Visocchi's Café, Kirriemuir
Since 1930 the café has been a thriving business with its premises divided into four areas: café, tobacconist, confectionary and ice cream shop. The current proprietors, Michael and Elena, are Visocchi's third generation of business people. They decided to implement a no-smoking policy on December 6, 2004.
The decision was motivated by a number of factors, but primarily the desire to provide a cleaner, healthier environment for all customers and staff. They felt that implementing the policy sooner rather than later would be a step in the right direction in the prevention of passive smoking. The Visocchis were conscious of the feelings of their non-smoking customers having to sit in a smoky environment and had to consider a way of keeping all customers content. The smoke-free policy seemed like the perfect option. They were also spurred on by the publicity surrounding the Executive's policy of encouraging smoke free environments.
Since enforcing the policy, the Visocchis have noticed a dramatic change in their business. They expected a loss in the number of smoking patrons. However, slowly but surely, they are returning. In addition, there has been an increase in the number of families with young children frequenting the premises. People have commented on the better atmosphere and have even said that the no smoking initiative has spurred them to kick the habit. Staff are also more than happy with the change.
The new policy is demonstrated with cards on all of the tables and there is also a notice on the window, which gives customers the choice before entering.
Mr Visocchi's advice to other companies considering introducing a smoke-free policy would be: "Go for it before the law comes in as you will probably increase business. It is surprising how quickly customers will adapt. By March 2006, you will be well over the hurdle and you will have ironed out any particular problems relevant to your own business. Let's move on to a healthier Scotland!"