Tobacco Education Center


Tips on Working With Bar Owners (2004)
MEETING WITH BAR OWNERS

Building Relationships



Restaurant and bar owners are generally very independent people who hate regulations. So the change to go smoke-free can be good if we are dealt with in a non-abusive and non-threatening manner. Work with us...work with us a part of the community.

--Sam Walker, owner, Whiskey Creek & Angels, Mammoth Mountain



The following are suggestions, meant to help build better relationships with bar owners. Please keep in mind that bar/tavern business owners keep busy schedules and are concerned first with running a successful business. Generally, their concern or public health issues will be a low priority.



DO call first. You'll have the best luck meeting with a bar owner if you arrange in advance for a time to stop by.



DO time your meeting right. Meal times are generally not the best for bar owners. Try mid-afternoon or a time that works best for the individual owner.



DO keep the meeting short. Bar owners generally have a lot to do before the next onslaught of customers and are more likely to give you their full attention if you limit the meeting.



DO inundate them with paper. It's best to leave them with a few key items or at least, a brochure and your business card.



DO listen to their concerns. WE WANT TO HAVE A DIALOGUE NOT GIVE A LECTURE.



DON'T expect them to know the issue. If they are familiar with the issue, ...



DO expect them to be wary that this will hurt their business.



DON'T preach health facts. Point out positive economic experiences with similar laws.



DO position yourself as a source for help and ideas to smooth the smoke-free transition.



DO offer to assist in a smoke-free bar night to test the waters.



DON'T forget that many bar owners may be smokers themselves. Keep the meeting focused on the smoke-free business so they don't feel personally attacked.



DO know when to move on. Sometimes you come up against a brick wall. Offer to leave materials, thank them for their time and try another establishment.



Reprinted, source: California BREATH

 



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