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Supermac’s has spent more than €6m on housing its staff, says Pat McDonagh


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The fast-food group employs in excess of 2,000 people

‘It is difficult to get staff,’ says Pat McDonagh of Supermac’s. Photo: Frank McGrath

Supermac’s boss Pat McDonagh has stated that his group has spent between €6m and €7m on purchasing houses for staff accommodation.

In an interview, Mr McDonagh said that the recruitment of staff is “the biggest challenge” facing his fast food and hospitality business today.

He said there are currently between 200 and 250 Supermac’s staff living in accommodation – mainly houses – which were specifically purchased as staff residences.

Asked how much Supermac’s has spent on purchasing properties to accommodate staff, Mr McDonagh said: “It is a guesstimate, but you’re talking between €6m to €7m.”

He added: “In a lot of areas, we are accommodating staff where it is difficult to get accommodation. It is not always possible – but where we can, we do.

“You need to have a stable workforce – and if you can provide accommodation at a reasonable rate, then it is beneficial to both parties.”

The fast-food group today employs “well in excess of 2,000 people” with 45 different nationalities among the workforce.

“It is difficult to get staff, especially Irish staff at the minute,” he said.

New accounts for Supermac’s (Holdings) Ltd have shown pre-tax profits increased by 15pc to €34.02m in 2022. This followed revenues increasing by €80.6m, or 41pc, from €195.69m to €276.2m in 2022.

Mr McDonagh said that 2022 “was a recovery year and a pretty good year”.

He said that annual revenues increased by another 15pc in 2023.

He said: “Turnover is one thing but the margin is another – and margins are getting eroded by extra costs – including wage costs, food costs and recruitment costs – while energy costs have more doubled since 2019.”

Mr McDonagh said that 2024 is more challenging because of the rising costs “and people in certain quarters are tightening their belts”.

The group recorded post-tax profit of €28.95m last year after incurring a corporation tax charge of €5.07m.

Profits for 2022 further strengthened the group’s balance sheet with accumulated profits of €216.85m at the end of 2022. Cash funds rose from €61.58m to €85.97m.

Mr McDonagh said the group operates 116 Supermac’s outlets and is “planning to open two to three this year”. Staff costs in 2022 increased from €38.99m to €52.98m as numbers employed increased from 1,503 to 1,711.

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