Your industry news - first
Survey finds positive ROI for businesses with clean washrooms
Businesses that fail to keep their washrooms clean and maintained are unwittingly flushing away customers' repeat business and sales. According to the latest Healthy Handwashing Survey from Bradley Corporation, almost 60% of Americans make it a point to stop at a business and will spend more money at the establishment if they know it has clean and maintained washrooms.
In fact, those age 25-44 are even more likely to shell out more cash based on the condition of a business's washrooms.
Conversely, there are negative business repercussions for experiencing a washroom in poor condition. More than half of Americans say an unclean or unpleasant public washroom shows poor management and causes them to lower their opinion of the overall establishment. The 55+ age group is especially turned off by unkempt washrooms with more than 60% reporting a damaged impression of the overall business.
Almost 20% say a sloppy washroom actually makes them less likely to clean up after themselves.
Perhaps most damaging for customer-facing businesses is that 52% say a bad washroom experience causes them to vow not to return in the future or think twice about doing so. Another 32% will either tell a friend or post a comment on social media about the negative encounter.
While there are a variety of maintenance issues that may tarnish customers' experiences, the most common ones include clogged or unflushed toilets; an overall appearance that is old, dirty or unkempt; unpleasant smells; and empty or jammed dispensers for soap, toilet tissue and hand towels.
"Restroom maintenance may seem like a business no brainer but limited budgets and facility staffing issues mean that companies are doing more with less staff and resources," says Jon Dommisse, vice president of marketing & corporate communication, Bradley Corporation. "Nevertheless, customers place a high value on clean restrooms - and reward businesses that offer them. It's incumbent upon facility managers to prioritise regular restroom cleaning and make sure that everything is in good working order.
"In 2023, Americans continue to be in an elevated state of germ consciousness and don't like touching things in shared public restroom spaces. As a result, people use all sorts of techniques to avoid coming into contact with surfaces."
Some 62% use a paper towel to avoid touching toilet flushers and faucet and door handles, while 43% operate the flusher with their foot… 31% hover over the toilet seat and 27% open and close doors with their behind to eliminate contact. Women are considerably more likely than men to use these evasive actions.
With so many people deliberately avoiding contact with surfaces, it's not surprising that 82% believe it is important to have touchless fixtures. Another 60% are more likely to return to a business that offers touch-free technology like faucets, flushers, soap and towel dispensers.
"When asked what restroom improvements they'd like to see, cleanliness topped the list," adds Jon. "After that, Americans want touchless fixtures and better stocking of supplies, such as toilet paper, soap and paper towels."
27th April 2023