it will close its doors from August 17th for a hiatus while they make a plan for how to move forward in the tough economic landscape. During their break, the team will reassess its business strategy.

This decision underscores the significant challenges faced by small businesses all over Ireland, particularly in the service industry. The struggle, even for businesses that are seemingly successful, is palpable during this period of turbulence in the economic environment.

It is no secret the hospitality has been suffering for the past few years since Covid. The cost of living crisis is hitting every one but he food and drinks industry is on its knees. A report commissioned by the Restaurant Association of Ireland and published in April found that over 200 restaurants had already closed in 2024 up to that point in time.

It’s not simply a matter of a lack of trade. From the outside The Fumbally is thriving. Crowds form every day of the week with a queue out the door most weekends. So why is it that  one of the most popular spots in Dublin 8 is in crisis? 

A Broken System

In a statement made on the The Fumbally Stables Instagram page, owner Aisling Rogerson says they’re working within a broken system. For them, simply, “the figures don’t add up unless you are hiking your prices up or compromising on quality at some level.” She says the team will be taking the break to reflect and try to find solutions for the business so that they can continue to operate under a new model.

“We’re going to look at every aspect of the business, and we’re going to try and figure out how to make the figures work, how to create more supports for our staff internally, and get wages up.”

Aisling Rogerson

Staff turnover is incredibly high industry-wide, and The Fumbally is no exception. Aisling says the issue is “indicative of a system that doesn’t value its workers properly and offer real opportunity.” She says, “burnout is way too high, wages are far too low.”

And the cost of fresh, locally sourced ingredients, which is at the center of The Fumbally’s identity, is also surging. Farmers and producers are also struggling under the economic crisis. Aisling says, “There isn’t a single farmer in this country that isn’t receiving financial aid.” She notes that without subsidies or grants, people simply cannot afford to grow food.

Not All Doom and Gloom

Aisling is remaining positive, saying the solutions are out there and that people from all sides of the industry are working hard to find them.

“The solutions to all of these problems are out there, and there are loads of people working on these solutions, from soil level to farming to supply chain, everything.”

Aisling Rogerson

While the café is closed from August 17th the team will be working hard, crunching the numbers, attending workshops, and coming up with ideas. They plan to reopen to the public on September 3rd. Fans can keep up with their journey via their newsletter.