Fast-food chain Carl’s Jr. said today it will ban smoking in all 426 company-owned restaurants on Jan. 1, making it the first fast-food chain to do so.
Carl’s, which operates restaurants in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Japan, said it was making the move because of the benefits of “an improved dining experience and healthier atmosphere.”
The restaurant’s parent company, Carl Karcher Enterprises Inc. of Anaheim, said it was also encouraging its 142 franchisees to adopt the ban.
Carl’s, which currently divides its restaurants into smoking and non- smoking sections, said it had been testing the non-smoking policy at about 100 restaurants since July, including a 55-restaurant region covering parts of Los Angeles and Orange counties in Southern California.
“The response was generally very positive, although there were some complaints from smokers,” said spokeswoman Patricia Parks.
Parks also said that the move did not cut sales.