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Old 09-09-2018, 11:32 PM
 
192 posts, read 109,871 times
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My husband and I have just opened a gaming shop (Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer, Magic, etc.) Part of our goal is to be a place where people can hang out and play games, not just buy them. However, much of our target demographic tends to be less than meticulous in their personal hygeine. Yesterday I had someone there most of the day who had really terrible body odor; when we start holding tournaments or have a lot of people playing, it's going to get pretty ripe.

We lease the space and don't really have any options for adding venting. Another customer (the first to tip us off to this being a future issue) suggested a sign and a basket of travel-sized deodorant in the bathroom. I'm not really sure how to proactively address this. Obviously I don't want to offend people and lose their business, but I don't want to lose other customers because the store smells bad.

If you own a business or have dealt with a situation like this, how would you handle it?
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:04 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
28,382 posts, read 50,562,503 times
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Deodorant over BO is a disgusting smell, I really don't think that will help. I would suggest signs in several places listing the "rules" of your shop. Include in them a line such as "In order to maintain a pleasant environment for others, please maintain your personal hygiene."
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Union City, NJ
1,202 posts, read 682,608 times
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The problem with smelly people is that they don't know they're smelly
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:22 AM
 
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Tell them a wizard will deliver them a virgin princess if they take a bath.
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
39,011 posts, read 37,656,456 times
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Unfortunately the people who have this problem, who would actually leave the house dirty, aren't likely to understand that "general instructions" are aimed at them.

Not sure what you can do on a daily basis, but for the tournaments, I assume there would be some kind of sign-up? You could include a notice about body odor in the sign up. Write something like, "Since players will be in close quarters for extended periods, out of courtesy for fellow gamers please be sure to shower and wear clean clothes to minimize body odor and make [Name of Business] a pleasant place for all present." Make it a check box so they have to read it.

You might even think about making a humorous sign that is a play on the "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service" signs and write something like, "No Deodorant, No D&D". That will at least broach the conversation and you may be able to joke about it with people in the shop and get some of the more with-it players on your side.

I swear, you just never know what you have to deal with as a business owner. It seems like a no-brainer but sometimes you really do have to spell things out to people.

Good luck!
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:29 AM
 
583 posts, read 739,298 times
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If it was a 1st time incident, just ignore it and hope it doesn't happen again. If it does happen again, you'll have to address it with this person directly. Hints or signs won't help. People like this just don't seem to be aware they have hygiene issues.



Pull him to the side, maybe offer him a freebie of some kind, then politely but firmly tell him that you want him as a customer but that he should be freshly washed and deodorized before each visit.



Then, keep your fingers crossed.
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:30 AM
 
Location: between three Great Lakes.
1,628 posts, read 1,783,139 times
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O.P., it sounds like you're not doing enough to attract young female gamers. What percentage of your customers are young women? Work on raising that percentage. Then your business won't be regarded by others as such a stinking sausage party.
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Old 09-10-2018, 01:58 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
20,998 posts, read 25,737,156 times
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Stink is going to be an issue for businesses. OP has stinky teens and basement dwellers, but other businesses are dealing with unbathed homeless.

I've been driven out of the library by the stench of a homeless patron. The homeless go into grocery stores and liquor stores to shop, but they go into all sorts of stores to get out of the weather. They can clear out a fast food place.

It's unpleasant to be anywhere near a heavy smoker, and smokers are in all sorts of stores.

I have sympathy for the OP, because stinky customers really do drive out customers with their reek. It's a problem that I don't think there is a solution to.
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Old 09-10-2018, 02:00 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
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It's an odd business model. Are all the people hanging out all day and playing your games, at least paying rent for the games and computers?
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:00 PM
 
192 posts, read 109,871 times
Reputation: 740
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenstyle View Post
O.P., it sounds like you're not doing enough to attract young female gamers. What percentage of your customers are young women? Work on raising that percentage. Then your business won't be regarded by others as such a stinking sausage party.
Actually, the worst offender so far is female. We've only been open for two weeks, but we're aiming to differentiate ourselves by being a more family-friendly gaming environment, since we have a young son ourselves. However, to a certain extent this market will always be dominated by 20-something guys. But you are right in saying we need to appeal to the folks with whom we won't have this issue so that they outnumber the others!
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