Brighton’s pubs, clubs and restaurants would do well to follow the lead set by Wetherspoon and instead of postponing the conversion to non-smoking embrace it and trounce the competition with an alternative offer.
Wetherspoon switched early to a healthy smoke-free environment. The company is now, after a shaky start, turning in a healthy trading statement (overall sales up 8.3%) in spite of fears that the smoking ban would be bad news.
So what’s the trick? It may have something to do with the new range of products on sale. These include a range of Polish, Lithuanian and Czech Republic beers as well as new Swedish ciders. The group has clearly identified new niche markets and is keeping just one step ahead of the competition.
The NHS is offering free guidance to businesses going through the transition to non-smoking. Kate Lawson, the Primary Care Trusts Tobacco Control Co-ordinator is urging people to think about early conversion so as to get ahead of the game and beat the rush. “We are running courses for businesses to help them come to terms with the ban and the changes they need to make to their working environment,” says Kate. “We anticipate an increase in demand as we approach the deadline. Smart businesses should be thinking ahead and snapping up the offer now rather than waiting till the last minute when everyone will be trying to grab one of the limited places on the programme”.
To find out more about the FREE NHS Stop Smoking programmes, contact Mike Dixon on 01273 267397, or email email@example.com. For advice on updating your smoking policies and procedures, contact Kate Lawson, Primary Care Trust Tobacco Control Co-ordinator, on 01273 545396 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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