When you gotta go, you gotta go, unless the nearest restroom is dirty. As the weather warms up, more people tend to hit the road, but having to go isn’t the only factor in why they’ll stop at a particular restroom. You know restroom cleanliness is a factor in whether a customer will stay at your business. It turns out, cleanliness is also a top factor when it comes to road trip stops. A recent Cintas Corp/Harris Interactive Survey looked at reasons why road trippers stop where they do. Among the findings:
- How badly they have to “go” 72%
- Convenience to the highway/road 61%
- Safety/security of the area 54%
- Cleanliness of the restrooms 53%
- Overall building/facility cleanliness 41% (tied)
- Location of the restroom (e.g., indoor restroom, exterior restroom requiring a key) 41% (tied)
As you can see, cleanliness was number three on the list. From experience, this is a huge issue. I have stopped at public restrooms on the road, only to hop back in my car and head for the next business over or the next exit, just to avoid a dirty restroom. I also know that there are certain chains of businesses that pay close attention to restroom cleanliness and try to stop there whenever possible.
The perception of your restroom impacts your entire business. Many people believe that a dirty restroom is a sign about how the rest of the business is cleaned. At the end of the day, you could be impacting your bottom line by not cleaning restrooms. Think about it this way: If someone on a road trip pops into your business to use the restroom, they might also stop and pick up a snack, meal, drink or souvenir. That means more money for your business. If that person knows someone else driving a similar route, he or she is also likely to recommend where and where not to stop on the trip – another impact on your bottom line.
According to the ISSA – the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, “the purpose of restroom cleaning is to maintain clean, hygienic and attractive restrooms.” If you’re not meeting those goals, you’re not doing your job at restroom cleaning. Here are some tips for restroom cleaning:
- Have all your tools in one place so you can find and grab them easily when it’s time to clean.
- Place wet floor signs so they’re visible from all points of entry in order to reduce the risk of slips and falls.
- Restock all dispensers. Paper towels, toilet paper and soap dispensers should always be filled to avoid customer complaints. A staff member should check them regularly and refill when necessary.
- Disinfect all high-touch areas. That includes toilet flush handles, door knobs, faucets, paper towel dispensers, stall locks, light switches, sanitizing urinals and walls, etc. Disinfectants need to “dwell” or sit on a surface for several minutes in order to kill pathogens before being wiped off.
- Sweep floor and pick up any trash.
- Scrub your floor, baseboards, tile, grout and especially the areas around toilets and urinals to dislodge any dirt and remove odor-causing bacteria.
- Mop it up. Use a dual-chamber mop bucket to keep dirty water and clean solution from mixing and getting back onto your floor.
- Allow floor to dry fully. The fastest way to do this is by using a dry mop, which can help sop up any liquid that’s left on the floor after mopping.
- Wipe off disinfectant. If you haven’t already, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe disinfectant off of your surfaces.
- Remove wet floor signs. Once the floor is fully dry, you can take down the wet floor signs.