There was a time in Ireland when ‘pub grub’ consisted of a packet of peanuts or crisps. But all that is about to change as the sector tries to adapt in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown.
Now it seems more than four out of every ten pubs in Dublin are planning on reopening ‘essentially as restaurants’ on 29th June according to new figures released by the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA).
In light of this data, the LVA has called on the Government to follow through on their promise to engage with the sector about the future of pubs.
The figures were revealed in a survey conducted by the LVA between Monday 18th May and Tuesday 19th May, with 44% confirming their intention to reopen on 29th June.
When applied to the 750 pubs located across the capital, that means approximately 330 are planning to reopen.
These pubs have restaurant certificates and accordingly are regarded as ‘licensed restaurants.’
The survey also revealed that food is available from more than seven out of every 10 Dublin pubs, with 72% confirming they serve food on their premises.
The LVA are advocating that all pubs that serve food be allowed open on 29 June on the same basis as restaurants.
Speaking in reaction to the survey, LVA Chief Executive Donall O’Keeffe said, “This again highlights the urgent need for the Government to engage with the pub sector. More than four out of every 10 pubs across Dublin are gearing up to reopen as restaurants next month. This reflects the strong emphasis many pubs throughout Dublin have put on food service in recent years.
“These venues have restaurant certificates and are just as capable of following the public health guidelines as restaurants and cafes. Food is a major aspect of their business so why should they be treated differently to other venues serving food and alcohol? We expect there will be a strong demand for these venues, with many pubs reporting a significant public appetite for when they will be serving food again. Bord Bia research also shows more people eat out at pubs than they do at full service restaurants or cafes.’
“We made it clear this would happen when the roadmap was announced, but we are still awaiting a meeting with Government to discuss the future for pubs, despite their public comments that they will meet the vintner organisations quickly. Our members cannot remain in limbo and are now actively planning for re-opening on the same basis and at the same time as restaurants,” Mr. O’Keeffe concluded.
The roadmap to reopening the country was never going to be clearcut, neither were the type of economic models that bricks and mortar based businesses would have to operate when social distancing is taken into account.
Dublin pubs have a population, a passing trade and the capacity to operate as restaurants, where does that leave rural pubs?🤔