Schotse cafehouders hebben sinds het algehele rookverbod een omzetdaling van 11% gezien, gekoppeld aan een daling van 3% in de omzet van voedsel (in Britse kroegen is het serveren van “pub meals” vrij normaal). Een derde van de Schotse kroegen heeft bovendien personeel moeten ontslaan om het hoofd boven water te kunnen houden. 56% van de kroegen meldt een daling in het aantal bezoeken van hun stamgasten en een derde meldt een daling in het aantal nieuwe gasten in hun cafe.
Pubs in Scotland are under threat a year on from the smoking ban, says the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA).
The claims that a smoking ban would be good for pubs in Scotland were “clearly wrong” according to a new report from the SLTA
Its report “The Impact of the Smoking Ban: One Year on” claims that drinks sales are down 11 per cent and food sales are down 3 per cent.
The report was based on responses from 530 of its members, including pubs, hotels, restaurants, private members’ clubs and nightclubs – although half of the replies came from pubs.
The trade association claims that for the great majority of licensees the ban has meant a lost trade from their regulars with 56 per cent more licensees reporting fewer visits.
“As business turned down so members looked to cut their costs by laying off staff,” said the report.
The survey says 34 per cent of licensees have been forced to lay off staff with only three per cent reporting they had hired new staff. Almost half of licensees sought to invest in outside areas but many claim local authorities were of little help – two-thirds rated them as “not at all helpful”.
The SLTA says that while licensees are looking to turn their businesses around they are being hampered by the slow bureaucracy of local government.
Paul Waterson chief executive of SLTA, said: “The Scottish licensed trade was collateral damage in a war between the Scottish Executive and the Tobacco Industry
“Our businesses were hit although we were innocent bystanders. We were never properly and fairly consulted on the ban, and our warnings were ignored – now we have to live with the consequences of losing loyal workers and pubs being under threat.
“What really concerned us is that national and local government have been so totally unhelpful. We were given the regulations on how to set up smoking facilities absurdly late, and now four in five of our members find their local authorities no help at all as they try to create covered outside areas to enable their busiaesses to survive.”
“This whole sorry episode was completely avoidable but the Executive was so keen to jump on the Irish bandwagon that they didn’t want to listen to any advice. Maybe this measure will be “the largest single step to improve health for generations” as Jack McConnell claimed – but the deafening silence on tobacco sales and the number of people giving up suggests that the Executive hit us and not their intended target.”