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Dirty bathrooms send customers packing
Posted on Monday, July 8, 2013

New research has shown that a majority of customers are bothered enough by dirty bathrooms at restaurants and other establishments to be persuaded not to return again. Anecdotal evidence supports the theory that if the restaurant won't take care of its bathroom, customers become concerned over the state of its kitchen.

Data

Research conducted by the Harris Institute for the Cintas Corporation in the summer of 2011 found that one-third of customers who saw a dirty bathroom in a restaurant would never return, while roughly half would discuss the state of the facility with friends and family, according to the study, and 95 percent of customers would avoid dining at the establishment again if the conditions were bad enough.

The study was conducted over the phone and surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults. The findings revealed that dirty bathrooms were especially bad for restaurants, hotels and healthcare facilities. Retail outlets and car dealerships were also negatively affected by the poor bathroom conditions. {

Analysis

If bathrooms were in any way dirty, customers were more likely to be unhappy with their dining experience. Reasons that patrons might be unhappy included dirty soap dispensers and bad odors. Many customers were likely turned off by the fact that if the soap dispensers were dirty, diners and kitchen staff would not have clean hands. Customers were also put off by dirty toilets and other indicators that the bathroom had not been properly cleaned.

Mike Thompson, Senior Vice President of Cintas Facility Services, stated that "Dirty restrooms cost businesses lost sales, customers, referrals and repeat business. This study reaffirms that if customers are not satisfied with the state of a restroom, they will take their business elsewhere."

Another representative from the company noted that it was important that bathrooms also be well-stocked and perfectly functioning at all times to maintain customer satisfaction, according to Reuters.

The Cintas company provides cleaning services to other companies and ordered the study to demonstrate the necessity of having clean bathrooms in store. According to the results, having clean toilets and restrooms can make a strong difference as to whether customers will return or recommend a store to family and friends.

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