A survey by customer intelligence company Market Force Information reports that the ban has had a “positive” impact on the licensed trade, with 22.4 per cent of people saying they go to bars and pubs more often.
However, the research also found that having smokers at the front of venue deterred over a third of consumers from going in. “Publicans do need to remain mindful of the positioning of their smoking areas as our research revealed that 37.4 per cent of potential customers actively avoid pubs with crowds of people smoking near the entrance,” says Tim Ogle, Europe chief executive at Market Force. “That equates to a lot of lost business, and the industry needs to be sensitive to these concerns and ensure they continue to deliver an inclusive and welcoming service to all customers.”
Market Force’s research also highlighted that three-quarters of smokers felt there was still work to be done to make smoking areas comfortable. “Pub companies and publicans made significant investments when the smoking ban was introduced, but our findings have shown that smokers are still looking for better smoking areas such as cover and seating,” Ogle said. “It is vital publicans listen to the needs of their smoking customers and keep their designated areas well maintained.”
Pictured: the smoking terrace at Ten Manchester Street, London