Category Archives: Outdoor Dining

How To: Handle Smokers

The times are changing, and smoking indoors is nowhere near as accepted or legally available indoors as it once was. On the other hand, more than nicotine cigarettes are becoming available, and cigar bars have found their own niche. Starbucks has drawn a line at their cafes, prohibiting anyone from smoking within 25 feet of their establishments (mainly, you won’t be able to sit outside and have a cigarette as you enjoy your half-caf mocha chai tea latte). The rule is exempt from some 4,000 unique Starbucks, such as ones located in Target or Barnes & Noble, and ones where Starbucks-owned property extends 15 feet, anyone beyond 15 feet may smoke.

With these changing worlds and rules regarding smoking, just how should you continue to contain the smoke?


  • … look into your local rules and regulations regarding smoking. Wikipedia is a great starting point to gain a general overview of how this varies from state to state, and where movements seem to be going.
  • … be respectful when it comes to asking people not to smoke. Point out legal regulations and the concerns and safety of others. Instead of throwing them out on the street, allow them to end their cigarette and go about their meal.

Be Careful…

  • … when considering the concept of a “smokeasy”. Like “speakeasies” of the past, a smokeasy is a business or restaurant that operates and allows smoking, despite local or federal regulations to the contrary. They may consider the fines and fees associated part of their business, and outweighed by the business they’ll receive from it.
  • … and note that electronic cigarettes (commonly referred to as “e-cigarettes” or “personal vaporizer”) are not the exact same as traditional cigarettes. These devices do not produce smoke, preventing nearby parties from secondhand smoke, nor pose the fire hazard of traditional cigarettes. Keep abreast of these devices, as they are being heavily focused on.
  • … when deciding where people can smoke in your business. If you’re allowed smoking indoors, it may be best to keep smoking to certain area.


  • … treat cannabis, or marijuana, cigarettes the same as traditional nicotine ones. These cigarettes fall under vastly different rule and regulations, and while there are adjustments in recent years in the law towards legalization, it is nowhere near widespread legally accepted.
  • … allow your staff to be seen smoking. If it’s legally allowed, limit smoking coworkers and keep them out of sight. Many customers will find the visual of the person handling or cooking their food smoking to be unhealthy and unclean.


Chocolate That Doesn't Melt Coming From Cadbury

This weekend, Cadbury announced something revolutionary for chocolate afficianados. While Americans fought for their Black Friday weekend deals, our British brethren revealed a “temperature-tolerant” chocolate in production, The Hindu Business Line reports. Cadbury plans to market these melt-free bars (which can stay at 40 degrees celsius for more than three hours without melting) in hotter climates, such as India and Brazil.

While normal chocolate melts at 34 degrees celsius, a change in the “conching” step (where the ingredients are ground with metal beads) has made the sugar smaller, reducing how much fat covers them (and increasing the temperature the chocolate melts at).

Will it taste as good? That’s a question that’ll have to be answered at a later date; a release for the product (or even a name or description of what the chocolate will be used in) hasn’t been announced, nor has concrete markets to sell in.

It’s desire in America is questionable; Cadbury has never been the biggest seller in America, largely notable for Cadbury Eggs around Easter, and desire for chocolate that doesn’t melt is rather low in a country with refrigerated trucks. Still, it’s something interesting to keep an eye on.

Teenage Hot Dog Vendor Shut Down Trying To Help Parents

photo_20665_20110611-225x300Most teenagers would like to enjoy their free summers from school. Hang out at the pool, go on family vacations, play video games, read comic books, and all the other stereotypical things that adults believe thirteen-year-old boys do. Nathan Duszynski decided to be proactive and get a summer job; mowing lawns and shoveling snow are jobs he’s done in the past, and are simple fare for kids to do for a few bucks.

Nathan had higher sights.

Nathan opened Nathan’s Hot Dog Hut.

This is where we’d like to commend a kid for saving up money for a $1,500 hot dog cart and having a very successful business over the summer. That’s what we’d like to do, but the city of Holland, Michigan, shut him down almost immediately. While him and his parents believed to have all the proper paperwork and everything set up, Holland bans street vendors from the area he set up in; it conflicts with local business, and is only allowed during the Tulip Festival.

The story would be largely ignored if it weren’t for the fact that Nathan opened up the cart for both college and to help out his parents, both with disabilities (mom with epilepsy, dad with multiple sclerosis).

With such a noble cause for the kid, a local business, Shoreline Contianer, purchased the cart for $2,500. Beyond an instant $1,000 profit, they’re going to let him use the cart wherever he wants, and when they use it for events, they’ll hire him to work the stand.

It’s a story with a good end, despite how depressing it could be.