BARS in Enniskillen are upping their prices as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite deeper.
A pint of beer has gone up by 20p and spirits will be 10p more expensive in town centre pubs.
Soaring energy prices have been given as the reason for the cash hike as publicans struggle to deal with spiralling costs.
“There was a huge jump in our last electricity bill,” Una Burns, bar manager of Charlie’s Bar, said.
“It’s ludicrous that it went up this significantly. This is variable as well, so it could increase even further in the future.
“Everything is soaring and it’s not just energy bills. Delivery costs, the cost of buying the alcohol/food – it’s all going up in price. It’s becoming impossible to run a business the way things are.”
Last month Heineken also said it was increasing its keg prices by 9 per cent, following “significant increases in the cost of energy, packaging, and raw materials.” This saw its products like Moretti and Amstel beers also going up in price locally.
The loyalty card scheme in operation at Charlie’s Bar is at least helping drinkers deal with having to pay 20p more for a beer.
“Because we are using the loyalty card it means that customers will get 10 per cent of whatever they pay back on their card, and they can redeem whatever they build up on it,” Ms Burns explained.
“It means that in the long run customers get the benefit of what they spend. People have found the price increase easier to swallow because of this. It’s repaying customers for their loyalty.”
However, new research has found that pubs and breweries will face major financial losses, make no profit and many will be forced to shut if the UK government’s energy bill relief scheme is not extended for them beyond March 31, 2023.
The report produced for the British Beer and Pub Association by Frontier Economics showed energy costs were the biggest threat to bars’ viability and would be even more lethal when the relief scheme ends in April.
That’s if pubs in the North ever get any money from the energy bill relief scheme.
“To what extent this scheme will make a difference we’ll just have to wait and see, but Stormont isn’t meeting at the moment anyway, so who knows when anything will be done,” Ms Burns said.
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