Smoke Breaks

What are your thoughts on smoke breaks? What is your policy on them for cooks and FOH?


The labor laws in my area state I must give a mandatory rest break of 30 minutes (can be split into two 15 minute or three 10 minute breaks) during a shift of 5 consecutive hours. If the shift is under 5 hours no break is required. If the employee takes a break it is unpaid time.

Illinois labor law is that an employee must be given a 20 minute break after 7.5 hours. Most shifts here are 6 hours so my employees don’t get a break. and they don’t get a smoke break.

Smoking is gross

Your labor laws are ridiculous! 5 hours and they need 30 minutes? Sheesh

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All this and a minimum wage that just went up to $13.60 per hour and this time next year will be $15.

Our people can opt out of the 30 minute lunch at 5 hours. They all do. It’s a big waste of time.

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No “smoke breaks”! Unfair to non-smokers haha!

Day shift has enough down time in the afternoon to relax a bit at some point. Dinner shift is not long enough to need a break. (5-9)

One thing I do though is that when I have a problem with cig butts I take $5 off the managers bonus for every one I find outside on the ground.

He complained at first that he would have to pick them up! I replied that that was one way to approach it. Another might be to get the employees to stop leaving them there!

We have 130 employees and can only think of 1 smoker at this time. He’s a driver and I think he takes care of business on the way back from delivery. We have to offer 10 minute breaks for every 3.5 hours worked.

Trade ya for the Soda tax :rolleyes:

Wow that’s insane. I’m sure our minimum wage is soon to go up, but right now we’re at $7.25/hr but it’s tough to find anyone but high school kids to work for that now. Big retailers such as Panera start at $10 now

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I wish they could in NY.