Industry News

Unsanitary Restrooms May Be a Deal Breaker for Bar and Restaurant Patrons

The Impact of Clean Restrooms on Bars and Restaurants: A Critical Connection

In the competitive world of bars and restaurants, every aspect contributes to a venue’s success or downfall. One often underestimated factor is the state of the restroom facilities, and recent research confirms the profound influence of dirty restrooms on revenue and reputation.

The Research Findings

A comprehensive survey conducted by Opinion Research Corp. on behalf of Clorox Professional Products Company sheds light on patrons’ perceptions and behaviors regarding unclean restrooms.

The study involved 1,005 U.S. adults and revealed compelling insights:

  • Patron Refusal: A staggering 69 percent of respondents expressed their refusal to patronize bars and restaurants with unclean restrooms.
  • Immediate Departure: Thirty-nine percent admitted to leaving a restaurant promptly if they encountered a restroom that smelled like urine.

Potential Loss of Revenue

The survey also delved into the potential financial repercussions of unclean restrooms:

Refusal to Patronize

Two-thirds of respondents declared that they would avoid establishments, such as restaurants or hotels, with unclean restrooms.

Negative Reviews

Fifty-five percent indicated they would leave a negative review for a business based on perceived unsanitary restroom conditions.

Online Reputation and Profitability

A Harvard Business School study added another layer to the impact of negative reviews. Yelp business reviews, according to the study, can influence a business’s revenues by 5-9 percent. Notably, just three bad reviews can lead to lower profitability. Even if a patron’s overall experience is positive, a negative restroom encounter is likely to affect the establishment’s online reputation and bottom line.

Consumer Avoidance and Complaints

Commercial fixture company, Bradley Corp., concurs with these findings, revealing that more than 80 percent of consumers actively avoid restaurants with dirty restrooms. Their top complaints include urine smells and dirty floors.

Top Five Surfaces for Bacteria Buildup:

  1. Restroom partitions
  2. Restroom doors
  3. Soap dispensers
  4. Toilet seats
  5. Toilet flush handles

Bradley Corp. also notes some ironic findings:

  • Forty percent of U.S. adults and 53 percent of Canadian adults occasionally skip using soap when washing their hands.
  • Twenty-five percent of both groups surveyed don’t wash their hands after coughing and sneezing.

Hand Washing Practices

A research study by Michigan State University’s School of Hospitality Business revealed alarming handwashing practices:

  • Only five percent of people wash their hands long enough to kill infection-causing germs.
  • More than 33 percent of people don’t use soap, and 10 percent don’t wash their hands at all.

Imagine the repercussions if patrons contract a food-borne illness due to poor handwashing practices. A well-publicized report could seriously damage a business’s reputation and potentially lead to closure.

Additional Insights

The research uncovered that people were less likely to wash their hands if the sink was dirty and that handwashing was more prevalent earlier in the day.

For establishments seeking to ensure the highest standards of hygiene and patron satisfaction, addressing restroom cleanliness is paramount.

Feel free to contact us to discuss your situation and explore how we can help elevate your establishment’s cleanliness and reputation.

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