A survey conducted by the Westmeath Topic on 20 bars around Mullingar has concluded that there is a staffing shortage in the build-up to a busy summer for the town.
Local bars were asked have they struggled to find staff since the easing of restrictions with 75% of bars saying they had.
When asked whether they were currently short staffed, 55% of bars said that they were.
In the anonymous survey, four publicans said that the now-terminated Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) has had a lasting affect on bringing new staff into the industry.
The €350 flat rate payment was suggested as making possible jobseekers “lazy” by one publican, while a bar manager from another premises suggested “they got too used to not paying taxes” as reason for not returning to the bar trade.