In light of this, the LVA has again called on the Government to follow through on their so-far-unfulfilled promise to engage with the sector about the future of pubs.
The LVA is advocating that all pubs that serve food be allowed open on the 29th June on the same basis as restaurants as part of an ‘early Phase 2’.
The figures emerged in a survey conducted by the LVA between Monday the 18th May and Tuesday the 19th May which found that food is available in over seven in 10 Dublin pubs, with 72% confirming they serve food on their premises and 44% of Dublin pubs confirming their intention to re-open on the 29th June. With 750 pubs located across the capital, this indicates that approximately 330 plan to re-open as they’ve restaurant certificates thus making them licensed restaurants.
“This again highlights the urgent need for the Government to engage with the pub sector,” commented LVA Chief Executive Donall O’Keeffe speaking about the survey, “More than four out of every 10 pubs across Dublin are gearing up to re-open 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 cafés. 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.”
Both the LVA and the Vintners Federation of Ireland have been pressing for pubs to re-open at the same time and on the same basis as cafés and restaurants.
Recognising the challenge of maintaining social distancing in a hospitality environment, the organisations have already put forward radical changes to the normal operation of bars in order to protect public health.
The LVA recently described Government measures to keep pubs shut while allowing other foodservice venues to re-open as a “massive slap in the face for the entire pub sector” which would increase the number of permanent job losses and threaten their future viability while the VFI stated that such a scenario “would create a two-tier hospitality sector and would place pubs at a huge disadvantage as they attempt to rebuild their businesses”.
Donall O’Keeffe concluded, “We made it clear this would happen when the roadmap was announced but we’re 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.”
With over 7,000 pubs here compared to 2,800 licensed restaurants, pubs serve customers in every village, town and city across the country.