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How to create a restroom experience that drives more business

How to create a restroom experience that drives more business

The pandemic raised awareness and hygiene practices in public places to an all-time high. According to research, more than 89% of people are now more conscious of germs than before the pandemic—this is critical information for those who oversee a commercial or public restroom for customers and staff.

Highest-ever public hygiene standards
The research reveals that more than 86% of people are now concerned about hygiene in the workplace, retail and hospitality destinations. Part of the reason is that the public is more educated about how hygiene can help them avoid colds and flu.

Frequent hand washing, cleanliness, hand sanitiser, and avoiding touching things like handrails and even washroom taps are now ingrained into people's thinking. For those offering an experience, whether in a workplace, restaurant, café, retail store, or commercial facility—such as rock climbing or bowling—your restroom could negatively or positively affect your user's entire experience, loyalty and spend.

Everybody knows that most people (more than 70% of customers) would avoid a hotel or restaurant with unclean restrooms—odours, clogged toilets, out-of-stock essentials like toilet paper and paper towels, and broken soap dispensers—but standards have changed post-pandemic. The bar has never been higher.

Clean, sterile and touchless
Today's customers and staff expect restroom facilities to be clean, sterile, and safe. By safe, we mean restrooms should seriously consider features like modifying the restroom layout with larger individual containment spaces to reduce germ exposure (like social distancing while washing hands).

Touchless entry and exit are desirable
More than 84% of people surveyed say they want touchless fixtures installed so they don't have to touch taps, doors, buttons or other surfaces when in the restroom—to the point that consumers say they are more inclined to trust commercial venues that maintain these standards and, as a result, will patronise them more frequently.

Touchless taps may involve elbow-operated taps that avoid hand contact with a surface. Soap or anti-bacterial dispensers could also facilitate elbow operation.

Meanwhile, wash basins should minimise splashback, be easy to clean, and be resistant to microbial growth. To improve the restroom experience, use warm water (not exceeding 40 °C) instead of cold water. Finish with paper towels rather than air dryers, which are shown to blow germs around the washroom.

Fully stocked with hygiene consumables
It is important to stock restrooms with extra supplies because most consumers say nothing is more annoying than a restroom without toilet paper, soap or paper towels.

It may sound counterintuitive, but clear instructions on how to use facilities like tap and toilet flush sensors and elbow-operated faucets are important. Explaining to customers that their hygiene, health, and safety are important to you is a good chance to make a positive impression.

Equipping your restroom with hand sanitiser is more than a nice-to-have; it's imperative. Studies show that hand sanitiser use has surged post-pandemic.

Six measures to boost customer and staff trust
According to a survey by commercial plumbing suppliers, Sloan, expectations around restroom hygiene, cleanliness, and safety are very high and are driving trends such as:

  1. Touchless, elbow or sensor-based restroom devices.
  2. Cubicle partitions that extend from floor to ceiling for greater privacy and reduced exposure.
  3. Touchless or doorless entry and exit where possible.
  4. Fully stocked with hygiene consumables like hand towels, toilet paper, soaps, and odour control dispensers, e.g., Pacific Hygiene's Oxygen Pro Dispenser.
  5. Anti-bacterial or hand sanitiser dispensers e.g., Pacific Hygiene’s one litre soap and sanitiser dispenser pack.
  6. Touchless paper towel dispensers, e.g., Pacific Hygiene's Centre Feed Roll Paper Towel Dispenser

Researchers tell us that businesses with clean, well-maintained restrooms designed and equipped with user hygiene and safety in mind enjoy 60% repeat business—those between 25 and 44 years of age tell us they will spend more money on premises that they trust for cleanliness.