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What's your impression when you pull into a restaurant and see employees out back on a smoke break?

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ebchower Oct 6, 2013 03:51 AM

When this happens, I often just keep driving and go someplace else. Just as a restaurant doesn't want a dirty parking lot to be a patron's first impression, neither should the sight of an employee smoking. Someone explained to me that 124% of restaurant workers smoke, but I don't think a customer should ever see it.

  1. KaimukiMan Oct 6, 2013 03:58 AM

    I'm glad they aren't in the kitchen smoking. But really, where do you think the employees should be smoking? "Out back" is certainly preferable to "out front", and no I'm not being snarky. I'm just not sure what it is you expect.

    1. h
      Harters Oct 6, 2013 04:32 AM

      I'd like to think that employees are smoking "out back". "Out front" should be reserved for customers smoking.

      Doesnt bother me one bit, though.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Harters
        financialdistrictresident Oct 6, 2013 05:08 AM

        Harters, I'm with you.

        OP, I think the industry's heavy rates of alcohol use are more troubling:

        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/din...

      2. JMF Oct 6, 2013 04:55 AM

        "124%"?

        2 Replies
        1. re: JMF
          Tripeler Oct 6, 2013 06:00 AM

          Maybe some people average over 100% since they smoke several different substances...

          1. re: JMF
            m
            mwhitmore Oct 6, 2013 06:47 PM

            As a non-smoker who has worked in restaurants, this *seems* to be true. Or at least understandable hyperbole.

          2. mamachef Oct 6, 2013 05:12 AM

            Unless the restaurant's entrance is located "out back," why would this be a first impression? At least the fact that they're out of the establishment should count for something.

            3 Replies
            1. re: mamachef
              e
              ebchower Oct 6, 2013 06:19 AM

              Because you often have to park in the rear.

              1. re: ebchower
                mamachef Oct 6, 2013 07:24 AM

                :) It wasn't a serious comment anyway, but if we're talking about the back lot, there's sure to be a dumpster there somewhere, which to me has the potential to be just as offensive, if not more, than witnessing someone smoke.

                1. re: ebchower
                  l
                  lagatta Oct 11, 2013 11:32 AM

                  I'll deliberately refrain from commenting about driving...

              2. a
                Ariadanz Oct 6, 2013 05:14 AM

                My first thought is I'm glad they're getting a smoke break, because then they won't be having a nicotine fit when they wait on me. My second thought is I'm glad they're out back and not out front. Considering there's probably nowhere else for them to smoke besides behind the dumpsters I fail to see the issue. I'd rather they not smoke behind the dumpsters, that could get dirty.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Ariadanz
                  mamachef Oct 6, 2013 07:25 AM

                  Didn't see this before I wrote mine, but: yep. This.

                2. h
                  Hobbert Oct 6, 2013 05:42 AM

                  If I avoided every business where employees engaged in habits I didn't care for, I'd be a hermit. If the restaurant and staff don't smell like cigarettes, I don't care if they smoke.

                  1. sunshine842 Oct 6, 2013 07:03 AM

                    another one for 124% --- huh?

                    There are people who smoke -- we all agree they shouldn't be smoking in the kitchen, in the dining room, or in front of the restaurant.

                    Where then, exactly, do you propose that smokers go to get their fix?

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: sunshine842
                      e
                      ebchower Oct 6, 2013 07:16 AM

                      I understand the practicality of it. I'm just interested in what people think of it when it's the first thing you encounter. If you were expecting a guest that you absolutely wanted to impress, wouldn't you rather he not see workers smoking outside, all things being equal?

                      1. re: ebchower
                        f
                        foodieX2 Oct 6, 2013 07:32 AM

                        I would be bothered more that a restaurant had their entrance in the back near the dumpsters, delivery doors and employees break areas, etc The few places I have been to where the parking lot was in back had that area fenced off, out of view.

                        And to be *really* honest I am bothered more by customers who are smoking right at the front door. Nothing worse that having walk thru a wall of smoke before dinner or having to put up with the ashtray smell left by smoldering butts. I am an ex smoker (quit about 25-28 years ago) and the smell disgusts me.

                        1. re: foodieX2
                          JonParker Oct 6, 2013 08:20 AM

                          I quit about seven years ago, but I wholeheartedly agree. My concern is not with the appearance of their habit, but the appearance of their lungs.

                        2. re: ebchower
                          sunshine842 Oct 6, 2013 09:01 AM

                          foodiex2's response above is absolutely spot on.

                          1. re: ebchower
                            gaffk Oct 6, 2013 04:53 PM

                            Why would a guest spotting workers smoking behind a restaurant affect his impression of you?

                            1. re: ebchower
                              Davwud Oct 8, 2013 09:39 AM

                              I guess they should move out to the sidewalk by the road. Oh wait, you'll see them as you drive into the parking lot.

                              How be we move them 1 driveway in either direction?? Oh wait, then you won't be able to drive in that direction.

                              DT

                              1. re: ebchower
                                l
                                lagatta Oct 11, 2013 11:39 AM

                                I'd much prefer that people didn't smoke in general, but that is in terms of their own health, not my preferences. It is none of my business.

                                1. re: ebchower
                                  b
                                  Billy33 Oct 12, 2013 07:25 PM

                                  Wouldn't bother me at all. It would be interesting to see if there are other aesthetic things that put CHers off eating at a restaurant e.g. peeling paint, dead plants, misspelt signs. I don't mean obvious hygiene or food preparation issues, just aesthetic ones that many people would happily ignore but might be a dealbreaker for others.

                                  1. re: Billy33
                                    sandiasingh Oct 24, 2013 05:17 PM

                                    Dead plants, yes. I was entering a restaurant once where someone had barfed on the sidewalk just in front of the door. That was not good. Never went back.

                                    1. re: sandiasingh
                                      p
                                      PandaCat Nov 3, 2013 04:59 PM

                                      Oh my goodness- seriously- that's awful. And truly horrible advertising. Who WOULD go back??

                                  2. re: ebchower
                                    EWSflash Oct 12, 2013 07:52 PM

                                    ebchower, what you say makes me think of a few 'cigarette nazis' that I know. In most cases it's not feasible for people to leave the restaurant far away enough to not be seen and therefore be offensive to some people. I have one friend that's a lot of fun when she's not talking about or hunting down smokers, it's almost like there are two people in there. If it bothers you, don't go there. It sounds like your issues run deep and it would be better for everybody if you didn't patronize the place.

                                2. LotusRapper Oct 6, 2013 08:06 AM

                                  That depends on what they're smoking ;-)

                                  1. t
                                    teezeetoo Oct 6, 2013 08:49 AM

                                    what I think is they're having a break. Why is it your impression that smokers are dirtier than other folks? I presume there's a place for them to put their butts and they are entitled to their bad habits as long as they don't smoke in my space.

                                    1. porker Oct 6, 2013 09:31 AM

                                      I take it peeking through the small, porthole-kitchen-door window and seeing the cook squint while tossing a wok because the smoke from his 2", ash-laden, cigarette is burning his eyes would be off-putting as well?
                                      We always joked that our favorite Chinese restaurant's "secret" ingredient was cigarette ash...

                                      Me? I don't really care if the staff is smoking out back. If its back-of-the-house folks, it might very well be grass.

                                      But we're all different when it comes to our peeves.

                                      Perhaps not quite 124%, but I would assume that at least 100% of all restaurant workers have bowel movements and urinate. Maybe customers shouldn't have to see this either, but like smokers, I'm hoping they're washing their hands
                                      afterwards.

                                      1. s
                                        sedimental Oct 6, 2013 10:30 AM

                                        In my state, smoking is not allowed within 20 feet of an entrance to a building. So, now you find employees and customers (sometimes together)hanging out in the middle of the parking lot or around the edges of it, smoking.

                                        Not sure that law works really well in some situations......

                                        1. The Professor Oct 6, 2013 11:01 AM

                                          It doesn't bother me other than pitying their addiction which will take them to an early grave. They've made an informed choice.

                                          But will it cause me to decide to pass up a good restaurant? Absolutely not. As long as they're not smoking in the restaurant or in the kitchen.

                                          I _will_ pass up any restaurant that allows smoking in the dining room however. But thankfully, as a result of sensible legislation, that practice has all but disappeared in the USA.

                                          The 124% quote did give me a chuckle.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: The Professor
                                            JonParker Oct 6, 2013 11:43 AM

                                            Sadly, it's pretty prevalent in Oklahoma. State law actually forbids any city from instituting more restrictive smoking legislation than the state provides. Just another reason why no sane person would want to live there.

                                          2. meatn3 Oct 6, 2013 02:42 PM

                                            Really?

                                            As long as the place is staffed adequately to provide my meal with decent service and all employees maintain proper hygiene then the way they spend their break is their business.

                                            Smoking is not an indicator of one's inability to do a good job.

                                            I just can't see any benefit of using this as a method of selecting a restaurant. You are making conclusions based upon nothing but applying your pov in a very judgmental way.

                                            1. greygarious Oct 6, 2013 03:12 PM

                                              It would not dissuade me from patronizing the establishment.
                                              I suspect that part of the reason most restaurants use more salt than necessary is that the food is prepared by staff whose taste buds have been dulled by smoking. I wish they did not have the habit, not to mention the damage smoking does to the rest of their bodies, but I recognize that at present, this is restaurant industry status quo.

                                              1. Chemicalkinetics Oct 6, 2013 03:14 PM

                                                I didn't read other posts.

                                                My answer is that:

                                                I don't care. It does not make me less or more likely to eat there. For disclosure, I am not a smoker.

                                                1. elegraph Oct 6, 2013 03:32 PM

                                                  I don't think you understand how hard these employees work when there are tickets on the line, and the constant pressure and noise add to the stress. I own a restaurant and I tell my workers to catch a break whenever they can step off the line, which isn't often. In spite of a fenced off area, they are visible to some customers from the parking lot. If that offends you, eat somewhere else.

                                                  1. juliejulez Oct 6, 2013 04:06 PM

                                                    I have no impression. As long as they aren't smoking by the entrance or in the kitchen, I don't care what they do back there.

                                                    1. suzigirl Oct 6, 2013 04:13 PM

                                                      As an ex smoker and an ex restaurant worker I just have one question. Where do you want them to go? It is the most appropriate place in my opinion.

                                                      1. mrbigshotno.1 Oct 6, 2013 04:14 PM

                                                        Just as long as they are not taking them during a rush, and they wash their hands, I look at it from the bosses point of view.

                                                        1. l
                                                          LeoLioness Oct 6, 2013 05:01 PM

                                                          My impression is that it's someone smoking a cigarette. I don't attach morality to the act. It's no different than if they are taking a break to make a phone call or read something on their phone.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: LeoLioness
                                                            sunshine842 Oct 6, 2013 05:54 PM

                                                            or duck off to the toilet, or have something to eat, or drink a Coke, or anything else that ordinary people do when they're on their break....

                                                          2. p
                                                            pixelcat Oct 6, 2013 06:11 PM

                                                            It reminds me to be more appreciative of their efforts.

                                                            1. emglow101 Oct 6, 2013 06:37 PM

                                                              I could care less. Hell,we survived the 70's.Laws have been passed since.I was a dishwasher at a local restaurant.Smoking......The cook smoked as he was cooking.And that's the good part.

                                                              1. ipsedixit Oct 6, 2013 06:41 PM

                                                                Certainly beats driving up and seeing the restaurant employee out back doing the "one-handed, no tissue nose blow"

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                  EWSflash Nov 2, 2013 01:02 PM

                                                                  That's what my son calls a Snot Rocket.

                                                                  1. re: EWSflash
                                                                    jrvedivici Nov 3, 2013 11:00 AM

                                                                    Air hanky

                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                      hotoynoodle Nov 3, 2013 12:05 PM

                                                                      blowing a hoboken.

                                                                      1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                        mamachef Nov 6, 2013 07:23 AM

                                                                        Farmer's blow.

                                                                2. m
                                                                  mwhitmore Oct 6, 2013 06:45 PM

                                                                  Um...that it is a restaurant. With employees.

                                                                  1. KaimukiMan Oct 6, 2013 08:36 PM

                                                                    the OP has had almost a full day to think about it. so I will repeat my original question.

                                                                    Dear ebchower:

                                                                    Given the popularly held view that a large percentage of food service people smoke, and the fact that in almost every jurisdiction smoking either inside or close to a door/window is not permitted, do you have a suggestion as to where the employees should do their smoking?

                                                                    Clearly they can't be wandering half way down the alley, or into the far reaches of the rear parking lot as they need to get back to work quickly. Having them at the front entrance clearly isn't the answer, even in those businesses where most of the patrons enter from the rear because that is where the parking is.

                                                                    I'm really curious as to what you see as the answer.

                                                                    Sincerely,

                                                                    Kman

                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                      e
                                                                      ebchower Oct 7, 2013 06:18 AM

                                                                      My post was about not liking the first thing I see when I pull into a place is an employee smoking. Period. Not looking for rationalizations, solutions, etc. I know opinions on smoking run the gamut from those who detest being anywhere around it to those who willfully inhale smoke into their lungs. It's hard for the latter to sympathize with the former. Thanks for all the feedback.

                                                                      1. re: ebchower
                                                                        KaimukiMan Oct 7, 2013 06:25 AM

                                                                        thanks.

                                                                      2. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                        rockandroller1 Oct 8, 2013 08:48 AM

                                                                        I'm not the person to whom you directed the comment, but I would think the answer would be, "nowhere." There are more and more workplaces where employees are not allowed to smoke at all on the job; where I live, it's primarily offices and hospitals, but I can see this spreading eventually to restaurants.

                                                                        I am a former smoker and understand the pressure and need for a break. Truly. I also echo the above comment about walking through the cloud of smoke from other customers at the front of the store being much, much more annoying.

                                                                        I think my primary problem is not A person taking a break smoking. But when I pull up and see 12 people outside, why are they not working? I've worked in a lot of restaurants and there is always stuff to do before the rush that needs done for prep, so how are there all these idle hands? And if I end up waiting an hour for my food because "the kitchen is backed up," I'm going to be even more mad that everyone was taking a break at once.

                                                                        Not knowing the staffign particulars, I think this is why it "looks bad" to people who drive in and see this. It's not necessarily the smoking itself, though I think that will eventually be legislated away, it's the fact that why are all these people on break at once? Is the place so terrible nobody is eating there? There is really no prep work to be done?

                                                                        1. re: rockandroller1
                                                                          l
                                                                          LeoLioness Oct 8, 2013 09:02 AM

                                                                          Is a dozen restaurant employees smoking at once something you routinely see?

                                                                          1. re: LeoLioness
                                                                            rockandroller1 Oct 8, 2013 09:09 AM

                                                                            I mention that apropos what I assumed motivated the original OP, which is a picture that's been making its way around social media of someone pulling up to park at a certain national chain restaurant where there were approximately 10 or so people out back smoking when they arrived. I could be wrong on that being the impetus for the post, but that was the type of thing I'm speaking to. And, at freestanding large chain restaurants like that, I definitely have seen that. But I avoid those experiences as much as possible (going to national chains).

                                                                            1. re: rockandroller1
                                                                              l
                                                                              LeoLioness Oct 8, 2013 11:28 AM

                                                                              Where I live most restaurants don't have parking lots, so employees are just smoking out back.I wouldn't ever know how many there are out there at once (nor do I really care, but I already said as much upthread).

                                                                              1. re: rockandroller1
                                                                                p
                                                                                PandaCat Nov 3, 2013 05:08 PM

                                                                                One thing to consider: Employees know when the rush is coming so they will all try to get a nic fix before hand- it's not that there are a bunch of idle hands, it's just their last chance for a few hours.

                                                                            2. re: rockandroller1
                                                                              westsidegal Oct 11, 2013 04:43 PM

                                                                              as a customer, why would managing the work time of the restaurant employees be MY business?
                                                                              normally someone who has some financial skin in the game is in charge of this, and it would take some brass to think that a customer casually observing the scene should have any sort of "vote" on what-the-employees-should-be-doing at any moment in time.

                                                                          2. SaraAshley Oct 6, 2013 09:49 PM

                                                                            It doesn't bother me in the slightest. Two of the bars/restaurants I frequent most for drinks let their employees smoke out front and this doesn't bother me either. I think this is usually only during late night though, and different rules may apply during peak hours, but still.

                                                                            1. JMF Oct 7, 2013 12:08 AM

                                                                              The OP is fully within their right to not go into the restaurant for whatever reason they wish. Not wanting to see people smoke, employees, or anyone else is their choice. Not very realistic, but we all have our issues of importance.

                                                                              I'm an ex-smoker, and have worked in just about every part of the food and beverage industry at one time or another. The only things I care about are that customers don't get faces full of smoke, or have to smell it, and that employees wash their hands before going back to work. I had a battle recently at a restaurant I worked with about servers and bartenders who left cigarette smoke smell on cocktail glasses and plates they served to customers, and the fact of the cloud of stale smoke that followed them around, and the bad smoke breath they exhaled, because they didn't wash their hands, chew gum, etc. to remove the odor.

                                                                              1. Karl S Oct 7, 2013 05:10 AM

                                                                                I think the issue is way more about you than them or the restaurant. I detest cigarettes, but it would never occur to me to react this way to the situation you describe.

                                                                                1. hotoynoodle Oct 7, 2013 06:31 AM

                                                                                  when i was a restaurant manager i would not allow employees to "duck out for a quick smoke", unless they were on an actual break. if people have guests or tickets coming through to the line, they need to be present, not m.i.a. you worked the shift, (4-10, 6-12, whatever) and could smoke when your guests were gone. "going out for a smoke" often entails lots of phone activity and texting which prolongs the whole thing.

                                                                                  handwashing doesn't remove the smoke on their breath, hair and clothes.

                                                                                  going to the bathroom doesn't take as long as smoking a cigarette and is a normal bodily function.

                                                                                  maybe this seems extra harsh, but when i explained the rationale staff was understanding and "got it." i was also more than fair and lenient in other ways.

                                                                                  1. b
                                                                                    beevod Oct 7, 2013 07:41 AM

                                                                                    Tsk tsk.

                                                                                    1. i
                                                                                      INDIANRIVERFL Oct 7, 2013 07:54 AM

                                                                                      My only impression is that there will be a bit of a longer wait until I am served.

                                                                                      This from a life long non-smoker.

                                                                                      1. Motosport Oct 7, 2013 08:51 AM

                                                                                        My first impression is: "YUCK!!" Then again I have never smoked.
                                                                                        As long as the smell did not linger with our server or in my food I'd still eat there.
                                                                                        More than 50% of the employees smoke at our business. It's a fact of life. I don't know why but I am always surprised to see so many young people smoking.

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Motosport
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                                                                                          lagatta Oct 11, 2013 11:53 AM

                                                                                          I'm very sad to see young people smoking, and I see it every day.

                                                                                          1. re: lagatta
                                                                                            globocity Oct 11, 2013 01:24 PM

                                                                                            I also feel sad seeing old people smoke. Or overweight smokers.

                                                                                            1. re: globocity
                                                                                              westsidegal Oct 11, 2013 04:48 PM

                                                                                              i also feel sad when i see kids being fed so called "food" that is full of artificial color, artificial flavor, transfats, sodium nitrite, sodium nitrates, high fructose corn syrup, etc.

                                                                                              so what? i am not their parent?

                                                                                              in this case, the same applies: i am not the restaurant manager, investor, owner.
                                                                                              i should not have a vote here.

                                                                                              as a customer, my only vote is my economic vote: do i want to patronize the place or not? the end.

                                                                                              1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                JMF Oct 12, 2013 09:36 AM

                                                                                                You had me until the nitrite/nitrates... then I went off on a mental rant.

                                                                                        2. a
                                                                                          Auntiewoman Oct 7, 2013 02:09 PM

                                                                                          Are you kidding me? Where are they supposed to smoke? What if you saw other customers smoking outside the building?

                                                                                          Now, I did leave when I saw a young man emptying the trash and then proceed to urinate outside.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Auntiewoman
                                                                                            porker Oct 8, 2013 06:23 AM

                                                                                            Are you kidding me? Where are they supposed to empty the trash?
                                                                                            {;-/)

                                                                                          2. pinehurst Oct 7, 2013 02:16 PM

                                                                                            I think all restaurant employees who smoke should wear a large red-and-gold embroidered N for Nicotine over the left breast section of their uniform, ala Hester Prynne, dammit.

                                                                                            Now get outta my parking lot. I mean your parking lot.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: pinehurst
                                                                                              p
                                                                                              PandaCat Nov 3, 2013 05:15 PM

                                                                                              *snicker* well said

                                                                                            2. mamachef Oct 8, 2013 08:40 AM

                                                                                              This made me laugh - I asked Darling Daughter about this question and her answer was, "my impression would be, 'oh look, employees who smoke out back.' " which kinda nails it for me too.

                                                                                              1. n
                                                                                                Nanzi Oct 8, 2013 09:48 AM

                                                                                                My impression is that if they are out back smoking, then they are making a patron wait for their service. When I waited tables, we had NO time to be outside smoking if we were attending to our customers. Now I wonder how often when service has been slow if it is due to employees smoking instead of working.

                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Nanzi
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                                                                                                  LeoLioness Oct 8, 2013 10:27 AM

                                                                                                  Or, they were taking a scheduled break.

                                                                                                  1. re: LeoLioness
                                                                                                    hotoynoodle Oct 8, 2013 11:54 AM

                                                                                                    than somebody would be minding the break person's station, not leaving tables unattended.

                                                                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                      l
                                                                                                      LeoLioness Oct 8, 2013 12:35 PM

                                                                                                      But would you know that from just seeing a person outside having a cigarette?

                                                                                                      1. re: LeoLioness
                                                                                                        hotoynoodle Oct 8, 2013 01:06 PM

                                                                                                        you would have no idea if they're on a scheduled break or not.

                                                                                                        if your server disappeared, and came back smelling of smoke, how would you feel?

                                                                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                          l
                                                                                                          LeoLioness Oct 8, 2013 01:07 PM

                                                                                                          Probably okay, but I have a feeling I'm a more laid-back diner than some people who post here.

                                                                                                          1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                            westsidegal Oct 11, 2013 04:50 PM

                                                                                                            i'd feel fine with it, hotoynoodle.

                                                                                                            1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                              hotoynoodle Oct 11, 2013 06:20 PM

                                                                                                              one time i went to a "cheapo" clinic to have my teeth cleaned. the dentist disappeared briefly and came back reeking of smoke. it was so foul, i got up out of the exam chair and left the office. buh-bye.

                                                                                                              if i am dining and my server disappears, i don't want to be flagging down other servers/bussers/runners for stuff i need -- drinks, cutlery, salt & pepper, etc. i get you might need to leave the floor for a sec, but if you just went to smoke in the middle of my meal? sorry, but i'm paying you to wait on me. i say this as somebody who spent over 20 years working in fine dining.

                                                                                                              i do not want somebody in close proximity to me stinking of smoke, touching my plates, glassware and silver. just. yuk.

                                                                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                                chowser Oct 12, 2013 06:20 AM

                                                                                                                I had a hairdresser do that. During a wait period, he must have smoked. He reeked of smoke and was so close to me. I didn't go back.

                                                                                                                1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                  sunshine842 Oct 12, 2013 06:34 AM

                                                                                                                  I have a coworker who has the same issue -- take the same number of smoke breaks as everyone else, follows societal norms for personal hygiene, but something about this person's body chemistry absorbs smoke like a sponge. This person *reeks* of smoke all the time.

                                                                                                            2. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                              latindancer Oct 12, 2013 07:47 AM

                                                                                                              <how would you feel?>

                                                                                                              I'd feel the person needed a cigarette and took care of the urge. Nothing more.
                                                                                                              Now the person's ready to take care of my table.
                                                                                                              Yay! Everyone's a winner.

                                                                                                              1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                                hotoynoodle Oct 12, 2013 08:36 AM

                                                                                                                i realize cigarettes are a legal drug.

                                                                                                                so is alcohol and i have fired more than one employee who couldn't get through a shift without booze.

                                                                                                                if your addiction is impacting your work performance, you have a problem to confront.

                                                                                                    2. jrvedivici Oct 8, 2013 09:52 AM

                                                                                                      Seeing them smoke doesn't really bother me, however if they smell like smoke when they come to my table that is a BIG turn off.

                                                                                                      1. ChefJune Oct 8, 2013 10:38 AM

                                                                                                        I think the employees are out back on a smoke break.

                                                                                                        I wish they wouldn't smoke, but that's their choice.

                                                                                                        MANY chefs smoke. Being a chef/line cook is a very stressful job, and many choose to relax with a cigarette. They're all entitled to "break time," aren't you?

                                                                                                        1. l
                                                                                                          Leonardo Oct 8, 2013 08:52 PM

                                                                                                          I feel the same way as the OP. Rational & fair or not, I don't care. I lose any interest in dining there.

                                                                                                          1. chowser Oct 9, 2013 06:30 AM

                                                                                                            Is it that they're smoking, or is it that it's visible? If they put up a fence so you didn't see them, would that be okay? As others have said, I don't like to cross a line of heavy smoke but it doesn't bother me to see it. When I worked at McD's in high school, they had a rule (this was a long time ago) that in uniform, you couldn't be hanging out where customers could see you, even if you were on break. They didn't want customers to have the idea, especially if their food took more time, that the employees were wasting time. There was a room in the back for breaks. If you wanted to hang out in the dining room w/ friends, you needed to change clothes.

                                                                                                            1. l
                                                                                                              lagatta Oct 11, 2013 11:38 AM

                                                                                                              It is none of my business. I'm glad they aren't smoking within the restaurant (kitchen, corridors etc).

                                                                                                              I hate smoking: my dad died of it when I was 15 and I have another relative who is dying of lung cancer now, although she quit many years ago. A friend who was both a very heavy smoker and very heavy drinker died of a heart attack not very long ago, but in his case, it was a kind of wilful suicide.

                                                                                                              But I think I dislike busybodies telling other people how to live their lives even more, including health ayatollahs. I find both the tobacco industry and its lies and professional moralists equally frightening.

                                                                                                              I just don't want to have to inhale the damned stuff. I won't get lung disease or cancer from someone's cigarette breath, or the smell on their clothing, or at least far less than unquestioned air pollution caused by cars and trucks.

                                                                                                              1. Chemicalkinetics Oct 11, 2013 12:51 PM

                                                                                                                When I pull into a restaurant and see employee out back and taking a smoking break, I usually changed into my Bat suit and beat them up.

                                                                                                                1. FoodWacky Oct 11, 2013 12:55 PM

                                                                                                                  I just think they're taking a well deserved break, and it doesn't stop me from enjoying the food at a restaurant. Nope, I don't smoke.

                                                                                                                  42 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: FoodWacky
                                                                                                                    coll Oct 11, 2013 04:56 PM

                                                                                                                    I think people that never smoked are a lot less opininated, for whatever reason. At least if you grew up in the 60s and 70s.

                                                                                                                    1. re: coll
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                                                                                                                      latindancer Oct 12, 2013 07:52 AM

                                                                                                                      I think there are lots of opinionated, judgmental people out there who don't get the addiction, or any other addiction for that matter.
                                                                                                                      If the person needs the damn cigarette to get through a shift then smoke it.
                                                                                                                      None of my business.
                                                                                                                      I'd be passing up some pretty stellar restaurants if I let a scene with a few people smoking out back deter me.
                                                                                                                      I hate cigarettes, they've ended the lives of some very important people in my life, but who am I to judge?

                                                                                                                      1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                                        Motosport Oct 12, 2013 09:21 AM

                                                                                                                        "None of my business" but it is your business. Have you ever considered the cost of providing health care to smokers with heart and lung disease. It is a drain on everyone.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Motosport
                                                                                                                          Karl S Oct 12, 2013 09:41 AM

                                                                                                                          Well, there are often health risks correlated with a critical personality, FWIW. Each of us dies. The one who live longest can actually cost everyone else the most. (This is one reason Medicaid is booming: all those people who took the advice of their doctors and are now living well past when actuaries would have predicted for the group, and have spent down their assets, capped out of Medicare and are now on Medicaid. Nana Worthington at the age of 95 can cost Medicaid a lot more than Mom McTrash with 3 kids by two different daddies.)

                                                                                                                          Back to something about food: I would be appalled at a restaurant that sought to prevent customers from realizing their staff are people, too.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Motosport
                                                                                                                            l
                                                                                                                            lagatta Oct 12, 2013 04:01 PM

                                                                                                                            If your web handle is serious, you should also be looking in the mirror.

                                                                                                                            Yes, of course I consider it. I live in a country with a national health service, and of course we see what it costs on our tax bill (though it is probably cheaper than the alternative, and a hell of a lot more equitable).

                                                                                                                            I have never smoked cigarettes in my life, no doubt due to the fact that my dad died of smoking when I was 15. Specifically, of lung cancer, but he also had two heart attacks, phlebitis and many other ills. That also means our mum brought us up. and women didn't earn decent salaries back then.

                                                                                                                            Oh, I have smoked the odd joint socially, but I detest smoking, so never was a "toker", though I'm definitely an old hippie-artist type.

                                                                                                                            So many things people do are a drain on everyone. If I mention "motosport" and driving, it is because the vices of the poor are always judged more harshly.

                                                                                                                            1. re: lagatta
                                                                                                                              Karl S Oct 12, 2013 04:58 PM

                                                                                                                              "the vices of the poor are always judged more harshly."

                                                                                                                              You betcha.

                                                                                                                            2. re: Motosport
                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                              latindancer Oct 12, 2013 04:52 PM

                                                                                                                              <but it is your business.>

                                                                                                                              Oh, I suppose lots of things 'are my business' but I don't really give it much thought...

                                                                                                                              Decent infrastructure, the disabled, the mentally ill...and I'll go ahead and place addicts on the list who're ruining their physical and emotional health with the drugs that are controlling their lives..the thing is...I don't judge them and feel only compassion for them.
                                                                                                                              There are always going to be the less fortunate, the addicted, etc., who we all help take care of.
                                                                                                                              It's just the way it is.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Motosport
                                                                                                                                EWSflash Oct 12, 2013 08:12 PM

                                                                                                                                Like most restaurants provide any kind of health insurance for their workers.

                                                                                                                                1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                                                  mamachef Oct 19, 2013 07:22 AM

                                                                                                                                  Fortunately this trend is changing, at least here in the BA.

                                                                                                                                2. re: Motosport
                                                                                                                                  westsidegal Oct 23, 2013 11:42 AM

                                                                                                                                  Motosport: actually, because smokers tend to die earlier than non-smokers, over the span of their entire lives they tend to cost the health-care system LESS.

                                                                                                                                  maybe check your facts Motosport, before climbing up on that high horse?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                                                    Motosport Oct 23, 2013 11:57 AM

                                                                                                                                    Or my low pony!!!
                                                                                                                                    Someone with heart or lung disease who lingers for ten years (oxygen bottle, wheel chair, meds, constant care from family or commercial sources) will cost less than if they were in good health for 20 years. I don't think so.
                                                                                                                                    How do you feel about seat belt and motorcycle helmet laws?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                                                      h
                                                                                                                                      Hobbert Oct 23, 2013 12:04 PM

                                                                                                                                      Actually, there was an interesting study done within the last year or so by some researchers at (I believe) Ohio State. They concluded that smokers cost employers about $5,000 more a year than non smokers. They took into account smoke breaks, days out sick, reduced productivity due to frequent breaks/illness, and even the fact that smokers may die younger. I was surprised at how high the number was but I'm also surprised that people start smoking in this day and age so there ya go. Interesting stuff.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Hobbert
                                                                                                                                        Motosport Oct 23, 2013 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                                        There are only 5 out of 19 who are non smokers at the place I work. At any one time there is at least one person outside taking a "paid" smoking break.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Motosport
                                                                                                                                          jrvedivici Oct 23, 2013 12:25 PM

                                                                                                                                          There are only 5 out of 19 that DON'T smoke? If you don't mind me asking where do you work RJ Reynolds?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                                                                            Motosport Oct 23, 2013 12:31 PM

                                                                                                                                            Interestingly enough, most of the smokers are young. 20 to 35 years old.
                                                                                                                                            Forget about seeing smokers out behind restaurants. How about the group of smokers you'll see at hospital entrances? Health care workers and the odd patient in a wheelchair with the oxygen bottle strapped to the side.
                                                                                                                                            I.M.H.O. all of the anti smoking ads have not made a dent in the smoking population.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Motosport
                                                                                                                                              linguafood Oct 23, 2013 12:34 PM

                                                                                                                                              Not to mention most nurses I see at hospitals are hugely overweight. And some of them smoke.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                h
                                                                                                                                                Hobbert Oct 23, 2013 12:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                Yeah, I'm amazed at healthcare employers who don't ban employee smoking. It looks hypocritical to patients at the very least.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Hobbert
                                                                                                                                                  e
                                                                                                                                                  ErnieD Oct 23, 2013 02:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                  You really cannot ban people from smoking during non-paid time.

                                                                                                                                                  Lifelong non-smoker if that matters.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ErnieD
                                                                                                                                                    h
                                                                                                                                                    Hobbert Oct 23, 2013 03:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                    It's actually fairly common in my profession (law enforcement) although, to be fair, I have no idea how/if anyone checks. We also get annual physical and get pulled from duty if something isn't up to par. I agree, however, that it would probably be illegal in a profession where physical fitness isn't an integral qualification for the job.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Hobbert
                                                                                                                                                      Chemicalkinetics Oct 23, 2013 07:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Is smoking itself banned or the result of smoking (inability to pass test)? I hate smoking, and have never smoked in my life. However, I do understand smoking legal, and that people have the right to smoke. Knowing this, has made me understanding that smokers have to smoke somewhere. They are already smoking at the back packing lot during their smoking break. What more can we ask of them? Drive 10 mile away from town to smoke? Let's be realistic and be compassionate about this.

                                                                                                                                                      Put yourself in their shoes for 10 seconds, and you will know that they are doing the very best they can.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                                                        Leonardo Oct 23, 2013 08:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Employers have the right, and some do, to not hire smokers. They are not a protected class shielded from discrimination.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                          h
                                                                                                                                                          Hobbert Oct 24, 2013 03:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Smoking at any time is prohibited. As for showing compassion and putting myself in others shoes', I would a) ask you to see my original post on this thread where I stated that I don't care if people smoke and b) why am I sympathizing with someone about a habit they chose? People are free to smoke- it's up to them. I'm not running around judging smokers but it's silly to say they're "doing the very best they can". All smokers? How noble. Hell, I wouldn't even say that about the general population, myself included, most of the time.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Hobbert
                                                                                                                                                            Chemicalkinetics Oct 24, 2013 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                            For some reasons, whatever I typed to you were gone (a long reply), so I will keep this short.

                                                                                                                                                            Sorry, my first sentence from the last reply was directed at you, but the rest was really directed to everyone else. I don't mean to call you as being uncompassionate. That was confusing on my part. Sorry.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                              h
                                                                                                                                                              Hobbert Oct 24, 2013 07:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Thank you! It can get tricky here trying to differentiate between you, a specific person, and the universal you

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Hobbert
                                                                                                                                                                KaimukiMan Oct 24, 2013 10:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                ayup, we need to adopt that expression that frustrates english teachers but makes things clearer - what do y'all think about that?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                                                                                  Motosport Oct 24, 2013 11:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  In Brooklyn we just use "you'se guys" to keep it clear.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                                                                                    h
                                                                                                                                                                    Hobbert Oct 24, 2013 12:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Out here, that'd be all y'all :)

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Motosport
                                                                                                                                                    h
                                                                                                                                                    Hobbert Oct 23, 2013 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                    This is the most puzzling part to me. I'm 32 and it's shocking how many people I know who are younger than me and who smoke. Really?! It's not as if people aren't informed about the risks these days. Although the cost of cigarettes is the main reason I never tried a cigarette. My cheapness is self preservation...

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Hobbert
                                                                                                                                                      Motosport Oct 23, 2013 12:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Every one of the smokers here moan and groan about "running out of cash" a few days before payday.
                                                                                                                                                      A pack of cigarettes at the local convenience store is $10. Go figure?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Hobbert
                                                                                                                                                        SaraAshley Oct 23, 2013 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                        I smoke socially, it's relaxing to me and I enjoy it. I'm young and single. For right now, it fits into my lifestyle. When I settle down and have kids, I plan on quitting. Like I said, I'm not the pack a day smoker and mostly just smoke socially, but I can guarantee you I'm not even anywhere close to the weakest link health wise at my company. I'm not overweight and I'm an avid runner. I rarely get sick and don't even visit the Dr once a year, just my ob/gyn for my annual.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: SaraAshley
                                                                                                                                                          h
                                                                                                                                                          Hobbert Oct 23, 2013 01:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Sorry, I'm not sure what to say. Good for you?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Hobbert
                                                                                                                                                            SaraAshley Oct 23, 2013 02:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Sorry, you said you were puzzled as to why people smoked. Of course there really is never a good reason for a bad habit. You were also on the subject of healthcare costs for a smoker versus a non-smoker, so I addressed that, as well. I certainly wasn't looking for praise. Just adding another side to the discussion.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: SaraAshley
                                                                                                                                                              h
                                                                                                                                                              Hobbert Oct 23, 2013 03:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Gotcha. Thanks for explaining!

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Hobbert
                                                                                                                                                  l
                                                                                                                                                  LeoLioness Oct 23, 2013 01:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I'd be very interested in how they defined "smoker". Not everyone who enjoys the occasional smoke is a multiple pack-per-day chain smoker.

                                                                                                                                                  I'm surprised that people are overweight and don't exercise and ride motorcycles but I don't get too up in arms about it.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Hobbert
                                                                                                                                                    l
                                                                                                                                                    LeoLioness Oct 23, 2013 02:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I'd be curious as to how they defined a "smoker". A pack a month? Two packs per day?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LeoLioness
                                                                                                                                                      linguafood Oct 23, 2013 03:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Someone who smokes is generally referred to as a "smoker". I doubt that the daily amount of cigarettes is relevant.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                                                        LeoLioness Oct 24, 2013 06:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                        It certainly is in the context of the study Hobbert cited. If I smoke two cigarettes on a Saturday night with some cocktails, how exactly am I causing my employer money? What about one every 6 months during working hours?

                                                                                                                                                        Smokers are low-hanging fruit, I get it. But the hyperbole gets old after a while.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LeoLioness
                                                                                                                                                          The Chowhound Team Oct 24, 2013 06:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Folks, all of this has long since stopped being about anything even tangentially related to food and restaurants, so can we let this discussion go, please? Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Chowhound Team
                                                                                                                                                            l
                                                                                                                                                            Lizard Oct 24, 2013 12:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Chow Team,
                                                                                                                                                            Perhaps you could also intervene into the BS fat-shaming that goes on as well? This hostility is ugly and off-putting and the assumption that one can gauge health of an individual just by looking at them is laughable and offensive for more reasons than I can even bother enumerating on a food board.
                                                                                                                                                            Seriously, it's fricking sickening and while I know it is an accepted prejudice, it is alienating to those who may wish to participate on this board.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: LeoLioness
                                                                                                                                                        h
                                                                                                                                                        Hobbert Oct 23, 2013 03:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Good question. I'm not sure. I'm not even sure how I'd define it.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Hobbert
                                                                                                                                                          jgg13 Nov 2, 2013 09:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Typically smokers in studies are stratified by some measurement over time - e.g. # per day, pack years, etc

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                                                                      mcf Oct 24, 2013 10:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                      My husband cites this statistic all the time... He's been a non smoker for years, but still a nicotine gum addict.

                                                                                                                                            2. EWSflash Oct 12, 2013 07:43 PM

                                                                                                                                              I just hope they wash their hands well when they go back in.

                                                                                                                                              1. e
                                                                                                                                                ErnieD Oct 19, 2013 09:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                That, like me, they get breaks while working. And that, like me, they are free to text, stare at the wall, twiddle their thumbs, play Candy Crush, smoke, contemplate the meaning of life, call their kids, or whatever during their break time. I don't really understand why there would be a need to imagine your waitperson is not a human being with good and bad habits.

                                                                                                                                                I don't smoke and don't love being around smoke, but people who smoke are not automatically dirty and the certainly don't taint the whole premises.

                                                                                                                                                1. Fowler Oct 22, 2013 11:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                  What were they smoking? Meth, crack, tobacco? I would not have an issue if the employees were out back smoking tobacco. If they were all huddled up smoking crack or something then I might chose a different restaurant. Unless the food was really, really good there. :-)

                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fowler
                                                                                                                                                    suzigirl Oct 22, 2013 04:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Maybe the crack is why the food is so good there. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl
                                                                                                                                                      Coogles Nov 7, 2013 10:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Go for the crack, stay for the pie?

                                                                                                                                                  2. l
                                                                                                                                                    lagatta Oct 23, 2013 04:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Ok, I'll bite about the driving. I am NOT telling people what to do. But it did intrigue me that both the post title and the first sentence referred (uncritically) to the OP's driving. (One doesn't usually "pull into" a place on a bicycle, and never when walking or taking public transport). That particular dependency - lethal both in terms of crashes and air pollution - is simply taken for granted.

                                                                                                                                                    I'm not excusing smoking cigarettes, nor telling you how to live your life. I just find the double standard rather odd.

                                                                                                                                                    (I have never smoked cigarettes, nor driven a motor vehicle).

                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lagatta
                                                                                                                                                      hotoynoodle Oct 24, 2013 08:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                      nobody suffers physical withdrawal if they go a few days without driving a car.

                                                                                                                                                      you do NOT have 100% chance of being in a car accident. you do have a 100% risk of degraded health by smoking.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                                                                        westsidegal Oct 24, 2013 09:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                        1)actually you don't have a 100% chance of having your health degraded by smoking

                                                                                                                                                        2) in the scenario described by the OP, you don't even have any idea whether the smoking employees are/will be long-term smokers or even frequent smokers.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                                                                          hotoynoodle Oct 24, 2013 12:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                          lol, so you're suggesting smoking is utterly harmless?

                                                                                                                                                          even in the very short-term it narrows the blood vessels, causing reduced circulation and inflames all bronchial passageways.

                                                                                                                                                          i get utterly grossed out if somebody smelling of smoke is serving me.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                                                                            sunshine842 Oct 24, 2013 05:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                            so - did you ban smoking along with slipping decaf into the coffee pot?

                                                                                                                                                            can't imagine how peeing could be more of a loss of productivity than smoking.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                                                                              Fowler Oct 25, 2013 10:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                              >>>actually you don't have a 100% chance of having your health degraded by smoking<<<

                                                                                                                                                              As a former smoker, I can tell you there is not a 100% chance of having your health IMPROVED by smoking.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Fowler
                                                                                                                                                                westsidegal Nov 3, 2013 09:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                fowler, what you say is factual/ true.

                                                                                                                                                                what is NOT true, nor factual, is what hotoynoodle said.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: lagatta
                                                                                                                                                            chowser Oct 24, 2013 05:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                            In anything we do, there is a potential for death. Even if you haven't smoked or driven a car, your dependence on a computer or taking a shower could kill you and destroy the environment. Does that mean it's hypocritical for you to say that any action is unhealthy? You can't say that meth is dangerous because you take a shower?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                                                              lagatta Oct 25, 2013 04:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                              My point was not to tell the OP what to do, but simply that he too was taking part in a harmful action. I am well aware of the problems with computers, in particular the extreme planned obsolescence. And I am dependent on it, as much as someone who uses a car in his or her work, as opposed to driving there when a less-harmful alternative is available.

                                                                                                                                                          3. Uncle Bob Nov 3, 2013 11:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                            What's your impression when you pull into a restaurant and see employees out back on a smoke break?

                                                                                                                                                            I think Triple D.

                                                                                                                                                            1. m
                                                                                                                                                              MRS Nov 3, 2013 12:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                              I think "ewwww, please wash your hands before you touch my food, silverware or plates.". Before I get killed here by smokers, I don't just mean because of the smoke and touching the cigarette, I mean b/c hands have been near mouths and faces, too. People can do what they want with themselves, but you want clean hands near your food and plates, right?

                                                                                                                                                              1. w
                                                                                                                                                                wintersweet Nov 3, 2013 01:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Years ago I watched a Japanese TV show in which an aspiring sushi chef was roundly scolded for smoking, because it damages the nose and makes your fingers disgusting. Made sense to me. I always look askance at places with chefs who smoke, and I won't be back if I can smell smoke on a server.

                                                                                                                                                                13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: wintersweet
                                                                                                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Nov 3, 2013 02:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I think sushi is a bit different than most cooking. Sushi is about very subtle taste and very natural and unaltered food preparation. On top of it, sushi chef directly touches their foods and knives with their hands. Any smoke will likely ruin final product.

                                                                                                                                                                  Most other cooking is not quiet like this, and most likely your chefs and smokers and you just don't know about it. The smoker ratio in restaurant business is very high.

                                                                                                                                                                  Another analogy. Most restaurant use aluminum cookware, and a lot of people don't know about this, and try their best to avoid aluminum cookware at home. Well, there is no point of avoiding aluminum cookware at home if you are going to eat out every week.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                    JMF Nov 5, 2013 04:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    If you don't think that most of your chefs and cooks don't touch your food with their hands when they are plating it you are greatly mistaken.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JMF
                                                                                                                                                                      Chemicalkinetics Nov 5, 2013 07:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Not the same way sushi chef touch food.

                                                                                                                                                                      Can you tell if your chef/waiter is a smoker or not?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                        JMF Nov 7, 2013 07:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I can absolutely tell in many cases if a chef/waiter is a smoker. As I mentioned up thread, I had an awful problem this year with smoker employees at a restaurant I was consulting to.

                                                                                                                                                                        I said above, "that employees wash their hands before going back to work. I had a battle recently at a restaurant I worked with about servers and bartenders who left cigarette smoke smell on cocktail glasses and plates they served to customers, and the fact of the cloud of stale smoke that followed them around, and the bad smoke breath they exhaled, because they didn't wash their hands, chew gum, etc. to remove the odor."

                                                                                                                                                                        I ended up re-staffing because of the problem. The stale smoke smell was so bad that hand washing didn't remove it. The attitude of entitlement that went with it was worse.

                                                                                                                                                                        And as I said above, I am an ex-smoker. I smoked 1-2 packs of cigarettes a day for around 15+ years, but never made others suffer because of it when I did.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JMF
                                                                                                                                                                          Chemicalkinetics Nov 7, 2013 09:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          <but never made others suffer because of it when I did.>

                                                                                                                                                                          What did you do?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                            JMF Nov 7, 2013 10:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Back then I never smoked before, during, or at work. I went without. What I did at home was my business, but work was a different story.

                                                                                                                                                                            When I was out at bars it didn't matter in the same way because all bars allowed smoking back then and had cigarette vending machines. Whether you liked it or not, if you went to a bar, you smelled like smoke. When I was on my personal time I tended to hang out with, and date, other smokers.

                                                                                                                                                                            When I quit smoking I also quit hanging out with or dating smokers. I still won't date a smoker, and the 2-3 friends who I have who smoke a rare, occasional cigarette, aren't allowed to smoke in my car, house, property, etc. I even keep a few large beach towels in my trunk and will throw them over a car seat for the one friend who smokes who I let in my car.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JMF
                                                                                                                                                                              Chemicalkinetics Nov 7, 2013 10:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              <Back then I never smoked before, during, or at work. I went without. >

                                                                                                                                                                              Ah, I see. You were not a heavy smoker. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                                                                                                JMF Nov 7, 2013 11:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                As I said above, I was a 1-2 pack a day smoker. But I could control my addiction. Stop playing silly word games and one-upmanship.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JMF
                                                                                                                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Nov 7, 2013 01:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  <Stop playing silly word games and one-upmanship.>

                                                                                                                                                                                  Calm down. No one is playing game with you.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: JMF
                                                                                                                                                                                mcf Nov 7, 2013 03:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                When we smoked, we didn't smoke in our own house.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: wintersweet
                                                                                                                                                                      m
                                                                                                                                                                      MRS Nov 3, 2013 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      i'm sooo with you!!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MRS
                                                                                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                                                                                        MRS Nov 5, 2013 04:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        But let me please clarify...I don;t mean to tell anyone what to do with themselves in terms of health. If you want to smoke, you should do what you want. Unfortunately, smoking does have a smell and does require people to touch things and then, touch their mouths. I would love to hope/believe hands would be washed after a ciggie break. Same way I'd love to hope/believe ppl would wash after a bathroom break.
                                                                                                                                                                        Am I hoping for too much?? dunno...

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MRS
                                                                                                                                                                          Karl S Nov 6, 2013 07:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, you are hoping for too much.

                                                                                                                                                                          The door knob on the restaurant doors is probably filthier than any of those. Even your chair. Et cet.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. p
                                                                                                                                                                      PandaCat Nov 3, 2013 04:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      I don't mind at all. Makes me think my server won't be on edge for lack of nicotine. Restaurant work is a tough job- they all deserve a few ciggies to get through their shift.

                                                                                                                                                                      17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PandaCat
                                                                                                                                                                        suzigirl Nov 4, 2013 05:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you in behalf of all restaurant workers. It is a tough job. Very tough. I wouldn't be able to handle it again today and would probably take up smoking again to combat the stress.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: suzigirl
                                                                                                                                                                          l
                                                                                                                                                                          Leonardo Nov 4, 2013 08:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Smoking does not "relieve stress". It causes it. The "relief" is the fix that stops withdrawal symptoms.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Leonardo
                                                                                                                                                                            sunshine842 Nov 5, 2013 03:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            from a purely scientific pov, with no commentary as to the other aspects, nicotine slows the heartbeat and respiration rate. It doesn't remove stress, but the slower heartbeat and respiration rates make people feel more calm.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                              Fowler Nov 5, 2013 05:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              >>>nicotine slows the heartbeat <<<

                                                                                                                                                                              Be sure to pay close attention to the part that shows nicotine does not slow, but increases heart rate and blood pressure...

                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.drugs.com/sfx/nicotine-sid...

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Fowler
                                                                                                                                                                                sunshine842 Nov 5, 2013 04:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                and the part where it triggers dopamine production (the pleasure switch) and acts as both a stimulant AND a sedative.

                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.psychologytoday.com/condit...

                                                                                                                                                                                But we can play this forever.

                                                                                                                                                                                I also vividly recall the biology experiment where we dropped drops of nicotine tea onto the frog's heart...it slowed, and slowed...and stopped.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                  Fowler Nov 5, 2013 05:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  >>>I also vividly recall the biology experiment where we dropped drops of nicotine tea onto the frog's heart...it slowed, and slowed...and stopped.<<<

                                                                                                                                                                                  The nicotine you dropped on its heart caused it to stop beating and resulted in death. Duh!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fowler
                                                                                                                                                                                    sunshine842 Nov 5, 2013 07:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    DUH -- that's why I mentioned it....kinda supports the concept that nicotine is a sedative and not a stimulant, doesn't it?!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                      Fowler Nov 5, 2013 07:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      No, because the nicotine you poured on that live heart stimulated it to the point of death. You did not realize that?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Fowler
                                                                                                                                                                                        sunshine842 Nov 5, 2013 08:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        yeah....stimulated it to run slower and slower...

                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm out.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                          JMF Nov 7, 2013 07:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Folks, it's both.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Nicotine in small amounts is a mood altering chemical and a stimulant, which as it wears off becomes a sedative, or in large amounts is a sedative, and in high amounts (30–60 mg) can be fatal.

                                                                                                                                                                                          "nicotine results in a discharge of epinephrine from the adrenal cortex, causing a sudden release of glucose. Stimulation is followed by depression and fatigue"

                                                                                                                                                                                          "Research suggests that, when smokers wish to achieve a stimulating effect, they take short quick puffs, which produce a low level of blood nicotine. This stimulates nerve transmission. When they wish to relax, they take deep puffs, which produce a high level of blood nicotine, which depresses the passage of nerve impulses, producing a mild sedative effect. At low doses, nicotine potently enhances the actions of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, causing a drug effect typical of those of psychostimulants. At higher doses, nicotine enhances the effect of serotonin and opiate activity, producing a calming, pain-killing effect. Nicotine is unique in comparison to most drugs, as its profile changes from stimulant to sedative/pain killer in increasing dosages and use."

                                                                                                                                                                                          Here's a good article that discusses nicotine, and some of the other chemicals in tobacco.
                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.psychologytoday.com/condit...

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JMF
                                                                                                                                                                                            a
                                                                                                                                                                                            Auntiewoman Nov 8, 2013 04:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks, JMF :-)

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Leonardo
                                                                                                                                                                              jrvedivici Nov 5, 2013 11:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              I do believe reading at one time that smoking while not encouraged is also not discouraged for people suffering from mental illness. The reason being that smoking had a "calming" affect for them. Don't remember where I read that but I do remember it. (now I'm going to have to google it. lol)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Leonardo
                                                                                                                                                                                PotatoHouse Nov 5, 2013 03:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                I just love people like you who think they know better than I do how something affects me. While you're at it, why don't you tell me which alcohol tastes better to me, rum or vodka?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PotatoHouse
                                                                                                                                                                                  Fowler Nov 5, 2013 04:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Sounds like someone needs a cigarette. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: PotatoHouse
                                                                                                                                                                                    sunshine842 Nov 5, 2013 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Not us...scientists who actually spend their lives studying the effect of various chemical compounds on the human body.

                                                                                                                                                                                    You know, education, science, experimentation, etc., etc., etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Unless you're now going to tell us that you are physiologically different than the population at large.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: suzigirl
                                                                                                                                                                                  p
                                                                                                                                                                                  PandaCat Nov 7, 2013 10:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  You are very welcome. I worked as a server for a summer when I was 17. It's physically demanding but also very mentally and emotionally demanding. Sounds like you know from experience too, Suzigirl. Maybe people who have never done it, don't appreciate the nature of the job. Might change a few minds if they tried the job for a week or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: suzigirl
                                                                                                                                                                                    a
                                                                                                                                                                                    Auntiewoman Nov 8, 2013 04:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    It is a really tough job. I waitressed to get through college and it could be very stressful. Later, I became a teacher and saw that it was great training for physical stamina, always thinking ahead, multi-tasking, staying calm, and being instinctively polite.

                                                                                                                                                                                3. a
                                                                                                                                                                                  acssss Nov 5, 2013 05:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I never gave a second thought to smoking restaurant employees, but because you asked, I'd probably think to myself "Thank goodness they are just smoking."

                                                                                                                                                                                  30 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: acssss
                                                                                                                                                                                    hotoynoodle Nov 6, 2013 08:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    lol. as opposed to what? strangling kittens?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                                                                                                      Karl S Nov 6, 2013 12:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      As opposed to doing lines of coke, et cet.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Karl S
                                                                                                                                                                                        linguafood Nov 6, 2013 12:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Out in the parking lot? Yeah, that happens all the time :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                          a
                                                                                                                                                                                          acssss Nov 6, 2013 12:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          You'd be surprised at the type of behavior I've seen "out back" behind restaurants - which is why if I see smokers I'd think - so what?
                                                                                                                                                                                          Strangling Kittens? wow! I am speechless!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: acssss
                                                                                                                                                                                            linguafood Nov 6, 2013 12:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I wouldn't. But I've yet to see people doing lines of coke *outside* -- poor restaurant staff in particular.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Just think of the waste!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                              a
                                                                                                                                                                                              acssss Nov 6, 2013 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              LOL
                                                                                                                                                                                              What I was implying is free - so poor restaurant staff in particular probably do it... a lot (and they probably don't wash their hands afterwards either)

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                            KaimukiMan Nov 6, 2013 05:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            well, usually they at least sit in a parked car, but not always. and yes, it happens all the time, more outside bars and clubs, but also outside restaurants

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                                                                                                              linguafood Nov 6, 2013 09:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              In windstill areas maybe.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                              JMF Nov 7, 2013 07:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Over the years I have seen restaurant employees snorting cocaine and heroin many, many times out back, and in parking lots, cars, bathrooms, in walk-ins, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JMF
                                                                                                                                                                                                globocity Nov 7, 2013 10:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Heroin? That seems like an odd choice for a job that requires long hours of standing on one's feet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: globocity
                                                                                                                                                                                                  JMF Nov 7, 2013 11:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  There are a lot of highly functional heroin addicts who snort it. Many folks just think of the stereotype of the heroin mainliner, shooting up and nodding off. Most heroin addicts snort it and can function. Back in a previous life I was a psychologist and mental health counselor and one of my specializations was drug counseling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JMF
                                                                                                                                                                                                    globocity Nov 8, 2013 12:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I can understand being a functional heroin user. I am quite familiar with the drug as, unfortunately, I have a childhood friend, sibling, and uncle addicted to heroin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: globocity
                                                                                                                                                                                                      a
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Auntiewoman Nov 8, 2013 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm sure this has caused you a lot of heartache, I have lost, and nearly lost family and friends to narcotic abuse and addiction. It is a terrible thing to experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: JMF
                                                                                                                                                                                                      westsidegal Nov 8, 2013 01:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      to support JMF:
                                                                                                                                                                                                      lenny bruce was functioning as a stand up comic when he ODed--not exactly a low-stress job.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      john belushi, too,

                                                                                                                                                                                                      nobody would say that either of them didn't have grueling jobs that were demanding physically and mentally

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                                                                                                                        a
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Auntiewoman Nov 8, 2013 06:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Keith Richards has been a functioning heroin addict for decades.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                                                                                                                          p
                                                                                                                                                                                                          plaidbowtie Nov 8, 2013 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Or perhaps more recently- Cory Monteith

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: plaidbowtie
                                                                                                                                                                                                            sunshine842 Nov 8, 2013 06:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            he's not functioning very well at this point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                    mcf Nov 7, 2013 08:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    You never read Kitchen Confidential?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                                                                                                      linguafood Nov 7, 2013 09:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good grief. I am aware that restaurant workers use lots of drugs (many non-restaurant workers, too!!! I know, crazy!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                      That said, unless you're shittin' money, I wouldn't rec snorting coke outside. Stuff's expensive, and you don't want it go flying everywhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Everything cleared up now, I hope?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                        jrvedivici Nov 7, 2013 09:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh man do I see a fortune here!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Think the cap of a 7-11 Slurpee....the dome shape with the straw hole. Just give it a small flat bottom, like a "snow globe" that can even be the name, "The Snow Globe" when you just have to have your "snort" but can't get out of the wind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Imagine not having to leave your seat at a sporting event, not having to clean the urine off the toilet lid, not worrying about it flying off that little spoon!!! This is the idea I've been searching for my entire life!!! Someone cut me a check now!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                                                                                                                                          linguafood Nov 7, 2013 09:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like the way you think, Jr., and please sign me up for the beta test, assuming you'll be supplying *everything* needed in order to do a thorough test run?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                                                                                                                                            JMF Nov 7, 2013 10:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            There are several devices on the market for snorting that work in high winds. Been on the market since the 1970's. Snuff bullets, bottles, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JMF
                                                                                                                                                                                                              jrvedivici Nov 7, 2013 10:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Do you take pride in stomping on a boy and his dreams? (joke)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                            jrvedivici Nov 7, 2013 09:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            On a serious/un-serious side note, next time you go to a restaurant that has little bowls and spoons for their salt and pepper rather than an actual shaker, when the waitress comes over to the table look her in the eye and say;

                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Really? Really? This is the most awesome restaurant ever!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                            and take the spoon of salt, make a small line on your bread plate and start to roll up a bill. Wait for the look on the servers face.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                              JMF Nov 7, 2013 10:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Why are you assuming someone would snort coke in a wind? Even on windy days coke and heroin users doing it outside find an alcove or windbreak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JMF
                                                                                                                                                                                                                linguafood Nov 7, 2013 10:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Staff in the back hiding in an alcove or windbreak would perhaps not be clearly visible by someone driving into the parking lot, which pretty much was the original OP.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                But really, I kinda lost interest in the subject at this point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JMF
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  globocity Nov 7, 2013 10:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm picturing a scene from Annie Hall. Woody Allen, sitting in front of a plate of cocaina, has an unfortunate sneeze.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: globocity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    linguafood Nov 7, 2013 10:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Classic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Karl S
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chemicalkinetics Nov 6, 2013 12:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, the HFCS from coke is definitely something to watch out for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          4. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                                                                                                                            mcf Nov 7, 2013 08:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            As opposed to standing over my soon to be delivered dish with a long ash dangling over it... ;-)

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