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Report by DCUBS economist, Anthony Foley, shows big decline in licensed premises

2nd November 2009

The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) has today published its “Survey of Licensed Premises 2009”, the largest ever research exercise undertaken on the Irish on-licensed sector.

The report, compiled by DCU economist Mr Anthony Foley, is DIGI’s sixth Survey of Licensed Premises and covers the period 2004-2009. The main conclusions of the report are that during that period employment has decreased, sales revenues have fallen, and labour costs have increased in pubs, restaurants, hotels, and nightclubs.

Mr Anthony Foley, Lecturer in Economics at DCUBS

Speaking at the launch of the report, Anthony Foley stated, “This survey, which was conducted by Amarach Research via a telephone survey of a representative sample of 748 licensed premises, is the largest research exercise undertaken on the Irish on-licensed sector and reflects its economic and social impact."

“The overall picture is one of a sector suffering a period of sharp decline, with a large majority (70%) of all licensed premises surveyed reporting a decrease in net sales over the past five years.

“Moreover, the majority of licensed premises have relatively low annual sales revenues. 49% of all premises have annual sales revenues below €200,000, while at the low end, 27% of pubs located outside Dublin have annual sales revenues of less than €60,000.

“These declining revenues have had an impact on employment with 47% of all premises surveyed reporting a decrease in their staff levels over the five year period. This figure rises to 65% for pubs and bars in Dublin.

“At the same time, the on-trade remains employment intensive, with 75,000 people currently working in pubs, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, at an average of seven staff per premises. As a consequence, labour costs are significant. The share of wages and salaries in net sales is at or over 25% for 30% of licensed premises compared with 19% of premises in 2003.”

Mr Anthony Foley is Lecturer in Economics at DCU Business School. Mr Foley has written extensively on different aspects of Irelands industrial development including two edited books on multinationals and the impact of the single European market, numerous book chapters and articles of indigenous industrial performance. He has undertaken overseas assignments in economics for the world bank and the EU in Africa and Asia. He has been an advisor to Forfas, IDA and Enterprise Ireland. He is currently an economic advisor and research advisor to the Drinks industry Group which includes Diageo, Bulmers and Irish Distillers and is economic advisor to the Irish Hotels Federation.


Download a copy of the full report (pdf)