THE VAST MAJORITY of publicans believe that trade in the sector will get worse, with over three quarters reporting a slump in spending, a new study commissioned by the Vintners Association says.
Spending on drinks is down, with a large number of respondents reporting a drop in the amount of money spent on food.
According to accounting firm RSM Farrell Grant Sparks, which surveyed 415 people in the trade throughout Ireland, 76 per cent of publicans reported a fall in spending on drink, with 68 per cent reporting that spending on food was also down.
82 per cent said they expected prospects for the licensed pub industry to deteriorate further, with 90 per cent stating that the number of weekly visits by customers has fallen.
“This survey has added to the growing data that shows just how difficult conditions are for publicans throughout Ireland” said Padraig Cribben, CEO of the Vintners Federation of Ireland.
Notwithstanding the shift in culture towards health and drinking alcohol, the lack of disposable income and competition from grocery chains that can sell alcohol below cost price are just two factors that contribute to a bleak outlook for the future of the Irish pub and for publicans in Ireland.
He said that despite efforts by publicans to improve their services, by offering discounts on drink prices and offering entertainment, the industry would continue to suffer from a reduction in consumer spending and the increasing trend of drinking at home.