herald

Saturday 25 October 2014

Celtic cubs snub fine dining for takeaway fish and chips as recession starts to bite

Irish people are now choosing to fork out on takeaways instead of pricey sit-down restaurant meals, as the recession hits.

Fast-food outlets, which are usually quiet during the summer months, have seen a steady increase in sales this year.

This is a knock-on effect of the credit crunch, according to managers of take-away restaurants all around the city.

Leo Burdock's Fish and Chips which has branches all over the capital say they have been notably busier compared to this time last year.

"With the recession people can't afford to sit down and eat," says Denis Burdock, the area manager.

"A lot of people are looking for value. They're coming in and getting the specials."

Flocking

Dubliners are flocking in droves to the city chippers for a gastronomic treat as a restaurant recession is hitting the capital.

Those in the industry believe that fast-food companies will benefit from the economic situation, where tighter purse strings will mean having a takeaway rather than a meal out for a family treat.

Families are saying goodbye to the days of get-togethers in restaurants which can cost up to €30 per head. Parents are choosing the sitting room couch instead of pricey eateries for a family treat.

Macari's takeaway has also seen a busy trade. The fast food chain would normally be very quiet at this time of year.

"People are not eating out as much," says Joan Roache, the area manager for the pizza chain.

The summer months usually see a slump in trade for the takeaway business with the builders' and school holidays bringing down their custom.

However, Charlie McCracken from Burdock's says that they have "maintained the sales" and they are "up on last year".

Domino's UK and Ireland have seen a change in customer habits also.

"The trend that we are witnessing so far is that many consumers are 'trading down', which means that they are eating out less often and staying at home," says chairman Stephen Hemsley.

Report

A recent report which looked at the eating habits of Irish families revealed that a large portion of meals in Ireland are not eaten or prepared at home.

"In Ireland, 33pc of food is eaten or prepared outside the home," says Patrick Wall, Associate Professor at UCD School of Public Health and Popular Science.

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