Irish Pubs With A Food Focus Attract More Visitors

By Robert McHugh
Irish Pubs With A Food Focus Attract More Visitors

Casual-dining restaurants and pubs with a food focus were the most popular channels for the Irish drinks trade during a three-month period.

This is according to the latest CGA by NIQ’s Ireland OPUS 2023 Report, which leverages on-premise market measurement, location planning, sales targeting, and consumer research to track consumer eating- and drinking-out behaviours.

The report shows a higher proportion of consumers visiting pubs, bars and restaurants for food-led occasions, but it’s drink-led visitors who visit the on-trade more frequently and spend more when they are out.

Shifting Aspects

Not surprisingly, current market factors – such as the cost-of-living crisis, increases in VAT, and the availability of certain produce – are all having an impact on consumer spend.

CGA claims that all these shifting aspects have an influence – not only on consumers’ willingness to spend, but on their overall experience when they are out in venues.


Most Popular Venues

The report shows that food-led occasions remain the core driver to the trade, with 37% of all-Ireland consumers going out weekly for food-led visits, increasing by 1pp versus last year.

As a result, casual-dining restaurants and pubs with a food focus were the most popular channels visited by Irish consumers during a three-month period, followed by drinking pubs and bars.

It is estimated that 38% of consumers who visit drinking pubs do so weekly, versus 20% for food-led pubs.

In addition to visiting more frequently, they also have a higher-than-average spend when they are out.

Younger Consumers

In terms of demographics, a typically younger crowd is going out weekly for drink-led occasions, compared to frequent food-led visits.


This is particularly the case for younger consumers living in a city or town centre (+8pp vs food-led visitors), over-indexing for young male consumers (+13pp).

Average Household Income

The frequent drink-led visitor also has a slightly higher average household income and spends more per month in the on-premise.

This consumer category in the Republic of Ireland claims to spend €211 per month on eating and drinking out, versus €189 for the frequent food-led visitor.

‘Right Balance’

“With the continuance of challenging market conditions, the report provides invaluable insights into not only the type of visits driving consumers to the trade, but also the value and difference between the two,” said Sian Brennan, client director at CGA Ireland.

“As a result, sales teams, brand managers, [and] on-trade category teams forearmed with this analysis are empowered to strike the right balance in catering to both consumer groups, ensuring a […] food- and drink-focused strategy [is] accounted for in brand plans.”