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Entrepreneurs Panel

Jennie Johnson
Tony Caldeira
Debbie Pierce
Jeremy Roberts
Steve Purdham
Charlie Mullins
Michael Oliver
Julie Meyer
Laura Tenison
Richard O'Sullivan
David Pollock
Brian Hay

Does something smell in here?

Jeremy Roberts

Joined forces with Tim Bacon in 1996 to set up Life Restaurants, which launched the Via Vita restaurant chain. They opened the Living Room on Deansgate in 1999 -the first of a 13-unit chain that their company, Living Ventures, sold in July 2007 for £28 million – and did a deal with The Restaurant Group in 2005 which saw the pair take control of the Est Est Est estate, since rebranded as Blackhouse Grill and Gusto.


A new recruit to my firm has some personal hygiene issues and has already become the butt of jokes behind her back. I’m 46 and male, while she’s in her mid-20s. How do I go about suggesting she reacquaint herself with that nice Mr PZ Cussons?


Like most difficult issues this is best handled head on. However, some preparation and sensitivity are essential.

If you do not have a staff manual that covers this issue then you should have. Referring staff to a rule makes it straightforward to deal with – a rule is being broken the same as coming to work late.

Good personal hygiene is not difficult and there is no excuse for failure but some people simply may not have had the necessary training.

Do you have a female colleague who can deal with this one on your behalf? That is common sense these days as it would be insensitive for this to be a public discussion.

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