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Apr 25, 2009 10:10 PM

Servers Who Smoke


A recent post by Servorg mentioned a big peeve I have in some restaurants -- servers who disappear for a few minutes and then return reeking of smoke. Look, I understand that the job can be stressful, and I know many in the profession have the habit. But if I'm needing a refill of my water or something else and you are nowhere to be found, and then return a few minutes later and I can smell the disgusting evidence that you weren't taken away doing anything productive, be aware that it can and should reduce your tip. If you need that hit in the middle of my service, at least wash your hands and carry mints or gum.

  1. Observing people dressed in black/whites, aprons of any kind, chef jackets outside of restaurants or back doors take note: dine elsewhere. Mom still smokes and I love her, but I won't dine in her house, either.

    1. i don't let servers smoke during service. if they can't go 4 or 5 hours without a smoke, too bad. i agree, the evidence afterward is disgusting, especially now that restaurants are non-smoking.

      1. Jfood on board. Nothing worse than the server returning and speaking in smoke-induced tongue.

        1. I'm on board with this too, and I am both a former server and former smoker. Smoke when your shift is over. Of course, I feel the same way about all the people who take 15 smoke breaks per day in my office too, but they aren't breathing in my face except if I unfortunately encounter them in the hallway or elevator.

          1. If I can tell the server is a smoker ( I am in California and since we have had no smoking for such a long time now, it is so obvious to smell smoke on or near someone) I don't bother to ask them how something tastes/if it is good; I know their taste buds are skewed.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Cathy

              You better go in the kitchen to check if the cooks smoke as well because there is a pretty good chance they do.

              1. re: KTinNYC

                You can usually tell that by the oversalting of the food.

                1. re: BostonZest

                  That is a pretty broad statement.

                  1. re: KTinNYC

                    It's true. When the food is overly salted/over garlicy/way wrong, I send it back asking if the chef is a smoker. 100% of the time, he/she is a smoker. I then ask for something completely non-seasoned.

                    1. re: Cathy

                      that statistic is kinda meaningless unless you also ask how often the person who perfectly seasoned your food is a smoker or not

                      1. re: thew

                        Expecting the average diner to understand the subtleties of statistics is as meaningless as asking most cooks to stop smoking.