November 26, 2018 |
Marlon Brando made smoking look damn cool in the 1950’s. Back then you weren’t hip unless you had a Zippo in your hands and a Marlboro between your lips. But times have changed, and these days, however much you personally enjoy puffing, there’ll certainly be a few members of society silently casting aspersions on you. In light of how people currently view smoking, is it ever acceptable for staff to smoke in view of customers? Should it even be outlawed?
Smoking now carries negative connotations across huge swathes of society: almost all non-smokers dislike it, as do a large portion of heavily-addicted smokers. There are very few people who gaze longingly at someone lighting up at 7am on their way to work. Restaurants understandably want to shield themselves from any negative associations.
On top of that, smoking stinks. Regular smokers often don’t realise how much the smell has seeped into their skin and clothing, emanating from them wherever they go. And the smell is always at its most pungent just after the smoker has finished a cigarette. When a customer is browsing the delicious food on your menu, the last thing they want is waiter greeting them with the smell of stale tobacco.
Passive smoking obviously carries health risks too, so staff smoking in a confined space where customers are present is a definite no no, unless that space is a designated smoking area.
Some may argue though, that as long as the staff aren’t directly blowing plumes of smoke into your child’s face, that they should be free to do as they wish if they’re on a break. If they’re only harming themselves, what’s the problem? Just because a fussy customer doesn’t enjoy seeing a staff member enjoying a cigarette outside the establishment, why should they have to quit the habit of a lifetime? The thing is though, that customer brings you money.
No one should put a blanket ban on staff being able to smoke if they confine it to their breaks or lunch hours. They should be free do enjoy whatever legal pastimes they like in their own time; the health risks are on them. However, there is no doubt that smoking in view of customers could be off-putting to some of them, and so could the lingering after-smell if the staff work face to face with visitors. As it could negatively affect your business, and your profits, a ban on staff smoking in view of customers is not unreasonable, and neither is ensuring they take steps to eliminate the smell before interacting with patrons.
Even Marlon Brando wouldn’t get away with smelling like a 70’s gentleman’s club these days.
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