HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
What have you made lately? Get great advice
TELL US

Servers and bartenders that smoke

e
EBetsyMeyer Mar 10, 2013 07:29 AM

Advice to all servers and bartenders that smoke. Your habit negatively impacts diners experience and your tip. I've been to 2 restaurants this week - In Season and Pittsburgh Blue - and the servers were smokers. Both times our table was greeted with leftover smoke from what you couldn't exhale "out back" and it's extremely unappetizing and offensive. This left a fowl impression for the group. Your breath and odor in clothing does not dissipate. Please consider how your habit impacts your guests that you are serving - and remember we are ging out for an enjoyable experience.

  1. Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. s
    shikken Mar 10, 2013 07:58 AM

    You probably should contact your state legislator and tell them to please return the billions of dollars your state received from the tobacco lawsuit a decade ago and also to please stop taxing cigarettes and alcohol.

    1. b
      brlattim Mar 10, 2013 08:03 AM

      I agree smoke smells gross, but I personally feel we treat people in this country that smoke like terrorists (I never smoked a cigarette in my life). Unappetizing yes, but offensive might be a little oversensitive. The stress it seemed to cause you is probably going to cause as much cancer as tobacco.

      1. h
        Harters Mar 10, 2013 09:23 AM

        I stopped smoking many years back.

        It doesnt bother me in the slightest that others do. But then, I also regard banning smoking in public places, like restaurants, as not being progress in a modern tolerant society.

        16 Replies
        1. re: Harters
          westsidegal Mar 10, 2013 11:01 AM

          <<not being progress in a modern tolerant society.>>

          i understand and sympathize with your position, but

          i also understand the public health issue with a known addictive carcinogen that is not only carcinogenic to those who can't/won't break their addiction but has been shown to be carcinogenic to others, including children, that are around them.

          although there is a personal liberty argument to be made around this: it is not purely a personal liberty issue, like, let's say, painting one's face purple would be.
          this practice
          1) puts the user at increased health risk. this would be ok if society didn't have to pay the price for this in so many ways.
          2) puts innocent non-smokers at increased health risk
          and
          3) has been shown to be both physically and psychologically addictive, which makes the issue of quitting much more complicated than a simple "moral" or "will power" decision.

          i've known this issue from BOTH SIDES NOW

          1. re: westsidegal
            grampart Mar 10, 2013 11:10 AM

            Well, if you live in a city where the mayor oversees the cup size for soft drinks, then I've no doubt there is some kind of "law" that would have the reeking offender dealt with immediately. Here in Georgia, I believe folks have a tendency to let things like that go. Maybe not in Atlanta.........

            1. re: westsidegal
              Jay F Mar 10, 2013 11:38 AM

              Cigarette smoke

              (a) stinks out loud
              (b) causes my nose, mouth, and throat to feel as if they are burning
              (c) gives me a migraine.

              So I'm not part of Harters' "modern, tolerant society."

              1. re: Jay F
                grampart Mar 10, 2013 11:44 AM

                For me, the same can be said for perfumes and colognes. No choice but to be tolerant.

                1. re: grampart
                  Jay F Mar 10, 2013 12:01 PM

                  Same here with perfumes and colognes.

                  1. re: grampart
                    n
                    Nudibranch Mar 12, 2013 05:39 PM

                    More and more workplaces are banning that too. Mine does, and although I don't have any perfume sensitivities, I'm more than happy to comply.

                  2. re: Jay F
                    h
                    Harters Mar 10, 2013 12:00 PM

                    I reckon a majority of folk are not part of the modern, tolerant society that I like to inhabit. Otherwise we would not get intolerant legislation and, more importantly, intolerant attitudes.

                    1. re: Harters
                      Jay F Mar 10, 2013 12:02 PM

                      It's an "intolerant attitude" when something makes me sick? So what would you do, Harters, sit in the smoke and suffer?

                      1. re: Jay F
                        l
                        LeoLioness Mar 10, 2013 12:08 PM

                        Do bars/restaurants allow smoking where you live? If not, it's pretty easy to avoid smoke. Yes, you may have to walk past a smoker, but in a world of car exhaust (do you own a car?) and numerous other environmental factors, cigarette smoke is just a small part of the picture.

                        People are unlikely to stop smoking altogether, so it's really something you need to learn to live with.

                        1. re: LeoLioness
                          e
                          EBetsyMeyer Mar 10, 2013 02:37 PM

                          Smoking is not allowed in restaurants and bars in Minnesota. I appreciate it a lot.
                          My feedback was directed at servers and bartenders. They are in the service industry. I was too for many, many years and appreciated feedback from my guests that would provide them a better dining experience, and allow me to be a better server.
                          I do live with it in many situations but when it comes to dining out at an expensive restaurant where service and ambiance are a large part of the experience, I will vote with my dollars and choose other servers/restaurants.

                        2. re: Jay F
                          h
                          Harters Mar 10, 2013 03:10 PM

                          "So what would you do, Harters, sit in the smoke and suffer?"

                          In life, I find that if I want to be tolerant towards my fellow human beings, it's sometimes not very pleasant. But the short answer to your question is "yes"

                          1. re: Harters
                            j
                            justalex Mar 10, 2013 05:04 PM

                            Harters, I so appreciate your attitude. My mother is a smoker who lives in assisted living home. I can tolerate the smoke in exchange for sharing time with some great WWII and Korean War vets in the smoking lounge along with my mom.

                            I do not get faint of heart, for these are some people that gave their all for other people to feel offended.

                            A little perspective helps in our entitled and not so tolerant world.

                            1. re: justalex
                              Jay F Mar 10, 2013 05:15 PM

                              I am not *offended* by cigarette smoke, justalex. It makes me sick, in the ways I delineated upthread. Why is that so hard to understand?

                              1. re: Jay F
                                h
                                Hobbert Mar 10, 2013 06:01 PM

                                I agree. I'm confused by the posters who are framing this as an issue of tolerance or discrimination. When my mom smoked, she reeked of cigarettes. It's easy to smell and its nauseating. I choose not to smoke and being disgusted by the smell doesn't mean I'm discriminating against anyone. It just means I'll spend my money elsewhere.

                                1. re: Hobbert
                                  h
                                  Harters Mar 11, 2013 03:38 AM

                                  "It just means I'll spend my money elsewhere."

                                  That's also entirely right and proper in the tolerant world I like to live in. Folk exercise choices.

                                  It's why, as an non-smoker for many years, I was still opposed to the obligatory ban on smoking in restaurants. Fine for an owner to institute their own ban (or not); not fine for the state to do it.

                      2. re: Jay F
                        njmarshall55 Mar 20, 2013 02:17 PM

                        Amen to that. I would have asked management for a different server.

                  3. l
                    LeoLioness Mar 10, 2013 11:53 AM

                    It doesn't bother me.

                    1. i
                      INDIANRIVERFL Mar 10, 2013 12:22 PM

                      If you don't smoke, your breaks off the line are much shorter to almost nonexistent. A break is usually defined as the length of time it takes to smoke a cigarette.

                      Do I look forward to smelling old tobacco smoke around a person? No. Do I require the total absence of any odor to equate to an increase in an enjoyable dining experience? No again.

                      I am sure many would think I am not demanding enough to impinge my prejuidices to the powers that be in order to maximise my dining experience. But just as I can forgive food stains on a sleeve, or a touch of liquid in a saucer, I can overlook (oversmell) an irritation to the nose. It does not directly impact my health, as dirty fingernails would. And I would comment to somebody higher up regarding that type of issue.

                      So what type of poultry was impressed onto your group?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                        grampart Mar 10, 2013 12:42 PM

                        "Poultry"!!! Good one!

                        1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                          mariacarmen Mar 16, 2013 02:46 AM

                          ahahahahaa!

                        2. EM23 Mar 10, 2013 01:07 PM

                          "our table was greeted with leftover smoke from what you couldn't exhale "out back" "

                          So the server came in from a smoke break, smoke still in their mouth, and then exhaled when she/he reached your table?

                          1. m
                            mwhitmore Mar 10, 2013 03:01 PM

                            I would talk to the manager, and explain that the server stinks of tobacco, just as I would if my server stunk of BO. I would ask for a different server who does not smoke, and if the manager could/would not accommodate me, I would leave.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mwhitmore
                              c
                              cresyd Mar 11, 2013 04:22 AM

                              If I had a server that smelled of anything that I found offensive (be it body odor, cigarettes, perfume, etc) - I would request a new server. I'm pretty sensitive to strong chemical smells, but I have never had an interaction with a server where their odor was so offensive to me. Similarly, if I was sitting at a table and a patron sitting close to me smelled that poorly, I'd ask for a new table if possible.

                              I acknowledge that there are smells that bug me and don't bother others and do the best to make it my problem more so than someone else's.

                            2. Bacchus101 Mar 11, 2013 05:03 AM

                              Surely if there is a policy of "no smoking" in a restaurant, either imposed by law or ownership then to expect a server not to reek of smoke is a valid expectation which, by policy, over rides in this instance even the equally serious concerns for the health of both the server and the customer. Should one be unable to enjoy a meal because of an offensive ordor leeching from the server it is reasonable to expect to have the issue addressed; how is the question in my mind. Certainly there are "perceived" rights here on both sides. However I would argue that the server is being paid to be acceptable to the customer in all aspects of their personal conduct; that includes smell. The customer is paying to enjoy their meal and therefore it is not unreasonable to expect it. Of course, here we go on the tipping standards stuff again as some poster here suggest that tips should not be effected by being stunk out of a restaurant. I will retire to bedlam!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Bacchus101
                                l
                                LeoLioness Mar 11, 2013 07:23 AM

                                What are the "serious concerns for the health of the customer" associated with smelling the lingering odor of smoke on someone's clothes?

                              2. rockandroller1 Mar 11, 2013 06:25 AM

                                I agree it is a real problem. I went to a diner recently and the girl took my order and put it in, then grabbed up her smokes and a lighter and told the only other girl working that she would "be back in a few" and she went outside to smoke. While she was out, food sat in the window and the lone server had to handle everything alone - seating new people and taking their orders, refilling drinks for others, trying to find time to run the food, etc. It's unfair to the other servers and unfair to the customers. The girl came back in just in time to get my food from the window and bring it to me, and she really smelled strongly of smoke, her breath and clothes and everything. It's very unpleasant.

                                1. e
                                  ebchower Mar 11, 2013 07:43 AM

                                  I hate nothing more than pulling into a restaurant's parking lot and seeing employees outside taking a smoke break. Been known to go elsewhere when seeing it. If the restaurant asks me to fill out a survey online, I mention it in the comments. But as someone explained to me, approximately 124% of restaurant employees smoke. It needs to be done in a way that patrons can't see, hear ("i need a cigarette"), and most of all, smell.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: ebchower
                                    grampart Mar 11, 2013 08:01 AM

                                    "I hate nothing more than pulling into a restaurant's parking lot and seeing employees outside taking a smoke break."

                                    Wow! You are very fortunate that nothing else in this world can bring you this degree of hatred. Not wars? Not poverty? Not even the federal Government? I understand though. For me, it's body piercings, or maybe tattoos.

                                    1. re: grampart
                                      e
                                      ebchower Mar 11, 2013 08:30 AM

                                      I'll qualify that. I hate nothing more within the realm of eating out.

                                      1. re: grampart
                                        j
                                        Jackie007 Apr 4, 2013 01:34 AM

                                        Why would body piercings or tattoos bother you? Personally, I don't understand how that can possibly bother somebody. No different than a hairstyle or clothing.

                                        1. re: Jackie007
                                          grampart Apr 4, 2013 04:44 AM

                                          "Why would body piercings or tattoos bother you? Personally, I don't understand how that can possibly bother somebody. No different than a hairstyle or clothing"

                                          Hair can be cut and clothes can be changed.

                                    2. r
                                      ratbuddy Mar 11, 2013 08:19 AM

                                      What are the odds that every single whiner in this thread uses unscented soap and deodorant, wears no perfume/cologne, washes their clothes with unscented detergent, etc?

                                      Slim to none. Get off the high horses, people, you stink too.

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: ratbuddy
                                        Jay F Mar 11, 2013 08:34 AM

                                        >uses unscented soap and deodorant, wears no perfume/cologne, washes their clothes with unscented detergent<

                                        You've described me perfectly, except you forgot "doesn't use dryer sheets."

                                        1. re: Jay F
                                          rockandroller1 Mar 11, 2013 08:39 AM

                                          +1 for me too, including "doesn't use dryer sheets."

                                          1. re: rockandroller1
                                            Jay F Mar 11, 2013 08:44 AM

                                            Talk about a product I never needed for a problem I don't have.

                                            1. re: Jay F
                                              c
                                              cleobeach Mar 11, 2013 10:18 AM

                                              Well, I am someone that doesn't use dryer sheets, doesn't wear perfume and uses all unscented soap, detergent etc. We do exist.

                                              I am also an ex-smoker. During my smoking years, (I smoked for 20 years) I had absolutely no idea how rancid/toxic/gross the residual smell could be to others around me.

                                              I know several businesses that have a no smoking with x minutes of starting a shift policy as well as not permitting smoking on company property. One is my dentist's office. I see a couple of the staff standing down the street, smoking, each morning before the office opens.

                                          2. re: Jay F
                                            j
                                            jlhinwa Mar 11, 2013 07:29 PM

                                            And me too. I am highly allergic to many things. I hate that is the case, but it is. Cigarette odor (even second or third hand) will put me in an allergic fit. Can't tolerate most Febreeze options. Laundry soap etc, same thing. It's a bummer.

                                            So if I go someplace that's supposed to be "smoke-free," I count on that being the case.

                                          3. re: ratbuddy
                                            h
                                            Hobbert Mar 11, 2013 09:00 AM

                                            I don't.

                                            1. re: ratbuddy
                                              juliejulez Mar 11, 2013 10:32 AM

                                              I grew up in a home with a mother who cannot deal with heavy scents of any kind (they give her migraines, and it was made worse after she had surgery to correct her sinuses). I remember we couldn't go to the bowling alley when I was a kid because the smells coming from the bar area bothered her really badly. She was very pleased when California implemented the no smoking in public areas law.

                                              I use unscented detergent and fabric softeners, unscented soap, use unscented lotions etc. I have problems with eczema and dry skin and scented things make it worse. I do use an occasional fruity body spray (much lighter than actual perfume) but the smell is very undetectable unless you are right up on me. My mom can't smell it unless I give her a hug, and like I mentioned, she is very sensitive to smells.

                                              BUT, I don't care if people smoke. That's their choice. My own SO chews (which is a filthy habit) and his parents all smoke. But, I also do not like when my server or anybody else smells of smoke, or anything else really (BO, heavy perfume etc). The very least they could do is pop in a breath mint. Goes the same for people who drink a lot of coffee. I had a drawing instructor in design school who was a heavy coffee drinker, and his breath was so awful. I also really dislike when I come home from being out with smokers and everything on me smells too.

                                              1. re: ratbuddy
                                                n
                                                Nudibranch Mar 12, 2013 05:44 PM

                                                Since my workplace bans scented products of any kind, that would be me. And I've never understood the point of scented soaps, although I will admit that my shampoo smells of...something fruity or flowery or something. My deodorant is unscented.

                                                I will occasionally use perfume when going to a party.

                                              2. a
                                                AngelaID Mar 11, 2013 10:26 AM

                                                Oh, my goodness, some people should never leave their home.

                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: AngelaID
                                                  grampart Mar 11, 2013 10:35 AM

                                                  "Oh, my goodness, some people should never leave their home."

                                                  And yet they do....time and time again. You'd think they'd learn.

                                                  1. re: AngelaID
                                                    l
                                                    latindancer Mar 11, 2013 07:12 PM

                                                    <some people should never leave their home>

                                                    That's a bit insensitive, don't you think?
                                                    There are many of us who were raised with heavy smokers in the home we grew up in. We became accustomed to the smell, our homes smelled like it, our clothes smelled like it, our hair, etc.
                                                    It wasn't until we left the nest that we realized we had been labeled (because of how we reeked of tobacco smoke) as the children of smokers. Some of our parents died an early death from the disease (lung cancer in my case) caused by smoking.
                                                    Smoking is a disgusting habit and a seriously sad addiction. I applaud the people who've become addicted and knocked the habit. It's next to impossible to do so.
                                                    Luckily, I live in a city who's banned the use of it inside/outside restaurants. I don't want to be around it. I don't care to be around people who smoke around me....nevermind the waitperson who doesn't have the decency or thoughtfulness to try and camouflage the smell of it on their body before they serve me food.

                                                    1. re: latindancer
                                                      grampart Mar 11, 2013 07:28 PM

                                                      I believe that remark comes from hearing of all the trials and tribulations some posters seem to go through when they do leave the house. If it isn't the smoke smell, it's a t-shirt or a coughing couple, or some other inane thing that most folks just deal with and carry on.

                                                      1. re: grampart
                                                        h
                                                        Harters Mar 12, 2013 10:21 AM

                                                        Aww, yikes. I remember the coughing thread. And the nose blowing one. There are folk who should get a life. IMO, of course.

                                                        1. re: Harters
                                                          b
                                                          Beach Chick Mar 20, 2013 09:58 AM

                                                          Please explain to me why someone whom is coughing up half a lung in a restaurant or blowing their nose so loud, that geese are circling, acceptable in a restaurant?

                                                          Why don't you add having gas so loud to the mix too?

                                                          Maybe you can drop your pants and 'Blue Flame' the restaurant folks how far your gas bombs blow out...might get you a free dessert.

                                                          Why wouldn't you excuse yourself to the bathroom or outside?

                                                          Why would I or anyone else who is eating in a restaurant want to hear what every orifice from your body sounds like...I must need to get a life.

                                                          1. re: Beach Chick
                                                            grampart Mar 20, 2013 10:06 AM

                                                            "Maybe you can drop your pants and 'Blue Flame' the restaurant folks how far your gas bombs blow out...might get you a free dessert."

                                                            Maybe a new thread "Hyperbole - Snarky or Witty?" Is in order.

                                                            1. re: Beach Chick
                                                              l
                                                              latindancer Mar 20, 2013 04:47 PM

                                                              <want to hear what every orifice from your body sounds like...>

                                                              I've been in a few parts of the country, sitting in a restaurant, where this type of behavior is not only accepted but actually admired and given the 'thumbs up' and 'high 5'. It's hard to believe people live like that but it happens.
                                                              Ugh.

                                                              1. re: latindancer
                                                                grampart Mar 20, 2013 04:57 PM

                                                                There may be places like that, but I sure as hell have never seen one. And I live in Georgia!

                                                          2. re: grampart
                                                            Jay F Mar 20, 2013 02:19 PM

                                                            This is the post by which I knew you were a curmudgeon.

                                                      2. h
                                                        HillJ Mar 12, 2013 10:32 AM

                                                        Even with no smoking rules in place, restaurants and bars now considered non smoking still reek. The smoke odor hasn't left the building. Or the breaks for employees who cut out for a smoke outside hasn't changed. There is no way to avoid the smell of cigs. And smokers, perfume wearers, dog owners, new baby smells, my gosh you name it our nose is gonna take the hit in the course of our dining day. Only the Manager can really assume a role in asking employees to manage their hygiene.

                                                        And off OT, wasn't the ban on smoking in public places besides a media blitz regarding health concerns generally speaking also a liability with insurance policies that many building owners and business owners had to concede was taking a huge bite out of their wallets...and would continue to take an even large bite out of without legalized bans.

                                                        1. PotatoHouse Mar 15, 2013 02:04 PM

                                                          What "offends" me is the fact that it is extremely likely that most of the people complaining about cigarette smokers in this thread would turn around and support free needles for junkies, free Methadone clinics, and "public understanding and support" for junkies, but they are ready to all but exile all smokers.
                                                          Here's some advice; There is NO constitutional right to NOT being offended! If you don't like how the server smells then either order take-out or eat somewhere else. People are not going to live their lives with the sole purpose of making sure YOU are never offended. Deal with it.

                                                          8 Replies
                                                          1. re: PotatoHouse
                                                            n
                                                            Nudibranch Mar 15, 2013 02:16 PM

                                                            Constitutional rights don't enter into it. Banning a *behavior* that has negative health consequences on people who aren't even indulging in it is a choice society has the right to make, and in this case it's one I support 100%. No, I don't have a "constitutional right" to not be offended; and you don't have one to smoke in a restaurant, so "deal with it". Why are Americans so quick to blare about constitutional rights where they don't apply?

                                                            1. re: Nudibranch
                                                              r
                                                              ratbuddy Mar 15, 2013 03:19 PM

                                                              Sounds like you'd support reinstatement of alcohol prohibition, too. Good luck with that.

                                                              1. re: ratbuddy
                                                                n
                                                                Nudibranch Mar 15, 2013 03:32 PM

                                                                You drinking doesn't threaten my health. Now, you being loud and disorderly when drunk, or worse driving drunk - yeah, I certainly support society's right to deal with those behaviors.

                                                                1. re: Nudibranch
                                                                  r
                                                                  ratbuddy Mar 16, 2013 06:22 AM

                                                                  Me opening a restaurant that allows smoking doesn't affect your health either - you can choose not to go there, and people can choose not to work there.

                                                                  1. re: ratbuddy
                                                                    grampart Mar 16, 2013 06:29 AM

                                                                    Right on!!

                                                              2. re: Nudibranch
                                                                Bacchus101 Mar 16, 2013 07:36 AM

                                                                Right on point! Perhaps a look at the constitution might inform the ignorant as to its application. No probably not!

                                                              3. re: PotatoHouse
                                                                linguafood Mar 15, 2013 03:33 PM

                                                                Deduce much?

                                                                A junkie shooting up heroin or receiving methadone has zero effect on my personal health, whereas several studies seem to indicate a detrimental effect of second hand smoke.

                                                                I do agree on the offense part of your reply.

                                                                1. re: PotatoHouse
                                                                  s
                                                                  sedimental Mar 16, 2013 10:28 PM

                                                                  I don't know about all that. I just get offended by people that stink.

                                                                2. d
                                                                  dmjordan Mar 15, 2013 03:00 PM

                                                                  I can understand if you are truly allergic to the smell as one poster mentioned. As for the rest of you, is the server sitting down and eating with you? A server spends what? About 2 or 3 minutes tops at your table? You can't tolerate that?

                                                                  1. y
                                                                    youareabunny Mar 16, 2013 07:26 AM

                                                                    I've caught cooks/chefs outside the restaurant, pissing on the wall. Compared to the cigs don't scare me

                                                                    Ignorance is bliss.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: youareabunny
                                                                      Lillipop Apr 4, 2013 02:02 AM

                                                                      Caught or observed?

                                                                    2. Bacchus101 Mar 16, 2013 07:42 AM

                                                                      I would argue that the server is being paid to be acceptable to the customer in all aspects of their personal conduct; that includes smell. The customer is paying to enjoy their meal and therefore it is not unreasonable to expect it. But remember what ever you do do not reflect your dissatisfaction in your tip! Because the restaurant employees have their "rights", if not constitutional then otherwise and also there is the threat that you may be identified, labeled as a non or low tipper! Horrors!

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Bacchus101
                                                                        Jay F Mar 16, 2013 08:35 AM

                                                                        The last time I was in a restaurant, the waitress smelled strongly of either deodorant, anti-p, or perfume. I wonder if it was an attempt to cover up cigarette smell. Breathing in the byproduct of someone who was smoking ten minutes ago would have been far less unpleasant than our overly-perfumed waitress.

                                                                      2. charles_sills Mar 16, 2013 12:46 PM

                                                                        i think the smell of coffee is terrible. they shouldnt offer it in restaurants anymore, because i cant stand the smell of it.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: charles_sills
                                                                          grampart Mar 16, 2013 12:55 PM

                                                                          And those that must have it need help with their caffein addiction.

                                                                          1. re: grampart
                                                                            treestonerivershrub Mar 29, 2013 08:36 PM

                                                                            THE LINE OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF BLUE BOTTLE / THE CROWD OF PEOPLE INSIDE OF BLUE BOTTLE

                                                                        2. c
                                                                          CanadaGirl Mar 17, 2013 05:31 AM

                                                                          I have rarely been affected by the smell of smoke on restaurant staff. I can sometimes smell it, but as others have said it is a brief time they are beside me.

                                                                          I have asked to me moved, however, when initially sat beside someone who smelled strongly of stale smoke, or if they have been seated beside me. I've done the same thing with overly strong (and yes, I know it's subjective) perfume or cologne.

                                                                          I live in a place where smoking isn't allowed inside public places, nor at public parks. I know some on this thread will find this awful, but I am happy about it.

                                                                          1. b
                                                                            Bkeats Mar 19, 2013 10:13 AM

                                                                            Oh that slippery slope of not offending. Some have made the observation that since servers are in the service business, they should do everything to not offend. Not offend who? How do you determine what will trigger some negative reaction on each customer who walks through the door?

                                                                            For some, obviously its cigarette odor. For others it will be dress, whether the message on a T-shirt offends or not. Too much perfume makes me as well as some others gag. Body odors? There’s that scent from lack of personal hygiene but what about people who just smell different? People have different scents. That scent can be augmented or supplemented by things they eat. Too much raw onion or garlic? Kim-chi? Phew! Tattos? Piercings? The number of things that can offend or make a customer uneasy or nauseous are as many as there are customers.

                                                                            “Let’s make sure everyone else does things exactly the way I do! Damn it! That way I won’t have to worry about anything wherever I go.” That would be an uninteresting world to me. Nothing to offend or challenge me. A pablum world.

                                                                            There are numerous threads about manners. Let’s all remember them and keep our sensibilities to ourselves and if you don’t happen to like the servers/owners/bartenders at some particular place, don’t go there or if you find yourself there, leave. No need to seek out confrontation or worse sit there fuming. No one is making you go there other than yourself. If you can’t leave, relax. Don’t fret, it’s only a meal. Afterwards, don’t go back. I’m sure they won’t miss you. The feeling will be mutual.

                                                                            25 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Bkeats
                                                                              h
                                                                              HillJ Mar 19, 2013 10:41 AM

                                                                              Every year for the past 23 years I visit my favorite tax gal. She's a serious 3 pack a day smoker. Her office reeks and when I return from an appointment I often take a quick shower, refresh my own body from the stench and let my coat take a tumble in the dryer. But I adore this gal. She makes a fantastic pot of tea for me, we catch up, size up the taxes and off I go. I wouldn't dream of lecturing her about her smoking or how off putting I find it. I've never even mentioned the # of candles she lights isn't making any difference in the odor...I just hope the place doesn't burn down!

                                                                              There's one bar I go to at the shore that stinks so bad and they call it "charm." I love this dive bar. I love the people there. I'm def. the only non smoker. They make a mean cocktail and carry the beers I enjoy. I wouldn't dream of not going there. I just hope no one burns the place down with a cig!

                                                                              1. re: Bkeats
                                                                                mariacarmen Mar 19, 2013 01:56 PM

                                                                                perfectly said.

                                                                                1. re: Bkeats
                                                                                  Bacchus101 Mar 20, 2013 07:26 AM

                                                                                  Oh please, knowing the basic issues that tend to offend is a good starting point. The excruciating detail of any and all things which might offend someone, some time is absurd and just a smoke screen (no pun intended) to obscure the real issue which is it is the obligation of the service personnel (for which they are being paid) to not offend while offering satisfactory service.

                                                                                  1. re: Bkeats
                                                                                    l
                                                                                    latindancer Mar 20, 2013 08:35 AM

                                                                                    <Let's make sure everyone else does things exactly the way I do! Damn it!>

                                                                                    To deduce and decide this is the common theme of those responding to the OP's post seems a bit dismissive and untrue.
                                                                                    Your list of random possible offenses is a bit silly....I could name about 1,000 more. The subject is smokers, with smoker's breath, who haven't taken the 60 seconds it might take to either pop a breath mint or somehow mask the act and then serve food.
                                                                                    For anyone to go above and beyond and use the example of smokers in bars or smokers in clubs is not about what's being discussed. If I go listen to Blues I fully expect everyone around me to be smoking. When I go to a dance club it's no different. It's part of the experience. They go hand-in-hand. That's not what we're discussing.

                                                                                    1. re: latindancer
                                                                                      h
                                                                                      HillJ Mar 20, 2013 08:44 AM

                                                                                      Did I miss something? The subject is: Servers and bartenders that smoke...

                                                                                      I've read the whole thread here and I wasn't having trouble following along...so clue me in what did I miss?

                                                                                      Wouldn't the subject title suggest that some people are working in bars and clubs? When I go to a bar, and most don't allow smoking inside, the place still reeks of smoking pre bans and the staff that enjoys smoking hits the back door during break. If food is served at the bar I'm getting a hit of their breath while they are taking my order. A breath mint and/or perfume isn't covering up the smoke odor. And I'm keeping my mouth shut to respect their rights and to get the best darn bar burger this side of Jersey. It's all civilized, the burgers tasty and off I go.

                                                                                      So what did I miss on this tangent?

                                                                                      1. re: HillJ
                                                                                        l
                                                                                        latindancer Mar 20, 2013 08:51 AM

                                                                                        <Did I miss something?>

                                                                                        Based on the OP's statement that "I've been to 2 restaurants this week" I'm assuming he/she's talking about restaurants with waitstaff.
                                                                                        Nobody's asking a bartender or a waitperson in a bar or dance club to quit smoking. That's ludicrous.

                                                                                        1. re: latindancer
                                                                                          h
                                                                                          HillJ Mar 20, 2013 08:53 AM

                                                                                          Except the first sentence of the OP reads:

                                                                                          Advice to all servers and bartenders that smoke.

                                                                                          1. re: HillJ
                                                                                            l
                                                                                            latindancer Mar 20, 2013 08:55 AM

                                                                                            I know where I stand on this....
                                                                                            It's purely speculative unless the OP chooses to respond.

                                                                                            1. re: latindancer
                                                                                              h
                                                                                              HillJ Mar 20, 2013 08:57 AM

                                                                                              That's why I asked you to clarify for me. I don't understand. Your choice. Np.

                                                                                              If you are actually speaking to the original poster of this OP, I didn't catch that.

                                                                                        2. re: HillJ
                                                                                          l
                                                                                          latindancer Mar 20, 2013 08:52 AM

                                                                                          "Tangent"?

                                                                                          1. re: latindancer
                                                                                            h
                                                                                            HillJ Mar 20, 2013 08:56 AM

                                                                                            Sure, I was referring to the place in this thread where you physically attached your interesting comment. I was also contributing to that part of the discussion so I'm interested. It's a different discussion from farther up thread but I thought provocative to the subject.

                                                                                            1. re: HillJ
                                                                                              l
                                                                                              latindancer Mar 20, 2013 09:16 AM

                                                                                              Here's my clarification...

                                                                                              When I go out to eat I prefer the smokers who've, inevitably, been smoking out back attempt to cover it up before they blow their breath in my face. If they don't, oh well, I'll just grin and bare it and look at the person a little differently. The tip doesn't change, my mannerisms don't change and I'd look at it no differently than someone eating an entire onion and not caring if they offended me with their breath. It's just common sense and common courtesy to the customers. When I CHOOSE to go to a club or listen to music or work doing the work I do I'm going to be around it. I have no choice. However, when a server, in a restaurant whose interiors have been banned from smokers, chooses to bring their habit to my table with a cavalier attitude then the game changes for me. I don't like being around the smoke, obviously I'm not alone, but in my profession it's just part of the territory & I go with it.
                                                                                              "Tangent" is not at all from where I'm coming from.

                                                                                              1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                h
                                                                                                HillJ Mar 20, 2013 09:28 AM

                                                                                                And your referencing my use of the word tangent...if I'm following at all is because you were put off that the original OP was going off topic.

                                                                                                Regarding your clarification though, it's interesting. I find that I don't usually know what to expect at a bar, club or restaurant until I get there. A smoker's issue becoming my issue is something I'd have to deal with in the moment. More x's than not I can deal with it...especially if the food, cocktails and company are outstanding.

                                                                                                1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                  PotatoHouse Mar 22, 2013 05:43 PM

                                                                                                  I don't know where you eat, but ANY waitstaff that blows their breath in my face is going way too far in violating my personal space whether they smoke or not. I don't know about you, but I am not in the habit of having my waitstaff sit down at the table with me and lean in close, looking me directly in the eye and breathing into my face as I order my meal. I think you need to find a new restaurant.

                                                                                                  1. re: PotatoHouse
                                                                                                    Jay F Mar 22, 2013 05:45 PM

                                                                                                    Seriously, you need for someone to literally get in your face in order to smell smoke (or whatever) on their breath? Must be nice.

                                                                                                    1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                      PotatoHouse Mar 22, 2013 06:50 PM

                                                                                                      "When I go out to eat I prefer the smokers who've, inevitably, been smoking out back attempt to cover it up before they blow their breath in my face."

                                                                                                      Exact quote. For them to BLOW their breath INTO my face, yes they have to be uncomfortably close. I quit smoking two years ago and it is not uncommon for me to smell a smoker from the next aisle at the grocery store, but Latindancer did not refer to smelling the smoke, he referred to them blowing their breath in his face. Totally different situation.

                                                                                                      1. re: PotatoHouse
                                                                                                        Lillipop Apr 4, 2013 01:52 AM

                                                                                                        I just ranted a bit about my experiences as a former smoker (13 years). I can detect that odor from a great distance now that I no longer smoke and I detest being so sensitive to it.

                                                                                                    2. re: PotatoHouse
                                                                                                      l
                                                                                                      latindancer Mar 22, 2013 09:48 PM

                                                                                                      Is there a full moon tonight?

                                                                                              2. re: HillJ
                                                                                                j
                                                                                                Jackie007 Apr 4, 2013 01:30 AM

                                                                                                Are you talking about a certain Irish pub in Madison, NJ? Because I've seen people loudly complain about lingering smoke in the carpets and smoking staff there. I've regarded them as insane.

                                                                                                1. re: Jackie007
                                                                                                  h
                                                                                                  HillJ Apr 4, 2013 05:02 AM

                                                                                                  What a healthy comment.

                                                                                              3. re: latindancer
                                                                                                b
                                                                                                Bkeats Mar 20, 2013 10:30 AM

                                                                                                I am trying to be dismissive. In the same way that when I have a server who might look or smell in a way that I don't appreciate, I will dismiss what ever trait offends me as unimportant. If you give me good service, and are prompt, courteous and efficient, I will reward that regardless of the other factors because that's what is important to me when I eat out. Life's too short for me to dwell on the fact that someone's breath smells like an old ash tray. I get that its not a pleasant smell. So what? It only lingers on in your mind if you let it. I've had servers where I'm pretty sure they had halitosis. So bad that you wanted to hold you breath when they recited the specials. Should I dock that person's tip for that? I don't.

                                                                                                1. re: Bkeats
                                                                                                  l
                                                                                                  latindancer Mar 20, 2013 11:01 AM

                                                                                                  Neither do I, as I've stated. My mannerisms do not change and my tips do not change. My friends who smoke, many of them foreigners, smell wonderful. In fact they smell nicer than most people I know so I know it can be done. It's a matter of personal hygiene and caring how they come across to other people.

                                                                                                  You are obviously a much better and nicer person than I, Bkeats, and it certainly does manifest itself with your insight's on what's 'important' in life.

                                                                                                  1. re: Bkeats
                                                                                                    Lillipop Apr 4, 2013 02:00 AM

                                                                                                    When I encounter it once I get over my episodes of gagging...retching....sneezing....coughing etc.then I actually as an
                                                                                                    R N and a former smoker (stopped 13 years ago) feel very very sorry for the person for being oblivious about the toll their tobacco addiction takes not only on their health but mine:( I would never not tip a person because of their "smokers smell" and saying anything is out of the question because risking hurting someone's feelings is inappropriate and cruel.To be honest I detest the fact that I am so overly sensitive to residual cigarette smoke since I stopped smoking because for me it does create great discomfort when I am exposed to it.Fortunately for me I live in California and because smoking is pretty much banned publicly it is rare to encounter many smokers or "reekers" these days:)

                                                                                                2. re: Bkeats
                                                                                                  PotatoHouse Mar 22, 2013 05:36 PM

                                                                                                  Thank you BKeats!! You said what I felt but was unable to properly express!

                                                                                                  1. re: Bkeats
                                                                                                    treestonerivershrub Mar 29, 2013 08:30 PM

                                                                                                    You rule.

                                                                                                  2. treestonerivershrub Mar 29, 2013 08:37 PM

                                                                                                    Emotional labor. Read about it.
                                                                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotiona...

                                                                                                    1. Lillipop Apr 4, 2013 01:49 AM

                                                                                                      I agree 100%. I am a former smoker I quit forever in Jan.2000.I have no problem with someone smoking in reasonable proximity to me once in awhile but I gag...cough...sneeze at that stale lingering "smokers smell". That horrid lingering odor on the clothing.....hair...skin....breath of smokers.People who are servers can use a spray bottle of mouthwash and spray some Febreze in the air and walk through the mist before returning to customer service after chain smoking on their breaks!

                                                                                                      Show Hidden Posts