Back to Top

 Skip navigation

Food & Beverage Service Activities

Food & Beverage Service Activities

The Food & Beverage Service sector employed 112,100 people

CSO statistical publication, , 11am

Key Variables

Food & Beverage Service Activities (I56) had a total of 15,370 active enterprises in 2020. These enterprises generated more than €4.7 billion in turnover, €1.9 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA), and accounted for more than 112,000 persons engaged.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), employing fewer than 250 people, accounted for almost all (99.8%) enterprises in this sector in 2020, while large enterprises (250+ persons engaged) made up the remaining 0.2%.

X-axis labelLarge (250+ persons engaged)SMEs (<250 persons engaged)
Active Enterprises0.299.8
Persons Engaged12.787.3
Gross Value Added16.683.4

Restaurants & Mobile Food Service Activities accounted for more than half (54.5%) of the total number of enterprises in the Food & Beverage Service Activities sector in 2020. It had more than 60% of persons engaged and generated more than 60% of both turnover and GVA.

X-axis labelEvent catering and other food service activities (I56.2)Beverage serving activites (I56.3)Restaurants and mobile food service activities (I56.1)
Active Enterprises6.339.354.5
Persons Engaged8.93160.1
Gross Value Added11.727.960.4
6.1 Food & Beverage Service Activities by size class and key variables, 2020

Breakdown of Business Costs

The Food & Beverage Service Activities sector purchased almost €3.0 billion worth of goods and services in 2020. The highest business cost was Goods for Resale which represented 40.5% of total costs. Labour costs (Wages & salaries and Social security costs) were the next largest cost at 31.9%.

Business Costs
Wages and
Goods for resale40.5
Indirect taxes0.8
6.2 Breakdown of Business Costs for Food & Beverage Service Activities, 2020

Food sector indices and monthly change

The Monthly Services Index for the Food & Beverage Service sector shows turnover and volume for the sector on a monthly basis. There is a peak each year in December and during the summer months with the lowest point being in February each year. The series is seasonally adjusted to remove this element to allow short term trends to be identified. The value index shows the trend in turnover in the sector and the volume series removes the change due to price change. Since January 2015 to March 2020 a trend of increases in the Value and Volume could be seen. When COVID-19 restrictions were imposed the monthly trends were much more dramatic for the seasonally adjusted volume data as the normal patterns were changed In January 2021 the largest monthly seasonally adjusted decline in was observed (-38.3%). There were other large monthly declines seen in April 2020 (-34.4%), October 2020 (-31.1%), March 2020 (-28.7%), and November 2020 (-27.2%). When restrictions were lifted or reduced large monthly increases were seen. The largest ones being in December 2020 (+63.5%), July 2020 (+30.8%) and July 2021 (+27.6%). Since the end of COVID-19 restrictions on the sector in 2021 the sector has shown an upward trend.

Figure 6.3 Seasonally adjusted indices of Monthly Service Index for the Food & Beverage sector, January 2017 - December 2022 (Provisional)

Food & Beverage sector refers to NACEs I561 and I562 and excludes NACE I563. December 2022 is provisional data.

6.3 Seasonally adjusted indices of Monthly Service Index for the Food & Beverage sector