Supermac's boss Pat McDonagh has confirmed that the group is now recruiting workers from overseas due to a shortage of Irish applicants.

Mr McDonagh said that over the past two months and up to the end of the year, Supermac's will have recruited over 100 EU workers who do not require work permits from eastern Europe, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Mr McDonagh stated that one of the reasons for the shortage of workers here is the Government’s Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

"I think the PUP caused people to get a bit lazy," he said.

"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 only able to open 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."

"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."

Mr McDonagh said staffing for his business is currently its biggest challenge.

"We are in the process of recruiting from these countries because the staff just aren’t available in Ireland," he said.

Supermac's is currently fitting out a new motorway plaza outside Tuam in Co Galway.

"It is as simple as this," he said.

"We would have 70% Irish staff on the team for the Tuam site but if we didn’t have the 30% non Irish national staff we would not be able to open it without them."

Mr McDonagh stated that the Supermac's group has a person working full-time recruiting staff from abroad.

He said that this is not the first time that the group has recruited actively from overseas stating that there was a similar recruitment drive from Malaysia in 2004.

He added that the breakdown for the 100 workers recruited from overseas will be 55 working in Supermac's fast food outlets and 45 working in the group’s hotels.

Mr McDonagh stated that across the Supermac's group, the breakdown of workers by nationality is 80% Irish and 20% foreign workers.

The Supermac's boss stated that the chain would usually look after the accommodation needs of the newly arrived workers for the first couple of weeks or first month and then help find more permanent accommodation for them.

"It is working out pretty well - they are happy and we are happy. That’s it," he added.