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Leading Academics & Industry Experts Join Forces To Form ‘At The Pass’, Launching Online Sessions To Professionally Guide Hospitality Businesses In Their Hour Of Need

Spearheaded by Dr. Orla Byrne, Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship at UCD, At The Pass has devised and launched a pair of low-cost online webinars and interactive workshops for January 2023 to professionally guide hospitality business owners countrywide – those that are weighing up their options and facing big decisions, and those who have ceased trading and are figuring out what to do next.

Byrne is joined on the At The Pass steering committee by Dr. Noel Murray (Head of Department for Tourism & Hospitality at Munster Technological University) and renowned Food Business Coach and former Hospitality Business Owner, Tracie Daly – all three of whom have volunteered their time and expertise pro bono.

The trio have teamed up with specialists in the fields of Career Development, Finance, HR, PR, and Psychotherapy and more, along with easily relatable Irish hospitality heroes including Food Writer & Chef, Domini Kemp, Artisan Food Producer, Maria Flynn (Ballymakenny Farm, Drogheda, Co. Louth) and Food Consultant & Writer, Ali Dunworth.

Collectively, they will deliver two full day online sessions, on Monday 23rd January and Monday 30th January 2023, that will provide an all-inclusive and holistic approach to assist hospitality business owners in making the best decisions possible, for themselves and for their businesses. 

Commenting on behalf of At The Pass’s Steering Committee. Dr. Orla Byrne, said: “For years I’ve been researching how business owners navigate tough times. Repeatedly, we see people facing difficult decisions, in isolation, without the necessary support or information. At The Pass is an opportunity to support food & drink business owners, provide the necessary impartial advice and let them know they’re not alone.”

The Current Climate:

Following two years of continual lockdowns, PUP, social distancing, re-openings, re-modelling, re-training, re-investment, and migrating online, this is an unprecedented time for business owners in the hospitality sector. They are now battling a significant spike in running costs with little to no certainty of where or when it will end. 

As a result, sadly multiple closures have been announced across the industry in recent weeks and months, with the threat of many more to follow in 2023 unless owners are provided with the information they need in order to make an informed decision on the long-term viability of their businesses.

The ‘At The Pass’ Solution:

The At The Pass online sessions have been developed and informed by extensive on-the-ground industry knowledge and experience, as well as by international academic research specific to this area. Their purpose is to provide education, training, and up-to-date tools and support for business owners to equip them in facing these challenges head-on, and for managing the difficult decisions and their outcomes.

They will enable business owners who find themselves at a crossroads to best navigate the uncertain future that the entire industry is faced with and turn their business’s fortunes around. In the worst case scenarios, At The Pass’s expertise will provide them with the much-needed administrative support required to properly deal with and grieve the loss of their businesses and their livelihoods. Business owners will also be ably assisted in planning for a new career post closure.

At The Pass will run two online sessions that deal with concerns surrounding pre, post, and almost (but not quite) experiences of business closure. The first, an online webinar where users can join anonymously, named ‘Managing Changes & Big Decisions’ will run on Monday 23rd January 2023, with the second, an interactive online workshop called ‘Wrapping Up A Business & Moving On’ taking place the following week on Monday 30th January 2023.

These online sessions are proudly sponsored by Ballymaloe Foods, The Front Room public house, KPP Group (both based in Kilkenny), and PKF O’Connor, Leddy & Holmes amongst others, and have been given the full backing of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, and Chef Network. Bord Bia is also supportive of these sessions and the assistance they will provide to food business owners facing difficult times.

At The Pass Webinar/Workshop Structure:

‘Managing Changes & Big Decisions’ Webinar Monday 23rd January 2023 (9.15am start)

A one day online webinar (anonymous attendance) for business owners who are struggling and have considered business closure, but wish to remain in business and are looking for ideas and strategies to turn their business around.

  • Assist participants in identifying and addressing areas for potential change
  • Assist participants in assessing their business including their business model, performance and future directions
  • Provide safe and impartial information, suggestions, advice and tools to assist participants in troubleshooting, revising their strategy, and making necessary decisions for them and their business
  • Identify sources of support

‘Wrapping Up A Business & Moving On’ Workshop – Monday 30th January 2023 (9.15am start)

A full day interactive workshop for business owners who have already closed their businesses, are dealing with the administrative and emotional aftermath and are trying to figure out what their next opportunities will be.

  • Celebrate participants’ businesses and their achievements
  • Build resilience & process emotionality
  • Provide impartial advice on the processes of closing a business
  • Assist participants in figuring out their next career steps
  • Assist participants in managing the public narrative around the closure of their business

The cost to a business for attending the webinar/workshop most relevant to them and availing of the tailored specialist expertise that At The Pass will expose them to on the day is a nominal €5.00 fee. Business Owners and Managers can book their place online via

All the Pass
Left to Right: Leading Irish academics and industry experts, Dr. Noel Murray (Head of Department for Tourism & Hospitality at Munster Technological University), Dr. Orla Byrne (Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship at University College Dublin), and Food Business Coach, Tracie Daly, have collectively formed At The Pass to help guide hospitality businesses in their hour of need

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