Aim of the research

Since enabling individuals to make positive behaviour changes is what drives us at Club Soda, we wanted to see if there was a way to reduce the barriers to a good night out for people who want to drink less, or no, alcohol.

“I often miss drinking, but quite often I find it quite easy not to be drinking, providing there is a suitable alternative.” Online survey response

co-design workshopWe know that there are already over five million adults in the UK who have tried to cut down, and still want to reduce their drinking. Also, many individuals simply don’t want to drink alcohol every time they go to the pub. We thought it would be interesting to look at what pubs and bars offer, rather than on the behaviour of their customers. This is not to say that there isn’t scope to try to influence the drinking habits of the population at large. But this research is only looking at behaviour change for the operators of licensed venues. [Photo: Club Soda low and no alcohol beer tasting event, October 2015]

There are possible top-down policy changes that would influence venue operators, for example higher taxes or sales restrictions for certain drinks. We wanted instead to explore solutions that would be not only acceptable, but even desirable for licensed venues. In other words, we want to find carrots, rather than sticks.

The question we set out to answer was:

How can we encourage pubs and bars to be more welcoming to customers who want to drink less alcohol or none at all?

It is worth referring back to this question while reading the report, because it is really easy to forget that it is the venues we are trying to influence, not their customers.