Six in 10 restaurants expect their business levels to increase or stay the same over the next six months after the start of the England smoking ban this Sunday.
According to the American Express Hospitality Monitor 2007, one in three customers expect to dine out more frequently once the ban is introduced.
Just 11% of those surveyed expected to eat out less because of the ban.
Of those who are non-smokers 42% said they would visit restaurants more frequently in the six months following the ban.
Amongst smokers 11% said they would dine out more often but 31% said they would dine out less.
Kathryn Pretzel Shiels, hotel and restaurant director at American Express, said a balancing act was required from restaurants to meet both.
"Almost two-thirds of smokers 62%] said they'd take their custom elsewhere if there was no designated space outside a restaurant to smoke. However, on the flip side, a third of non-smokers [32%] felt smokers standing outside a restaurant would make the establishment look less appealing and would take their custom elsewhere," she said.
By Chris Walton
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