Ireland’s hospitality sector could take up to four years to recover from the Covid-19 crisis, Supermac’s owner Pat McDonagh has warned.
He described the hit to the sector as “unprecedented”, with sales across his Só Hotel brand likely to be down more than 80 per cent this year.
While closer-to-home tourism from the UK and other European countries might resume in the near future, he said it was unlikely the US tourist trade, which underpins much of the sector, would return to pre-pandemic levels for several years.
Mr McDonagh was speaking as his Supermac’s group announced plans for another plaza-style service station.
The proposed €10 million development, adjacent to the Galway-Limerick motorway and the Limerick tunnel, would be similar to existing facilities such as the Barack Obama Plaza in Co Tipperary,The plan is to have a service station and food court – with Supermac’s, Papa John’s Pizza and Bewley’s Coffee brands – plus 12 charging points for electric vehicles.
Mr McDonagh said the Barack Obama Plaza gets an annual throughput of customers of about 600,000 and the aim was to achieve half or two-thirds of that in Limerick.
The company is due to submit a planning application to Limerick City Council in the coming days.