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A well-run Irish pub can be one of the most profitable restaurant business models in the world. Maybe, during the Covid-19 pandemic, now is the quiet time you need to plan for your O’Hagan’s pub?


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The contemporary Irish Pub was actually conceived by the company who brewed Guinness stout, Guinness Brewing Worldwide, (now Diageo), and was the result of a robust piece of market research.


Between 1985 and 1995, Guinness observed that each time an Irish Pub opened anywhere in the world, there was a very noticeable spike in Guinness beer sales, not just because of the pub itself, but because of other bar owners adding Guinness to their beer line-up in order to compete with success of the local Irish Pub. The phenomenon occurred across very diverse demographic, socio-economic and geographic regions, performing as consistently in Chicago as it did in Hamburg, Sydney or Tokyo. It seemed that no matter where somebody placed an Irish Pub, it became instantly successful. Out of this observation grew a question… so what are the global success factors to opening a successful O’Hagan’s authentic Irish Pub and Grill?


To answer this question, Guinness put together a team of interior designers, marketers and industry specialists to find out why Irish Pubs worked across multiple operating environments. The research was done across pubs throughout Europe and indicated strongly that successful Irish pubs everywhere were linked by certain critical success factors.


Though these factors or characteristics were not particularly remarkable in themselves, the insight gained was that if the operator wanted to be successful, it was mandatory for the pub to be faithful to its origins while remaining contemporary and relevant to its consumers.


There are a number of investment opportunities for the roll-out of the new O'Hagan's authentic Irish Pub and Grill chain. 


1.  At Head Office level

  • There is a minor slice of equity to be taken up at HO level whereby an investor will be able to share in the growth of the brand on a national basis.

2.  Master licence level​

  • Master licences will be available for certain areas in South Africa e.g. by Province, City or any other suitable geographical demarcation.

  • Master licences will also be available for selected countries.

3.  At Store level

  • Opportunities exist throughout the country to become a franchisee or become a multi-unit franchisee (i.e. own more than one store).


Interested parties can contact Basil O'Hagan on basil@bohmarketing.co.za




The authentic exterior and interior design of the pub is paramount in ensuring success. Bad replicas, or poorly-executed design are a precursor for poor financial performance. Consumers want the real thing and understand when they were getting less.


O’Hagan’s has appointed designer, Lisa de Beer, who has vast experience designing O’Hagan’s Irish Pubs & Grills, having already designed over forty O’Hagan’s in the 1990’s.


Providing genuinely home-cooked food with locally sourced ingredients is vitally important, as well as integrating the menu with local or regional tastes. Consumers want to try authentic Irish dishes, reflective of Ireland’s place in the world as a leader in farm to table cuisine.



Offering premium import Irish beers along with local and international beers, is core to the success of the concept. However, great attention should be paid to having an extensive list of Irish and Scotch whiskies along with a well-considered wine list, by bottle and glass.


Carefully choosing your playlists so that traditional Irish music is sporadically played along with other suitable music is very important. O’Hagan’s Irish Pub and Grill franchise will be given a playlist of over 2,000 songs from the 80’’s, 90’s and 2000’s.  Live music is not recommended as it is normally intrusive and is not conducive to a pleasant dining experience. Rather use your internal sound system so that you are in control of the what to play and at what volumes.



Having management or ownership that is intimately engaged with the business on a day to day basis is vital. Absentee ownership always leads to poor standards of operation and therefore poor financial performance.


Have controls and processes in place that give you daily oversight into your business, insight into your guests and independent performance assessment.


We need to understand why the O’Hagan’s Irish Pub and Grill concept takes the pub experience to a whole different level of excellence.


Unlike other pubs and themed restaurants, O’Hagan’s Irish Pub and Grill will consistently deliver an authentic consumer experience. By combining stunningly-accurate interior design with great food, drink, music and, most of all, people, guests are immersed in another world of warmth, conversation, laughter and fun. What the Irish call ‘the craic’…. real fun.


From a financial perspective, this level of authenticity works hard to make consumers feel they are in a premium environment and therefore can indulge themselves. From this feeling comes the natural prompt to switch from domestic beers to import beers, from rye & bourbon to premium and single malt whiskies. Annually, this can translate into tens of thousands of rands of incremental revenue and profit. O’Hagan’s Irish Pub and Grill differs from the generic bar experience not just because of its authenticity but because it is a robust vehicle for financial success in what is a very challenging industry.


There is a strong potential market for conversions of individually owned restaurants to O’Hagan’s franchised units.