Smelly woman in restaurant

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by greganpace, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. greganpace macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2011
    Wirelessly posted

    So my family owns a small restaurant in a mountain town, and lately we have been having a regular customer who, going for tact here, smells absolutely terrible. It is a mix of urine and cats, but literally overpowers the whole restaurant. It is definitely not an appetizing smell while you are tryin to eat, and we had a customer complain today. I am curious what the community thinks should be done about this situation. She is a paying customer, if only a couple dollars per visit. It is a small community where we know most of our customers and no one knows where she came from and if she didn't come wearing different clothes, I would assume she is homeless. Would it be right to refuse service to her for the benefit of our other customers?
  2. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2010
    Twin Cities
    I don't think you'd be out of line at all in asking her to clean up a bit because she's starting to offend other customers. I'd be as delicate as possible though.
  3. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Kick her out. She'll end up affecting your business if she keeps polluting the place with her stench.
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    You have to say something if it is causing issues with other customers.
  5. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I don't see where you have a choice, she has to go.
  6. AnimaLeo macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2009
    Very difficult situation indeed. You'd certainly be well within your rights to kick her out if she's upsetting other people. The best thing to do would be to casually explain the situation to her, in a very polite, non accusatory manner. I'm sure she will make more of an effort in the future. Then if she doesn't then I guess it just makes it easier, and less difficult to ban her etc.
  7. RKO macrumors 6502


    Oct 21, 2008
    Pick the best person for the job with good people skills which should be the person managing the restaurant of making her aware that customers have noticed an unpleasant odour. It really is a hard one because what ever is said at the end of the day she will probably be offended.
  8. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    I would agree, especially with the part about being extremely discreet. If she is homeless, as you suggest she might be, cleaning up could be a problem for her.

    Whatever the reason for her poor personal hygiene (mental illness is another possibility), when you talk with her I'm sure you will be gentle.:D
  9. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed. You can't afford to risk losing other customers.
  10. ubitmeomg macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2004
    She may be suffering from mental illness such as schizophrenia or depression. Don't be a dlck and refuse service to someone when they are in a bad situation or struggling in life-- your restaurant may be the only normal routine aspect in her life.

    If the weather is good, a solution is to set a table up outside for her. Tell her this meal is on the house (only a couple bucks, you can afford this), and that this table is hers. Ask that she bathes next time, but if she cannot that she always has a table outside.

    Have person with the greatest level of social skills in your restaurant to do this, someone really respectful and polite. I can imagine some of my socially retarded friends really making a mess of the situation and making her feel humiliated. Don't pick someone like that.
  11. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    While I agree with much of what you say in your post, you might back off in the attitude.

    Nothing I read in OP's post suggests s/he was going to be "a dick" or "pick on someone", but seemed to be asking for suggestions on handling what the OP clearly sees as a delicate situation.

    Again, your suggestions are not what I am commenting upon...but your attitude toward the OP.

    Please don't take offense, just a suggestion...:D
  12. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    Get rid of her or she'll get rid of your returning customers.
  13. ubitmeomg macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2004
    No, I agree. You are totally right. I don't know why i got set off like that.
  14. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    Serve her increasingly bad food with increasingly bad service. [/passive aggressive]
  15. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Give her some deodorant and request that she put some on. Problem solved.
  16. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    Good on you, mate. :D

    (Note pathetic attempt by American to try to sound Aussie...:p)
  17. RKO macrumors 6502


    Oct 21, 2008
    You should only be concerned if you started sounding too okka. ;)
  18. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Next time she comes in and takes a seat, pull the fire alarm and douse her with the fire extinguisher. [/active aggressive]

    But seriously, give it the delicate touch in asking her to excuse herself for hygienic reasons. When that fails duck when the cats start flying!
  19. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    She is a definite health risk where food is served.

    She touches things that others also use. Sugar, salt, pepper, etc.

    Tell her that!!!
  20. RawBert macrumors 68000


    Jan 19, 2010
    North Hollywood, CA
    Seriously, it's your business. You don't have to let her in or serve her.
    One of you has to straight out tell her (as eloquently as possible) to hit the road.

  21. ubitmeomg macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2004
    I cannot pinpoint why this is making me personally rage, but congrats for making an emotionally visceral thread.
  22. William.Mantle macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2011
    Its a business, not a charity!... Kick smelly pants out of there

    What restaurant is this so i know to avoid it
  23. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

    Dec 21, 2009
    Far away from liberals
    I agree with you 100%. If I were to walk into a restaurant, and there was a dirty smelly person eating there, I would be completely turned off and walk out.
  24. mpkayeuk macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2010
    Since you don't know her situation, perhaps approach her tactfully and ask if she needs any assistance. Maybe offer her the services of your own bathroom or point her in the direction of a local charity place that can help her clean up. Offer her a ride to the nearest place.

    If she doesn't take you up on any of those options, and she continues to frequent your restaurant, then you are left with little choice but to politely ask her to leave.
  25. iSaint macrumors 603


    May 26, 2004
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    You might check with some local assistance services to see if anyone is aware of her situation. There could be a place that could help her get cleaned up, among other things.

Share This Page