Over half of the UK's restaurateurs see the recent smoking ban as positive for the industry and believe that as a result, revenue will actually increase in the long term, according to the second annual American Express Hospitality Monitor. Of the restaurants questioned, 60 per cent expect revenues to stay the same or increase in the first six months after the ban.
Statistics support industry optimism, showing one third of consumers (32 per cent) said they expected to dine out more frequently, compared to only 11 per cent who claimed they would dine out less. Kathryn Pretzel-Shiels, American Express Hotel and Restaurant Director, said restaurants need to do a "balancing act"
to meet the needs of smokers and non-smokers. She said, "Almost two-thirds of smokers (62%) said they'd take their custom elsewhere if there was no designated space outside a restaurant to smoke.
However, on the flip side, a third of non-smokers (32%)
felt smokers standing outside a restaurant would make the establishment look less appealing and would take their custom elsewhere."