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Dairy Queen Offers Free Blizzards to Anyone Who Can Solve Bad Smell Problem

A sign on the Dairy Queen location's door warns customers that they are about to enter a Gross Smell Zone.
Photo via Flickr user Lee Cannon

Do you enjoy smelling disgusting things? Can you distinguish between a normal chain restaurant scent and a weird one? Do you have a favorite Blizzard flavor? Then a Dairy Queen in Calgary, Canada needs you!

According to that particular DQ’s owner, his store has reeked since the day it opened in January 2015, and, after three years of inhaling an infuriatingly stubborn scent, he’s appealing to the public for their help—and he’s promising a year of weekly free Blizzards in exchange for solving the odorous mystery.


“It smells like natural gas, it smells like propane, rotten eggs," owner Sujad Bandali, told CBC News about the unexplained smell. As soon as you walk in you get a whiff of it then it kind of disappears."

Bandali says that after his constant exposure to…… whatever it is all day at work, now he can even smell it when he’s at home. He’s done everything he can think of to try to determine what it could be and where it’s coming from, but nothing has worked so far.

He first called the natural gas company, ATCO, on the restaurant’s opening day. “We went into panic mode because we thought there was a leak," he said. "We had firefighters come in and ATCO come in a few hours before we were supposed to open for friends and family. They tested everything and everything seemed fine."

ATCO has since checked for gas leaks at least two other times. Bandali has also gotten the landlord involved, had the sewage system flushed twice, and had the restaurant tested for carbon monoxide. They still haven’t found the source. One ATCO executive called the situation, “a little bit more of a head-scratcher.” And so now he’s resorted to imploring amateur sulfur-sniffers and Dairy Queen fiends to figure it out.

“Please do not be alarmed if you smell gas,” he’s typed on a sign that is taped to the restaurant’s front door. “Be assured that there is no gas leakage […] Unfortunately, nobody is able to determine the source of smell [sic]. It’s a mystery!” He then promises a free blizzard once a week for the next year to anyone who can tell him what’s up. (Our best guess? Someone forgot about buying a Souls of the Damned-scented Yankee Candle).

Bandali says that, at this point, the smell is both a nuisance and an embarrassment. Sometimes customers see the sign on the door and decide not to even walk in. Other times, they open the door, get a whiff. and leave. Fortunately for Bandali, some people will put up with anything for a Peanut Butter Parfait. “I don’t smell anything too poisonous,” one determined customer told CTV News. But surely somebody with a sensitive nose can figure this out—maybe there’s a dog with a DQ craving around Calgary?