Rural pubs need to be raking in at least €8,000 a week to keep the doors open

A new AIB report looked at the state of the Irish pub sector and made some predictions for 2018.

By Fora Staff

IRISH PUBS NEED to be taking in at least €8,000 in sales each week to keep the doors open.

That’s according to AIB’s 2018 Pubs Outlook report which showed that Dublin pubs need to make even more to stay viable.

The figures were outlined by Tony Morrissey, the managing director of Morrissey’s, a Dublin auctioneers that specialises in the pub and hotel sales.

“If a pub is not turning over €8,000 – €9,000 a week in rural areas, then it’s going to be very difficult to survive,” said Morrissey.

“The same is true of Dublin and if a pub is not turning over between €12,000 – €13,000 a week, it’s in trouble.”

The report also found that Dublin pubs have been the quickest to recover from the economic downturn and other Irish cities are following suit.

Source: Flickr/infomatique

Morrissey said that publicans have reacted to notable changes in the past few years including a growing demand for craft beers and spirits like whiskey and gin.

“Although the craft beer market still only represents 4% of the overall market for beer, it’s growing and many pubs now have to offer a number of craft beers to their customers who clearly favour them over the traditional brands. It’s the same with spirits.”

He added that 2018 will continue to see confidence returning to the pub sector.

“We believe that there will be more off-market sales and a reversion to auction as the preferred mode of disposal for quality licensed houses.

“But the demand will still be for well-located properties that enjoy solid population base, offer a good blend of product offering and are well-managed and have quality staff.”

Pub spread

According to the AIB report, Mayo is the county with the most pubs per head of population in Ireland, with one pub for every 323 people.

Source: AIB

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On the other end of the spectrum is Dublin, which has one pub for every 1,649 people in the county. But despite it having the largest population, Dublin isn’t the county with the most pubs.

It is Ireland’s largest county, Cork, that has the most pubs with 955, compared to Dublin’s 772. This means in Cork there is one pub for every 543 people.

With its 373 pubs, Mayo has the most pubs per head of population and other counties closer to this are Kerry which has one pub for every 344 people, Tipperary with one pub for every 350 people and Clare – one pub for every 383 people.

Counties surrounding Dublin are the ones with the least number of pubs per head of population, including Kildare, Wicklow and Meath.

The county with the least amount of pubs is Laois, with 123, closely followed by Offaly, with 126.

With reporting from Sean Murray