New Haven Restaurant Changes Stance on Smoking

New Haven Restaurant Changes Stance on Smoking

A business that was formally an outspoken proponent for allowing smoking, has now changed their mind. WFFT's Brooke Welch traveled to Rack and Helen's in New Haven and has more on why they've decided to go smoke free.
"We've listened to our customers. And five or six years ago, we thought smoking was the path, and now here we are. Fast forward five years down the road, and it seems to be going in the other direction. So we're listening to our customers."
Even though they've allowed smoking in their restaurant since 1972, Rack and Helen's has decided to become a smoke free environment. 

Owner Wes Anderson explains, "Feedback from our customers, ya know... We're always trying to listen to our customers. And so the overwhelming complaint or piece of feedback that we've gotten is we wish you were non-smoking."

Back in 2007 when Fort Wayne implemented a more serious smoke free policy, New Haven allowed each business to decide for themselves. Anderson says, "We've listened to our customers. And five or six years ago, we thought smoking was the path, and now here we are. Fastforward five years down the road, and it seems to be going in the other direction. So we're listening to our customers."

Customers and potential customers we spoke to are in total agreement.

"Oh I think that's great, we love the non-smoking restaurants."

"I think it's wonderful, I think it's just wonderful. I heard they've got good food, but a lot of people won't go here because of the smoking."

Night Kitchen Manager Justin Robinson is enjoying his last week of smoking at the restaurant, but says he doesn't mind the new policy.  "It doesn't really bother me to have to go outside, smoke a cigarette and come back in. I think it's just going to bring a lot more people in to Rack and Helen's that don't want to smell the smoke or be affected by it."

Anderson also believes the decision will bring in more business. "The people that are unwilling to give us a shot, unwilling to give us a chance. As soon as they hear the word smoke, their answer is no. That's the audience that we're trying to capture there."

The No Smoking Ban will begin on August 1, and if you would like to add your feedback, you can sound off on their facebook page.







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