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A SMOKING RESULT - 1 in 5 customers visit pubs more frequently as a result of the smoking ban
When the ban was introduced in 2007, the pub industry was concerned about the impact it would have on business. However, Market Force’s research has shown that not only do people now visit pubs more often, but 70% of parents are more likely to take their children to the pub with them than they were before.
Tim Ogle, CEO at Market Force Europe, says: “Publicans have been hit by the economic downturn so it’s encouraging to see that despite the negative reaction to the smoking ban five years ago, it has had a positive impact on the sector. Publicans do need to remain mindful of the positioning of their smoking areas as our research revealed that 37.4% of potential customers actively avoid pubs with crowds of people smoking near the entrance. 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 environment to all customers.”
Market Force’s research also highlighted that three quarters of smokers feel there is 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. It is vital that publicans listen to the needs of their smoking customers and keep their designated areas well maintained.” Ogle continued.
From a health perspective, the smoking ban has been good news, Market Force’s research identified that two out of three smokers confirmed they had attempted to give up smoking and half of those have been successful. Ogle concludes, “We’re still facing tough economic conditions and to stay ahead of the game pubs need to listen to what customers want. Feedback is crucial, and implementing the changes from this feedback is imperative. It is never too late; if publicans start to pay attention and respond to customers’ needs now, they will be sure to reap the benefits for many years to come.”