Boojum's David Maxwell says Brexit will have major repercussions for the hospitality industry
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“I can imagine there are some EU nationals who are currently sitting in Northern Ireland just wondering what’s happening next for them.”
The closer we get to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, the more everyone is going to have to face up to the realities of one of the biggest political upheavals in history.
For business owners, Brexit presents a worrying level of uncertainty, particularly in Northern Ireland, where the impact of a no-deal Brexit would be most keenly felt.
Chief among the concerns of David Maxwell, Managing Director of Boojum, is the impact of Brexit on the hospitality industry at a time when Boojum is considering further expansion into the United Kingdom, having already opened outlets in Belfast and Derry.
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Not only could Brexit affect expansion plans for the wildly popular chain of burrito restaurants, but a potential drop in the number of EU nationals coming here to work could have a huge impact on the industry at large.
“We’re looking at expanding into the UK at the moment,” David told All In, JOE’s new business show.
“I’ve done a piece of work recently around Brexit and workforce and so we’ve had to study our own economic environment in Northern Ireland, where unemployment is very low within Northern Ireland and within the hospitality industry.
“We’re quite reliant, actually, on EU nationals to support the industry and so the concern there on Brexit is that EU nationals don’t arrive in the numbers that we need them to continue to support."
“Some may leave, and so there are really big plans in Northern Ireland to really kick on our hospitality and tourism industry and that will not be possible if we don’t have a workforce to rely on to make that happen, so there’s some risk there.
“And I can imagine that there are some EU nationals who are currently sitting in Northern Ireland just wondering what’s happening next for them.”
David features on this week's episode of All In, JOE's brand new business show.