Don’t extinguish outdoor trade

Keeping smoking areas comfortable and clean is key

WINTER is upon us – but that shouldn’t mean discomfort for smokers visiting the on-trade.
David Dean, marketing manager at NBB Outdoor Shelters, which supplies shelters and cigarette litter disposal products, stressed the importance of maintaining outdoor areas during the winter months, saying that operators stand to benefit.
“Think about making this area as comfortable as possible – seating, lighting, heaters, speakers and even an outdoor screen to show the latest football scores,” said Dean.
“But it must be kept clean and tidy, the ashtrays and cigarette bins emptied and cleaned regularly, you must treat your outdoor areas as if they were an extension to your indoor area.”
Dean said there are a few key aspects for operators looking to improve their smoking area to consider.
“The majority of freestanding smoking shelters do not require planning permission, although it’s always wise to double check with your local planning authority,” he said.
“Consider the location of your smoking shelter. Remember that if your premises is local to any residential areas, excessive noise could result in a licence review.
“Ensure your fire risk assessment takes account of your smoking shelter. This should also include how you would control any potential risks.”
Dean said publicans who offer their customers a comfortable outdoor area, which is well-maintained all year round, could reap the rewards.
“Introducing a smoking shelter can transform a pub garden, attracting customers all year round,” said Dean.
“Indoor smoking bans have pushed nicotine lovers into areas outside restaurants, pubs and bars – but that doesn’t mean that they need to be no-go areas for non-smokers.”