Food-service revenues to dip €4bn but 2021 recovery expected

Bord Bia report forecasts a 47% decline in turnover for pubs, restaurants and caterers

Bord Bia’s latest report suggests revenues will total €4.5bn this year.

Bord Bia’s latest report suggests revenues will total €4.5bn this year.


Revenues in the Irish food-service industry are expected to be down €4 billion this year due to the Covid crisis but will likely bounce back next year, a new report suggests.

While the predicted revenue loss makes for grim reading it is less than the €5 billion predicted by Bord Bia in an earlier forecast issued in May.

Food service is the general term used to describe all food prepared and consumed out of the home. It covers everything from pubs, restaurants, cafes and hotels, to catering services offered in institutional settings such as workplaces, hospitals and educational institutions.

Bord Bia’s latest report suggests revenues will total €4.5 billion this year, down 47 per cent versus 2019 and the first decline in eight years.

Last year, turnover in the sector topped €6.3 billion in the Republic and €2.2 billion in the North. This year the prediction is that revenues will total €3.3 billion and €1.2 billion respectively.

Bord Bia predicted a recovery is likely next year but warned against a return to normal. The agency predicts that in a best-case scenario, the market could see an uplift of as much as 41 per cent. However, in a worst-case situation this could be as low as 16 per cent.

“The performance of the food-service industry is intrinsically linked to economic conditions, tourism and employment – all of which will continue to be challenged in 2021,” said Maureen Gahan, sector specialist at Bord Bia.

“The changing landscape will have a long-term impact on revenue and profitability – everything from the drive from consumers for keener value pricing, to the shift away from city centre and high street locations to the challenge of recruiting and training new staff,” she added.

Bord Bia advised several trends that are likely to continue as a result of the pandemic. These include the need for new layouts in premises, a push to offer more takeaway offerings and potential supply chain issues.

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