The Pretty Charts thread



Hard to explain e.g. the disparity with the UK or France.

Do we really spend twice as much as the Brits? Even as a share of household expenditure?

How do all those French restaurants and cafes keep their doors open if their customers spend so little compared to us?




I’m pretty sure it’s the young workers in the tech companies. I used to work in one of them and I was amazed at the amount of people that would spend money every evening on meals when you could literally get free food all day at work. It baffled me. Also, they would spend all the money they earned by the end of the month and have no savings. Not all of the employees of course, but a sizeable cohort. Just another area of the Irish economy that will take a hit when tech takes a hit in my opinion (I could be quite biased in my views of course).


Maybe it use ta be booze but now it’s grub?


The cost of opening a cafe in France, UK or Spain, where I was recently, is far lower. I bought a glass of wine and a glass of beer for under 4 euro in Barcelona recently. This was the city, in a fabulous place. Eating out is also cheaper in London as far as I can see.

You see much more Non Chain places open on the continent, and there is far more rental space dedicated to them. Rent seems far cheaper, along with administration.

Ireland seems to prefer more expensive ways of doing business


I think you’ve hit on the key point here. It’s not that we Irish are eating out more than the British or the French, it’s simply that we pay more to do so. And this is largely because of the cost of doing business here, especially rent, insurance and wages.

The restaurant business is one of the few truly competitive sectors in the Irish economy. They can charge exorbitant prices because they know their competitors must do likewise to keep the doors open.


Momomo everything. I suspect filling stations are classed as eating out!

Tax i imagine is the main cost for alcohol.


I’ve travelled a fair bit in Europe in recent years. In general you can get a decent sit down lunch with a soft drink for less than 10 Euro. The bigger cities are an exception but I’ve had a two plate lunch in Milan for €7, and a Pizza and a beer in Stuttgart for €8. Many small rural villages in France don’t have even a cafe nowadays but there are still the occassional ones. In the evening I would tend to eat out a bit posher - Germany is definitely the cheapest but I do go to quite a small town there. In most countries unless you go really upmarket you’re generally talking about a main course for €14 and no ridculous over charging for sides, if you just want a glass of wine or a bottle of beer you’re generally talking 3 - 3.50. In Dublin a main course in an equivalent place would be at least 20, most are around 24. I generally eat seafood which is usually cheaper in Dublin. Good meat is expensive in Europe but still not Dublin prices.

In Dublin a sit down lunch is usually at the very least 12-14 (somewhere like boojum can be less than a tenner but there are places like that for the same price or less in Europe). Although people don’t generally drink at lunch here.

If you look at the price of a big mac across France (4.69), Germany(4.35), Italy(4.52) and Ireland(4.54) you find very little variation and Ireland is in the middle.
That lack of variation suggests that the difference is not really in cost of materials (including taxes) , wages etc. although the very high turnover in McDonalds probably keeps costs down.

Even the supermarket cost of wine ( France (7.00), Italy (5.20), Germany (4.99) and Ireland (10.00) isn’t too different and I do remember reading that the markup on wine is similar in France and Ireland - however my experience tells me differently. Expensive wine generally costs the same in Ireland and France but everyday wine is a lot cheaper so the 7.00 bottle in france is seldom charged at more than 10.00 but in Dublin you won’t get that 10.00 bottle under 20 so the price markup in Dublin (10) is more than 3 times that in France(3) . If people go out for a meal here they also usually have a bottle each - in France and Italy they’re a bit more moderate. In Germany they’re too mean to stay drinking in the restaurant - they ususally go on to a bar after eating!

Restaurant rents are very high here - partly because of the history of restaurant failures and the problem of voids - once a place has been kitted out as a restaurant it’s a pretty expensive job to change it to anything else. Restaurants tend to be a vanity thing here as well - they all think they’re superchefs and sometimes they’re supported by money gained in some other way - they think that by charging higher prices they’ll get more kudos - unfortunately it works - the Irish are just not price concious enough.

In France and Italy (probably Germany as well) restaurants are family owned and run, they’ve been in the family for generations - there is no one holding their hand for rent. I eat in a couple of family owned and run restaurants in Dublin - they’ve been there for years - I’d say they make hay in the good times but they manage to ride out the bad times , their customers are faithful. I’ve used a few of them over the years and they gradually die off - they don’t seem to transcend the generations very well so its not quite the same as the continent.


You’re making me feel like emigrating. Yesterday I paid €20 for a biscuit-sized piece of reheated stale lasagne with inedible burned crusty bits, a forkful of coleslaw and two coffees.


In the food emporium in the basement on Moore Street beside Lidl, there’s an all you can eat place for €8. You’ll hesitate to sit down there, and you’ll be the only non-ethnic customer, but the food is really excellent IMO.



… back on topic! :sandm:

*on further reflection the term “non-ethnic” makes no sense. How can one be non-ethnic if you are Irish or not Irish. You are still ethnic-something… do I have to go to ROOM 101 now? :icon_sad:


Surely these days you can identify as ethnicity neutral :grinning:


Pretty Charts (more info and links here )




Many thanks PS.

Interesting that the only area / sector in the country that has seen a substantial decline for any period since 2013 is DLR and prices there seem to have stabilised over the past 6 months.

I think the Central Bank has got it right. Their mortgage rules have stabilised prices around the country. If only the CB could bring our mortgage rates down to the Euroarea average. That would make housing more affordable especially for FTBs without increasing house prices.


Only way to do that is repossession of houses with unpaid mortgages and a much larger market. I don’t know which is more likely to happen.


Pretty Charts (more info and links here )




Thanks again PS.
Dublin rents seem to be stabilising with 2beds at around 2.2K. Way too high but at least the situation is not spiralling further out of control. Rents could soften quickly if supply comes on this year.

The price per sq.m. in the cities is quite seasonal. I would expect ~5% increase in March/April as new properties come on stream. This would be consistent with price stability because the properties that don’t sell in the Spring are reduced in price in the Summer/Autumn.


Turns out it is just over 50% vacant…

Over 50% vacant


Pretty Charts (more info and links here )




Pretty Charts (more info and links here )



The site has changed its front end. I’m hoping there’s still enough data there to be able to scrape it, but for now my scraper is broken. Hopefully back in action next month.

Meanwhile, the PPR and numbers are sobering. To early to say if the “great leveling off” of last year is over, but there seems to be an upward tick in both recent sales and current asking prices. Perhaps it’s the same easing of Brexit fears that has seen prices increase in the UK.