MENOMMONEE FALLS, Wis. — A majority of consumers value businesses' well-kept restrooms to the point that they are willing to spend more money when they encounter one — and that percetnage is growing.
According to the 11th annual Healthy Hand Washing Survey conducted by Bradley Corp., the number of Americans who say they will "definitely" or "probably" shell out more cash in response to clean restrooms rose to 62 percent this year, up from 45 percent just two years ago.
Millennials and members of Generation X are the two generations most likely to spend more, according to the report, which also found that nearly three in four Americans make it a point to visit a business because they know it has nice restrooms. Women are especially likely to express a preference.
"Increasingly, our survey underscores that clean restrooms attract business," said Jon Dommisse, director of strategy and corporate development for Bradley Corp. "Even posting and maintaining a cleaning schedule in restrooms helps reassure customers the facility is clean. Over half who have observed such a schedule say it makes them feel more positive about the business."
Despite the interest in businesses with clean restrooms, a record 76 percent of Americans reported having a particular bad bathroom encounter.
"While it's encouraging that consumers are willing to reward businesses that have nice restrooms, there is a growing disconnect that more Americans are experiencing unpleasant restrooms," Dommisse added.
Restrooms that are dirty or in disarray generate negative impressions that cause customers to take their business elsewhere. Nearly 60 percent of Americans will leave the business immediately or say that they are unlikely to return after encountering unpleasant restrooms.
Grievances that trigger high levels of frustration include clogged/unflushed toilets (85 percent); empty/jammed toilet paper dispensers (83 percent); and partition doors that don't latch shut (78 percent). Women and baby boomers express the most annoyance about these inconveniences.
"Poor conditions are the main culprit behind people skipping hand washing during a restroom visit," Dommisse said. "Lack of soap and/or paper towels and dirty and/or non-functioning sinks are the two most common reasons for not washing hands."
Menomonee Falls-based Bradley Corp. offers advanced commercial washrooms and comprehensive solutions, serving commercial, institutional and industrial building markets worldwide.