New smoking laws for outdoor dining venues came into effect on the 6th of July 2015 affecting clubs, hotels, cafes and food fairs. The new law bans smoking within 4 metres of a pedestrian entry or exit of a hospitality venue; therefore creating ‘the 4 metre law’ (NSW Government). Penalties of not abiding by this law apply to business owners and individuals and in addition, as stated by the National Government, business owners are required to display ‘no smoking signs’ in outdoor dining areas and face a $550 fine if they do not do so.
We recently observed an upcoming trend in the layout at hospitality, pub and club venues, most likely as a result of the ‘4 metre law’. The Courthouse Hotel have opted for an outdoor layout where half the outdoor area is allocated to eating and no smoking, while the other half is allocated to smoking and no eating.
The Sydney Morning Herald recently reported that some pubs are choosing to sacrifice outdoor dining to accommodate smokers; such as Newtown’s Carlisle Castle Hotel where food is no longer served in one of the bars to ensure patrons can smoke (SMH, Michael Koziol). Furthermore, the newspaper reported that cafes in the Sydney CBD reported a 20 to 30 percent downturn in trade due to the recent law.
We suspect, that we will continue to see more pubs, cafes and clubs changing the layout of their outdoor areas in an attempt to attract and retain smokers and non-smokers while still operating under the ‘4 metre law’. A challenge many are already facing in the CBD as depicted in the recent reports on the down turn in trade.
Reference to the SMH article: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/how-sydney-restaurants-pubs-and-cafes-are-beating-antismoking-laws-20150715-giazpy.html