More than a fifth of pubs in Ireland have continuing costs of up to €2,000 a week to sustain while generating no revenue during lockdown, according to new research from the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI).
The research, conducted among 1,085 publicans in Ireland last week, reveals that over one fifth (22 per cent) have incurred continuing costs of between €1,000 and €2,000 per week for items such as salaries, salary top-ups, rent and maintenance, among others, during the lockdown.
Over half (60 per cent) of publicans said that Government subsidies cover only 20 per cent or less of their costs per month.
For those who have been allowed to reopen under Government guidelines in recent months, one in four (40 per cent) report a decline of over 50 per cent in trade compared to the same period last year. A further 40 per cent say that reduced demand and Covid restrictions have resulted in a reduction of over 60 per cent in profits on the same period last year.
15 per cent of pubs have reopened only part time due to the reduced level of business as a result of Covid restrictions.
According to the research, one in four publicans have accumulated over €20,000 in debt as a result of their business being closed due to Covid restrictions, while 15 per cent of pubs have accumulated over €50,000.
One third state that there is a moderate chance that their business will close permanently. More than two thirds (67 per cent) of publicans say that their mental health has suffered as a result of trying to keep their business afloat during the last seven months of restrictions.
Liam Reid, chair of DIGI, said: “The impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on the drinks and hospitality sector in Ireland continues to be severe. As the entire country is placed on Level 3, the drinks and hospitality industry is effectively operating under Level 4 restrictions and Dublin ‘wet’ pubs under Level 5. With further restrictions an inevitability, coupled with a lack of a coherent strategy or any certainty, the sector requires a direct response and targeted support measures.”