A new survey shows that due to the mounting cost of living pressures people are planning to cut back on the number of their visits to pubs for the rest of the year.
The CGA (Curren Goodden Associates) Cost of Living Consumer Pulse Survey found that 42% of Irish adults plan to visit hospitality venues far less often between now and New Year's Eve.
The survey was carried out across Ireland and the UK last month.
The survey data has prompted Vintners' Federation of Ireland chief executive Paul Clancy to call for urgent and substantive energy supports for the pub trade in Budget 2023.
Mr Clancy said that pubs can not pass on increases to customers already under financial strain.
He said fuel bills for the country's 7,000 heavily energy-reliant pubs are soaring and this latest crisis comes after the Covid pandemic which saw the permanent closure of many pubs nationwide.
"The survey findings paint a bleak future for the pubs of Ireland, their staff and the communities where they often provide a vital social hub," said Mr Clancy, whose organisation represents 4,000 publicans.
"With 42% of pub-goers expected to curtail visits due to cost of living pressures, it is vital that Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe provides urgent and substantive energy supports to the pub trade in Budget 2023," he stated.
"Reduced footfall, coupled with an unprecedented rise in energy costs after 22 months of Covid lockdown closures and restrictions, means we are almost certainly looking at the permanent closure of many more pubs," he cautioned.
Today's survey also found that despite pressures on disposable income, the hospitality industry remains a vital part of people's lives.
69% of those surveyed said that eating or drinking out it is the treat they most look forward to, with 80% stating satisfaction with the quality of the product and service on offer.
There has been a 21% decline in the number of pubs in Ireland since 2005, according to the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland, but the sector still employs 50,000 and generates €60.7m in wages.