Almost half of Americans are planning to spend more money at a business that has clean, well-maintained restrooms, according to Bradley Corporation’s annual Healthy Hand Washing Survey.
The survey, which reached 1,035 Americans, also found that when businesses let restroom maintenance slip, they are at a high risk of jeopardizing customer satisfaction and sales. Almost 60 per cent of respondents said they make a conscious decision to visit a specific business because they know it has nice restrooms.
“The inherent correlation between restroom conditions, businesses and customers extends even deeper than we realized,” says Jon Dommisse, director of strategy and corporate development for Bradley Corp. “Our survey has previously highlighted how well-maintained restrooms increase patronage; learning that people also reward these businesses with their spending power was further confirmation of how consumers respond positively to clean restrooms.”
Over the past three years, the number of Americans with unpleasant restroom experiences has steadily increased from 59 per cent to 70 per cent.
Their biggest problems are toilets that are clogged or not flushed, empty or jammed toilet paper dispensers, unpleasant smells, partition doors that don’t latch and an overall dirty appearance. Top frustrations are walking across a wet floor, reaching over someone to access soap and waiting in line for a hand dryer. Many respondents are unlikey to return to the establishment.
For restaurants, the judgment surrounding the condition of restrooms is especially tough, as 82 per cent think a restaurant with dirty restrooms is “extremely” or “fairly” likely to have a dirty kitchen. Further, out of all types of facilities, restaurants and health care establishments cause Americans the most concern about workers not washing their hands.
The survey, conducted between January 2 and January 5, also delved into perceptions about this year’s pervasive flu season. Almost 60 per cent of Americans are concerned about contracting a new or particularly resilient strain of the flu. This elevated concern appears to prompt more diligent hand washing, as 65 per cent say they wash their hands more frequently or more thoroughly to avoid getting germs or transmitting them to others.