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Dirty washrooms have negative effect on patron’s experience

Around 75 per cent of UK residents feel that the washrooms they visit in hotels and restaurants are often unclean.

Bad smells and lack of soap are among the top British gripes. And 87 per cent of us believe that an unclean washroom has a negative impact on our overall impression of an establishment.

More than 8,000 people across Europe were questioned in the study, which was carried out on behalf of Tork this summer.

Survey respondents were also asked which three products or solutions they felt to be key for providing a washroom with a hygienic feel. Toilet paper came top followed by soap, then paper towels, hand sanitiser and hand dryers.

“The insights gained from the survey show that guests’ demands are largely quite basic – but that most people are hygiene-conscious,” said Julie Ray, product and segment manager at Tork manufacturer SCA. “It might not be a surprise to read that toilet paper and soap are considered necessary for a restroom to feel hygienic, but the high response rate for hand sanitiser, for example, provides evidence that guests are fairly knowledgeable when it comes to hygiene.”

Paper towels were considered to be significantly more important than hand dryers with 48 per cent of people including these in their hygiene “top three” compared with only 27 per cent who listed hand dryers as key.

A total of 77 per cent of British respondents said they would refrain from using a dirty hotel or restaurant washroom at all. When asked to state three leading factors that make a restroom appear dirty, four out of five quoted an unclean toilet. A total of 64 per cent said a lack of toilet paper would make a washroom seem unclean while 46 per cent indicated that a bad smell would leave a poor impression.

“Washrooms are not always given the highest priority in hotels and restaurants which is a shame, because toilets can have a significant impact on a guest’s overall experience of an establishment,” continued Ray.

“We know it can be difficult for hotel and restaurant owners to keep track of every element of the customer experience – particularly when these are not part of their core business. However, our survey shows that a little more investment in terms of time and resources in maintaining a high standard of hygiene in washrooms will actually pay for itself in the form of more satisfied guests,” she concluded.

The survey polled people from eight countries: Sweden, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, France, Poland, Belgium and Holland. Overall 84 per cent of respondents felt that hotel and restaurant restrooms were sometimes, often or always unclean, while 80 per cent of Europeans felt that a dirty washroom had a negative impact on the overall impression of a restaurant or hotel.

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