Irish staff 'essential in bars' - publican Chawke
One of the country's best known publicans, Charlie Chawke, has said that the secret to success at his pub group is ensuring frontline staff are Irish.
Mr Chawke said that his pubs - the vast majority of which are based in Dublin - have a winning formula and that includes Irish staff at the bar counter and on the floor.
The owner of the nine-strong pub group said that bar and floor employees at his business "have to be Irish and they show that the Cead Mile Failte is still alive and well, thank God".
He said: "I believe it is essential to have Irish staff behind the bar or on the floor because they have the blas and the personality to get on with customer. Irish staff know what is going on in Croke Park or in the rugby or what is happening around the country."
When it was put to him that his strong preference for front-line Irish staff may attract criticism, Mr Chawke said: "You have to run your business the way you see it."
"The Irish pub is the number one attraction for overseas tourists and tourists want to meet Irish people with great personalities and share a laugh with them and that is what they get when they come to our pubs," he said.
"We train our staff to a very high standard and our staff, along with the value for money and quality of food and drink we sell, are the main reasons we have been able to survive in this recession."
The group employs 400 and Mr Chawke said that his pub group is still feeling the effects of the recession.
"I don't see anyone buying champagne at our pubs just yet. They might be buying Prosecco, but that is a lot cheaper than champagne," he laughed.