The restroom is not always top of the mind when it comes to hospitality. It is however an important part of your locations image. This is an area the may not be the most popular subject but it is one you never want to neglect. Let’s go over some examples of why your bathroom cleanliness can help grow or slow your sales in the food service arena.
How many times when your grab takeout or eat out do you end up using the restroom? I use it every time I dine. Not always for the bathroom though, just to wash my hands before eating. When you use it does it impact your visit? You can bet so. Is this area part of the brand’s image? You bet it is. Much like your front entrance curb appeal of the store, your location has a lot more to it than the food it serves.
When you walk in to a clean and maintained restroom it says a lot about how they operate.
Fully stocked toilet paper, soap and paper towels is part of the dining atmosphere. When everything is in it’s designated space it shows the customer you focus on the details. IT makes them comfortable and build their confidence up. A clean bathroom 9 times out of 10 will mean a clean kitchen. Think about it. If the public restroom is in shambles how is the private kitchen looking right about now? I bet it looks even worse. Be honest with yourself if you are an operator. Compare the two areas.
I know it only takes one person to wreck an entire restroom. That is why it is highly important to assign someone on your team to rotate looking at it every 15 min to at minimum every hour. Personally I don’t care for the pencil whipped checklist hanging on a bathroom door. Over half the time they are not filled in which makes another bad impression. If they are filled in you know the just checked each item as fast as possible. If you are going to use a bathroom checklist I recommend keeping it out of the customers point of view. No guests want to see a check list with missing spots or filled in but the area looks like a mess. They just want a clean fully stocked environment.
A great looking restroom tells your customers the areas they can’t see are also well maintained.
A major red flag is when the bathroom is missing soap. Now how many other people have dirty hands touching the door handle, soda machine buttons, napkin dispenser, public silverware caddies, table tops, exit doors, menus, plus misc condiments the public has access to. If a location has repeated issues in their restrooms during visits I can guarantee them some of the customers no longer return. Who as a customer wants to ask for toilet paper? NO one does.
As an operator it is time to step up your game if this is weak point. Assign someone to won that space, but use the trust but verify method. Check them yourself. Another tip I use is teach ALL your staff that is is everyone’s responsibility to keep a clean restroom. If they use it an it is not at the standard it needs to be they should correct the problem while in their i.e. pick up papers from the ground, wipe the water and soap off the counter, take note of anything missing to tell who ever owns the space to stock it.
As the manager you are an example to do the same thing you ask of your team, but also to check on them when you see them exit the restroom. A few coaching moments to drive awareness and importance will make a world of difference.
I hope you found this post helpful. My mission is to make operations easy to understand. It would be a huge blessing to me if you would take a moment to share this post on your social media sites. If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to share them below. I look forward to hearing from you.
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