In today's world, customers are savvier than ever about hygiene and cleanliness, and a negative comment on social media or a bad Google review has the potential to be seen by millions of people in a very short space of time. Customers generally remember the best and worst aspects of a restaurant visit and no matter how fabulous the food, service or dining ambience, an unclean, unhygienic washroom could be enough to cancel out the positives.
A survey commissioned by hand dryer manufacturer Airdri found that over half of Brits wouldn't return to a restaurant if faced with a dirty bathroom. Word of mouth recommendations are hugely important for the hospitality sector and when asked what they would do if they encountered a dirty bathroom, research revealed that most potential customers would warn friends and family not to visit.
The washroom is an extension of the restaurant, and stained toilets, unpleasant smells, overflowing bins, faulty lights, broken toilet seats and empty dispensers can seriously undermine confidence in the kitchen hygiene standards, food preparation and ultimately, in the food itself. It’s clear that hospitality venues need to clean up their act - and their washrooms! - if they want to attract and retain loyal patrons.
Restaurant washrooms that are in constant use from patrons are a high-risk area in enabling the spread of germs and infections.
Paper towels can be a hygiene nightmare in the bathroom, ending up in overflowing bins, on the floor, on the counter and in toilets. The installation of modern hand dryers that combine innovative technology with low energy consumption, powerful jet hand drying and touchless, automatic operation can play a pivotal role in enhancing hygiene standards and sustainable practices, while also saving up to 97% on annual running costs.
Statement By Airdri Chief Operating Officer
Steve Whittall, chief operating officer at Airdri, commented, "If you want to improve your bottom line, then it’s clear that a clean bathroom is essential. Yet it appears that within the hospitality industry, there is work to do in improving hygiene standards in the washrooms. The results of our survey were perhaps surprising given the increased levels of cleaning we saw during the pandemic. And the open questions on what people had discovered in the UK's public bathrooms made for some eye-watering reading.
"Where alcohol is involved, it's often more common for "accidents" to happen, leaving the toilets in a less than desirable state, so you'd expect bars and nightclubs to have the dirtiest restrooms, but visitors to a quarter of restaurants had also fallen foul of bathrooms so dirty that they wouldn’t return. That's certainly something that would put me off my dinner!"
© 2023 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.