Supermac’s boss says PUP caused ‘people to get a little lazy’

Group is recruiting workers from overseas due to domestic shortage

Supermac’s boss Pat McDonagh says the group is now recruiting workers from overseas due to a shortage of Irish applicants “as the PUP caused people to get a bit lazy”.

Mr McDonagh said that by the end of the year the company would have recruited 100 workers from eastern Europe, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The new employees do not need permits to work here.

“There are multiple reasons why Irish people are not interested in working in Supermac’s and, unfortunately, there is a scarcity of workers for every line of work right now with some businesses able to open only two days a week because of a shortage of staff.

“A lot of Irish have moved on from the catering business – maybe because of the uncertainty of it and maybe because of the unsociable hours,” he said.


“Also, people realise the work-life balance needs to be changed because they feel it was a rat race up until now and they want to spend more time with the kids and family.”

He said staffing for his business was now its biggest challenge.

"We are in the process of recruiting from these countries because the staff just aren't available in Ireland. "


Commenting on Supermac’s opening a new motorway plaza outside Tuam in Co Galway, Mr McDonagh said: “It is as simple as this. We would have 70 per cent Irish staff on the team for the Tuam site but if we didn’t have the 30 per cent non-Irish national staff, we would not be able to open it without them.”

He said the company had a person working full-time recruiting staff from abroad and this wasn’t the first time the group had recruited actively from overseas, citing a similar recruitment drive in Malaysia in 2004.

Mr McDonagh said 55 of the new recruits would be working in Supermac’s fast food outlets and 45 working in the group’s hotels.

The breakdown of workers by nationality across the group was 80 per cent Irish and 20 per cent foreign workers, he said.

Supermac’s usually looks after the accommodation needs of the newly arrived workers for the first couple of weeks and then helps them find more permanent accommodation. “It is working out pretty well; they are happy and we are happy. That’s it,” Mr McDonagh said.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times