Interpreting the Secret Business Language of Restrooms

Posted by Steve Thielke on Mar 6, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Business owners know that the condition of public restrooms can make or break customer experiences. They can also become significant business detractors– or ringing business endorsements because the state of restrooms speaks volumes about rest of the establishment.

To better understand these customer perceptions, Bradley Corp. set out to pinpoint American’s biggest public restroom pain points in its latest Healthy Hand Washing Survey. An overwhelming majority named the following circumstances as “Extremely or Very Aggravating” in restrooms:

  • 93% Toilet Paper Dispenser Empty or Jammed
  • 87% Toilet Clogged or Not Flushed
  • 81% Partition Doors Don’t Latch
  • 79% Overall Appearance is Old, Dirty or Unkempt
  • 79% Unpleasant Smells
  • 76% Paper Towel Dispenser Empty or Jammed

Biggest Aggravations in Public Restrooms_2017.jpg

So what’s the business consequence of letting these types of restroom unpleasantries slip through the cracks of regular maintenance? Lost business. Nearly 60% said they are unlikely to return to a business after encountering these types of aggravations. Others will complain to management, tell a friend or leave right away without completing their business.

According to the survey, businesses are increasingly at a greater risk for losing customers due to messy restrooms. In the 2017 study, almost 70% of Americans said they recall having an unpleasant restroom experience – a number that was only 60% in 2015.

On the brighter side for businesses, what effect do nice restrooms have on customers?  Preferential business treatment. A whopping 70% of Americans say they have made a conscious effort to select a specific business because it has cleaner, more well-maintained restrooms.


What do your restrooms communicate about your business?


Topics: healthy handwashing

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