Spending in pubs and restaurants could fall by €5bn this year

Even in its best-case scenario – taking into account the impact of falling tourism figures – spending is set to fall to €4.7bn. File photo

The amount of money consumers – across the island of Ireland – are likely to spend on out-of-home eating and drinking across restaurants, pubs, cafés and hotels could fall by almost €5bn this year, Bord Bia has forecast.

In a detailed analysis of the impact of Covid-19 on Ireland’s foodservice industry, Bord Bia said in a worst-case scenario out-of-home consumer spend could fall from €8.5bn at the beginning of this year to €3.7bn at the end.

Even in its best-case scenario – taking into account the impact of falling tourism figures – spending is set to fall to €4.7bn.

At worst, spending in pubs could fall by almost 70%, coffee shops could be down 34% and hotel spending could fall 67%, Bord Bia said.

It said social distancing rules will pose a challenge even when outlets begin to reopen and expects the crisis to result in more consolidation among restaurants, an increase in takeaway services and pre-prepared food offerings and smaller menus.

“We understand, from listening to food and drink suppliers servicing this market, that access to timely data and insights is crucial for them as they look to revise their plans and activities for the second half of 2020,” said Bord Bia foodservice specialist Maureen Gahan.