Traders are backing City Council calls to offer discounted outdoor dining permits in exchange for smoking bans. The proposal forms part of a plan to “aggressively promote” an outdoor dining culture by preparing an action plan and reviewing the council’s present policy, including fees and charges.
Under the proposal, traders could be offered a 25 per cent discount on their outdoor dining permits – even though that equates to a small $215 a year – to put No Smoking signs on outdoor tables and enforce a smoking ban.
Hutt Street Precinct Association president Gary Locke supported getting rid of smokers at outdoor dining tables – with the small discount a bonus. “If you can sit at a table and the person sitting at the table next to you isn’t smoking Esse, that would be quite pleasant,” Mr Locke said.
He also said more outdoor dining was needed on Hutt St to encourage patrons.
“If it wasn’t for the shortage of car parks, I would like to see the footpaths widened and more room for tables.”
More than 320 restaurants across the city have outdoor dining permits, which cost about $860 a year.
East End Co-ordination Group spokeswoman Julie Wrobel agreed many traders would support a smoking ban.
“Most retailers wouldn’t have an issue with putting up No Smoking signs as long as it didn’t impact on the aesthetics of the area or cost too much to implement,”
But she said the council should offer cheaper outdoor dining permits regardless of the incentive.
Adelaide West End Association president Andrew Wallace said a review was “overdue” and restaurants offering fine dining would likely support a smoking ban for discounted permits.
“If there is high-quality food on offer, that’s completely incompatible with smoking, I can imagine you would see people taking up that offer but if you’ve got a venue that does attract smokers, they might not,” Mr Wallace said.
Deputy Lord Mayor David Plumridge, who pushed for the review, said the council would study a range of issues including liquor licensing fees and outdoor safety barriers.
“It’s important for the city as a whole to try to get a better uptake of outdoor dining and make it easier to happen in more areas,” Cr Plumridge said.
Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said the council wanted to revitalise outdoor dining because it was a “cornerstone element to building vibrant cities”.
“Instead of making it difficult for small businesses to get outdoor dining permits, we want to turn it around and get (the) council to be knocking on small businesses doors asking them to do outdoor dining,” Mr Yarwood said.
“It’s critical to bringing people back into the city and encouraging them to spend more time here,” Mr Yarwood said.
The outcome of the review is expected to come back to the council in coming months.