Survey on restroom cleanliness discovers what we already knew

A survey conducted by SCA Tissue found that the cleanliness of restaurant bathrooms is a key factor in repeat business.


Okay, the results aren't earth-shattering, but I don't think I could have said it better myself: restroom cleanliness reflects the overall hygiene standards throughout the restaurant, including kitchen and food prep areas.

According to the poll, the top 10 dirty restroom factors that would prevent restaurant customers from returning are:

  • Overflowing toilets: 58%
  • Unpleasant odors: 57%
  • Slippery/dirty floors with buildup, gum or other residue: 49%
  • Dirty partitions, doors, doorknobs, walls or fixtures: 38%
  • Dirty and wet sinks and countertops: 38%
  • Insufficient toilet paper: 33%
  • Overflowing trash cans: 31%
  • Insufficient liquid soap: 28%
  • Non-working toilet paper dispenser: 22%
  • Management/employees unavailable for reporting problems: 19%

In addition, the survey found that word gets around about a bad restroom experience:

  • 50% of those who visit restaurants said they would tell their friends and family about a negative experience with an unclean or unsanitary restaurant restroom.
  • 46% said they would avoid going to a restaurant because of a bad experience with a restaurant's restroom that they had themselves or one they heard about from others.

Okay, here are my thoughts:

In regard to unpleasant odors, I think it's important to note that any strong odor, including a cloying floral scent or the stench of cleaning products, is just as unpleasant as the more obvious "bad" restroom odors. An adjustable odor control system with a more subdued scent is likely to leave a better impression. In my experience, no smell at all is better than a cover-up frangrance.

My next frustration has to do with toilet paper. Yes, running out of TP is the worst-case scenario, but simply stacking extra rolls atop the dispenser is not a good solution. To me, a loose roll is a roll that's potentially been on the floor. All TP should go straight into the dispenser, spending as little time in the open air as possible! ;-)

Last, I understand that, in the interest of cutting down on waste and becoming more environmentally friendly, many establishments are shifting to hand-dryers as a substitute for the more-wasteful paper-towel dispensers. But, some of us still find comfort in drying our hands with a towel. And sometimes, say, after you spill half a glass of red wine down the front of you, the air dryer just isn't going to cut it.

The center-pull towel dispenser is a good "hybrid." It dispenses one sheet at a time for portion control, and it's hands-free for added cleanliness.

One more thing-- the hands-free waste container won't do any good if your patrons have to perch their trash atop a mound of garbage overflowing out of the top-- and there isn't any solution to that except for good ol' fashioned vigilance.

So, the biggest lesson to learn from this survey, is that it takes diligence on the part of every single staff member to have a consistently sparkling-clean restroom. Train everyone to do a walk-through of the restrooms a few times during the rush. It's hard to do when you're slammed, but that is also most likely when the restroom will need attention...

Views: 18

Tags: center-pull, cleanliness, container, control, dispenser, odor, paper, restrooms, toilet, towel, More…waste


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Kids LiveWell atwitter over Twitter party

In its continuing effort to promote more nutritious and flavorful children's menu options, the NRA will hold a Twitter party  -More

Starbucks could become top on-premise wine seller in U.S.

Starbucks is planning to slowly expand its evening sales of wine, beer and small plates to thousands of selected stores throu -More

The evolving nature of snacks

Snacks have shifted from an after-school treat to a meal alternative as meal times become more fragmented.  -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

TED: David Brooks: Should you live for your résumé ... or your eulogy? - David Brooks (2014)

Within each of us are two selves, suggests David Brooks in this meditative short talk: the self who craves success, who builds a résumé, and the self who seeks connection, community, love -- the values that make for a great eulogy. (Joseph Soloveitchik has called these selves "Adam I" and "Adam II.") Brooks asks: Can we balance these two selves?

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service