Sunday 22 April 2018

Revealed: How much your local pub needs to make to stay open

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Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Last year saw a 6pc increase in turnover in card sales for Ireland’s pub sector, according to AIB’s 2018 Pubs Outlook.

Food was a key driver of growth for the period, with food service in pubs reaching a market size of €982m in 2017, up 3pc year-on-year.

And increasing numbers of Irish publicans are accepting card payments, with some city centre pubs now achieving 80pc of their turnover from credit and debit cards, according to Visa.

However in order to keep their doors open pubs need to be turning over between €8,000 and €13,000 a week, according to Tony Morrissey, MD of Morrissey’s, the Dublin-based auctioneering and consultancy firm that specialises in the pub and hotel sector.

"If a pub is not turning over €8,000-€9,000 a week in rural areas, then it’s going to be very difficult for them to survive," Mr Morrissey said.

He went on to say that the same is true of pubs in the capital.

"If a pub [in Dublin] is not turning over between €12,000 and €13,000 a week, it’s in trouble."

Despite the high level of turnover needed, David McCarthy, head of hospitality & tourism, at AIB Retail & Business Banking maintains that the pub sector in Ireland, which is made up of nearly 7,200 pubs across the country, is performing strongly.

"Strong economic growth, customer sentiment, falling unemployment and a record year for tourism means that the Irish pub sector is performing strongly and there is a sense of optimism within the sector that we haven’t seen in many years," Mr McCarthy said.

Despite a decline in visitor numbers from the UK last year, the number of UK visitors visiting pubs in Ireland actually increased during the period.

However the report warned on the level of exposure to UK visitors, and the implications of further sterling devaluations.

"As many of the wholesalers currently import goods cross border, there may be indirect exposure to additional costs coming because of Brexit. This may erode margins for publicans across the country," Mr McCarthy said.

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