Monday 12 November 2007

Won't somebody please think of the publicans?

According to today's Irish times...

Rural pubs are going out of business faster than ever, figures from the Revenue Commissioners show. With almost 450 fewer pub licences issued or renewed last year compared with 2005, vintners have called for subsidised rural transport schemes and a relaxation of gambling restrictions to help stem the trend of pub closures.

In total, almost 1,000 pubs have gone out of business in the past three years, most of them in rural areas. Urban bars are faring better while the off-licence sector continues to boom....

The report goes on to say that " Publicans blame stricter drink driving laws and a lack of public transport options in rural areas for their falling trade". Bollox! I blame the fact that 2 vokas, a coke, a white wine and a long neck bottle of bulmers at Vicar Street on Friday night cost a little over €23. A quick trip over to, and the following can be bought for a grand total of €27.43

Smirnoff Red Label Vodka 35cl........... €11.38
Coca Cola Contour 1.5 Ltrs..................... €1.61
Jacobs Creek Chardonnay 75cl.............. €6.99
Bulmers Light 4 Btsx 330ml.................. €7.45

Even allowing for ever more generous measures of vodka as the drink starts to flow and your motor neuron skills suffer as a result, that is at least 4 rounds for a little more than the price of 1 round in Vicar Street. For an extra fiver or so you can pick up a packet of pringles, some peanuts and Walker's Sweet Chilli Crips (the big bag) and still save about €60 over 4 rounds. €60 which could help cover, oh I don't know, the impending TV license hike maybe, health insurance (because you wouldn't take your chances with public health care at the minute), the imminent motor tax hike, the... well you get the jist.

I appreciate that publicans have costs to cover so a certain price difference is to be expected. I am also aware that they are in business to make money so they have to add a little something on top so they can keep living. But um (and I hate to be the one to point this out) Tesco also have certain overheads and are also in business to make a profit so the price differences shouldn't be that great... and don't forget kids, the poor, shabbily dressed publicans can buy their bottle of Smirnoff Red Label Vodka at wholesale prices....AND then claim the VAT back!

Now, the other thing is this: where do the publican's get off calling for the government to step in and help them out of their little predicament. Cheeky bastards - its a problem of your own making so, when you've finished rubbing your eyes in disbelief at that little home truth, why not sit down, pour yourself a large brandy and figure out what YOU can do about it.

I know a number of people who run their own businesses and are starting to feel the pinch as the economy slows down and people are a little more careful with their money. They aren't running to the government, cap in hand pleading "nobody is using our service, can't you do something to artifically inflate demand". They are dealing with it themselves by applying sound business principles and making their products or services more attractive or better value for money.

Maybe thats the problem - publican's don't seem to have any principles.

1 comment:

Grandad said...

Bring back smoking in pubs!!!!

That'll solve the problem :)