Skip to content

Entrepreneurs Panel

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

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.

  • Kathryn Parsons, co-founder of Decoded, started with little more than faith and determination, but four years later it’s grown into a global business. Ahead of her appearance at Accelerate 2015 in...

  • Author, writer and marketer Ryan Holiday on how entrepreneurs need to interpret failure.

  • Sue Vizard, business coach and author of Jump Start: The Start-up Book for Your Dream Business, looks at some of the questions solo entrepreneurs should ask themselves.

  • Ian Wright, founder and chief executive of, is bringing together SMEs and NEDs - without the hefty recruitment fees.

  • Former professional golfer turned entrepreneur Colin Stevens has had a busy 18 months. The Better Bathrooms founder has increased turnover at the firm, secured a multi-million pound investment and...

Five Minutes With

David Hughes sums up his entrepreneurial career to date thus: four spectacular successes and two failures. He founded the sports retailer Allsports and achieved turnover of £180 million before a vicious price war meant decline, administration in 2005 and a sell-off to rival JD Sports.

It took Richard Shonn, managing director of 151 Products, three years to find a warehouse big enough for his requirements.