Monday 13 August 2007

A Work of Comedy Genius

There are days when I have to worship at the altar of shameless publicity and today is most definitely one of them - read the below, it's really something - do you reckon they will make customers dress in flat caps and give them the leads of whippets to hold if the press come down for a photocall?!


An unexpected side-effect cost of the ban on smoking in pubs is arising from the break-out of "The Wigan Traipse" - and now staff in a number of the town's bars are asking customers to walk properly.

Smokers desperate for a drag are clocking up around 250 miles a week traipsing from the bar to the designed outdoor smoking area - and now one pub company is beginning to see the ban is wearing a bit thin.

"We've studied this very carefully, and the damage to floors and carpets is all down to walking style," said Tony Callaghan, founder and Managing Director of Wigan-based Yesteryear Pub Company, which has bars across the North West of England.

"You can see reluctance in their body language as they walk out to have a smoke - it's a definite reluctant shuffling traipse, with foot contact on the floor surface probably twice as long as it needs to be compared to if they were walking normally.

"If they walked instead of shuffled, they'd get through their fag and back to their pint a lot sooner.

"If matters don't improve soon, then I fear we may have to be putting up 'walk properly' signs next to the 'no smoking' signs.

"On average, there is a rolling 100 customers smoking outside each bar each day, and they make 20 visits each a day to the outside smoking area, an average return traipse of 32 yards. This equates to around about 250 traipse miles per pub per month."

A month after the smoking ban came into effect in pubs in England, Tony says business levels are unaffected - although there has been a slight change in customer trends.

Yesteryear, which owns the Number Fifteen chain of wine bars, Maloneys cocktail bars and a range of independently branded pubs and bars in the North West says that July sales figures appear to have suffered no impact from the smoking ban.

"We really did not know what to expect. Some of our bars are in real smokers' heartlands - but business levels have remained unchanged. The change in emphasis has been more people coming into bars for food, and a notable increase in family dining.

"The hardcore smokers are obviously nonplussed by it all, but they are accepting the ban with good grace and traipsing outside when they need a drag.

"One or two have admitted that they're cutting down - I suppose there is an upside to cutting down from 60 a day to 50 a day."


Mark said...

"Wigan Traipse" would be a great name for a band.

Melissa Cole said...

that's a very good point!

The Beer Nut said...

Great article. Do you think it might be Silly Season?