Glenn Rasin

By: Glenn Rasin on March 10th, 2020

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Dirty Restrooms in Restaurants: How They Impact Your Business

Great tasting, good quality food and a pleasant dining experience is not enough to satisfy customers and encourage repeat visits. Customers desire a complete dining experience including everything from polite and attentive staff and short wait times to spotless dishes and clean restrooms. 

For many restaurant owners, the impact of long lines and spotless dishes is known, but it can be surprising to learn that a clean restroom has a direct impact on customer satisfaction and retention.  

A patron’s bathroom experience may not seem like it plays an important role in the overall experience but, more than 80 percent of consumers would avoid a restaurant with a dirty restroom—not just avoid the restroom, but avoid the restaurant altogether.

Just as the quality of the food and service impacts a restaurant’s reputation, so does the bathroom.

Below, we’ll explain the importance of a clean restroom and 4 major ways it can affect the overall success of your restaurant. 

  1. Builds Trust
  2. Lowers Customer Complaints  
  3. Increases Customer Satisfaction 
  4. Boosts Brand Awareness 

Builds Trust 

Empty GarbageIn a restaurant, as in all buildings and facilities, a customer’s experience in the restroom will affect their perceived cleanliness of your whole facility which can last through the entire dining experience and long after.

Customers will often equate the cleanliness of the bathroom with the overall cleanliness of the rest of your facility. And, if your restaurant’s bathroom is dirty, how clean are other areas of the building, like the kitchen? 

Unclean restrooms will encourage visitors to develop negative images about your kitchen and its cleanliness level. 

Regular cleaning and maintenance includes: 

  • removing water on countertops
  • decluttering the floor
  • restocking hand soap, paper towels, and toilet paper 
  • eliminating grout and toilet stains 

Additionally, clean, well-stocked bathrooms show patrons that as a restaurant owner, you care about their well-being and overall experience and that will leave them with a positive lasting impression. Clean restrooms show your company's dedication to the entire dining experience.

Lowers Customer Complaints 

Complaints can arise from jammed dispensers, toilet paper outages, dirty floors, overflowing trash bins, offensive odors as well as a variety of other issues.

When your restroom is cleaner, your patrons will have fewer complaints. Reduced complaints means you will spend less time dealing with poor business reviews. 

Odorless, clean, and well-maintained restrooms not only prevent customer complaints but increase satisfaction.

Increases Customer Satisfaction 

happy restaurant customersNo restaurant owner wants their guests to leave with a negative impression, especially on their restroom’s appearance. 

Think about when you meet someone for the first time and the positive or negative impression they leave you with. Similar to the first impression of meeting someone, the impression your facility’s restroom leaves on your guests is equally important. They will remember it, especially if it is poorly maintained.

Customers who are happy with their dining experience are more inclined to stay longer, potentially ordering more. And, they are more likely to positively promote your business. 

Boosts Brand Awareness 

Online ReviewsClean bathrooms may not be the first thing patrons will remember to compliment during their dining experience, however dirty restrooms trigger strong negative word of mouth.

50% of restaurant patrons, who have a negative experience with a bathroom whether it be from dirty toilets, grimy soap dispensers or bad odors, will talk about it with friends and family. 

Today, all it takes is one negative Yelp review on the state of your company's restroom to discourage other customers from coming to your restaurant.

On the other hand, clean restrooms will only improve the experience a patron has at your restaurant. Instead of damaging reviews, customers can reward your business with encouraging reviews that generate interest and more business.


Final Thoughts

Tasty food and high-quality service will always be the key reason a customer visits your establishment, but cleanliness will be important to driving repeat visits. 

A dirty bathroom increases customer complaints, hurts customer retention, and will leave customers wondering how clean the rest of your facility is. 

Your business works hard to provide quality dishes and services to patrons, and a dirty and smelly restroom should not be the first or last thing left on your guest’s mind.

When properly maintained, clean restrooms will show visitors that you care about food safety, customer and employee satisfaction, and your reputation.

The best way to manage your restroom is by implementing a consistent cleaning routine, performed by trained personnel in the techniques for proper cleaning and disinfecting.

Routine restroom cleaning procedures will increase restroom cleanliness, boost customer satisfaction, and improve your facility’s overall image. 

EBP has a variety of commercial cleaning supplies and janitorial cleaning equipment to enhance your restroom appearance.

Fill out this form to have an EBP Specialist perform a free restroom assessment.  We’ll review your facility’s current restroom cleaning protocols to ensure you are using the most cost-effective and labor-saving products and processes. 

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About Glenn Rasin

Glenn Rasin is the Chemical Specialist for EBP Supply Solutions and Lead Trainer for the EBP Training Academy, which offers CMI-certified training courses for supervisory and front-line cleaning professionals throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. He is an ISSA CMI-certified trainer, with over 35 years of experience in the janitorial and sanitation industry.