Survey: Clean Restrooms Can Increase In-Store Sales

According to Bradley Corp., customers tend to reward businesses with clean facilities while avoiding those with poorly maintained bathrooms.
Clean public bathroom

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. Businesses that fail to keep their restrooms clean and maintained may be unwittingly flushing away customers' repeat business and sales. 

According to the Healthy Handwashing Survey from Bradley Corp., almost 60 percent of Americans make it a point to stop at a business and will spend more money at the establishment if they know it has clean and maintained restrooms.

The report states those aged 25-44 are even more likely to shell out more cash based on the condition of a business' restroom.

[Read More: Five Ways C-stores Can Upgrade Their Restrooms to Safeguard Against Coronavirus]

Conversely, the report finds there are negative business repercussions for experiencing a restroom in poor condition. More than half of Americans say an unclean or unpleasant public bathroom shows poor management and causes them to lower their opinion of the overall establishment. 

In addition, 52 percent say a bad restroom experience causes them to vow not to return in the future or think twice about doing so. Another 32 percent will either tell a friend or post a comment on social media about the negative encounter.

"Restroom maintenance may seem like a business no brainer but limited budgets and facility staffing issues mean that companies are doing more with less staff and resources," said Jon Dommisse, Bradley’s vice president of marketing and corporate communication. "Nevertheless, customers place a high value on clean restrooms and reward businesses that offer them. It's incumbent upon facility managers to prioritize regular restroom cleaning and make sure that everything is in good working order."  

Dommisse pointed out that post-pandemic customers also continue to be highly germ-conscious. The survey backs this analysis, finding 62 percent of respondents use a paper towel to avoid touching toilet flushers and faucet and door handles, while 43 percent will operate the flusher with their foot. Women are also considerably more likely than men to use these evasive actions.

With so many people deliberately avoiding contact with restroom surfaces, it's not surprising that 82 percent believe it is important to have touchless fixtures in a public restroom. 

"When asked what restroom improvements they'd like to see, cleanliness topped the list," Dommisse said.

The annual Healthy Handwashing Survey polled 1,025 American adults Jan. 4-10, 2023, about their handwashing habits, concerns about the coronavirus and flu, and their use of public restrooms. Participants were from around the country and were fairly evenly split between men (45 percent) and women (55 percent).

More information from the survey may be found here.

Menomonee Falls-based Bradley Corp. offers advanced commercial washrooms and comprehensive solutions, serving commercial, institutional and industrial building markets worldwide.