In the restaurant industry, along with food and services, the restroom experience is an integral part of the customers dining experience. According to a survey study, more than 80 per cent of consumers would not prefer eating at a restaurant with a dirty restroom. Irrespective of the excellent food or services, a lousy restroom experience can leave a negative impression in the minds of customers. If your restaurant overlooks the cleanliness standards of the restroom, it can mean poor reviews on social media and bad word-of-mouth publicity.
This article takes a walk in the shoes of customers and addresses the common restroom problems faced by customers everywhere. It is an open appeal by a customer asking restaurateurs for humane restroom conditions.
Dear Restaurant, Please Fix That Restroom!
I love the fact that over the years you’ve put all your efforts in ensuring that my favourite dishes taste exactly the same every time I dine in your restaurant. I acknowledge your endeavours for improvising your services and technology to offer a seamless experience. You have addressed all the concerns I had in the past with either the food, bills, takeaway orders and services. But my primary concern is the negligence you have displayed towards that restroom in your restaurant. It might be surprising for you, but the condition of your restaurant’s restroom affects your brand’s image in the minds of customers.
Through this letter, I have spoken through the minds of different customers and collectively penned down all our worries and concerns with your restaurant’s restroom.
Lacks Basic Sanitation Standards
Irrespective of the restaurant format, I’ve had some disastrous restroom experiences that have ruined the restaurant’s image in my mind. Overflowing toilets, dirty faucets, clogged sinks, dustbins overflowing with thrash, unpleasant odours, absence of toiletries, wet floors, poor lighting; the list is endless. I have also come across large restaurants that have established a single unisex washroom for customers and restaurant staff. I don’t understand why restaurateurs overlook the sanitation in their restrooms. A restaurant turning a blind eye towards the cleanliness of restrooms, might not be following hygiene standards throughout their establishment, including kitchen areas.
I have to think twice before going to a restaurant’s restroom because I’m afraid of losing my appetite the moment I return. No matter how delicious the food is, an unclean restroom in a restaurant ruins my day. I have now begun taking snapshots of the dirty washrooms and posting them on social media. I have also reported complaints against the restaurants through online reviews. Now I prefer dining-in at only those restaurants that are strict about the hygiene standards of their restrooms. After all, a clean restroom shows that the restaurant cares about the customers and their overall brand reputation.
No Wheelchair Facility
My disability never stops me from dining out and experimenting with different cuisines. But as an individual who uses a wheelchair, I have rarely come across restaurants where the restrooms are wheelchair accessible. In some restaurants, the restrooms are at an elevation. Even when I am able to find my own way to the restroom, I cannot turn my wheelchair as the space inside the restroom is too less. There are no handrails to help me get to the washroom. The washbasins are also not designed according to our requirements. I’m eagerly waiting for the day when the restrooms will be accessible for the disabled and individuals in wheelchairs. A wheelchair-accessible restroom that is equipped with amenities like ramp access and handrails would communicate that individuals like me are valued.
The Washroom Is Near The Dining Area
I recently decided to dine-in at a famous restaurant. Waited eagerly in the queue only to find that my table was next to the washroom. The kitchen area was also in the vicinity of the washroom. Throughout my visit, I was constantly distracted by the fear of bacteria and other infectious particles roaming in the air and on my plate. I had heard so much about this place but never expected that the restaurant owners would display carelessness in designing their restaurant layout. After having this experience, I’m not sure if I would like to revisit the restaurant. My request to the restaurateurs is to put sincere efforts while deciding the restaurant layout. The restroom should be built behind the wall or somewhere far from the kitchen and dining area.
Old Washroom Is Still Not Fixed
The food, excellent service, modern interiors, digital menus, everything about the restaurant seemed perfect. I was awestruck with the entire ambience of the restaurant. But the minute I stepped inside the washroom, everything started to feel superficial. The restroom lacked all the modern facilities that were otherwise to be seen in the front house. An old stinky lavatory, a tiny piece of soap bar in place of liquid handwash, a dirty hand towel instead of tissue papers or hand dryers; the restrooms clearly didn’t reflect the same standard as the rest of the space. You revamp your restaurant and kitchen space because even the crockery, kitchenware and furniture comes with an expiry date. Just by revamping the doors and floor of your restroom, do you think you have remodelled your restroom as well? It is great that the restaurateurs are modernizing their restaurant spaces, but in order to match the restaurant’s concepts, the restrooms need to be modernized too.
A clean restroom plays a vital role in helping restaurants achieve success. Here’s what we would like to suggest to the restaurateurs for maintaining the hygiene standards in their restroom.
- Restaurant restrooms need to be properly equipped with sanitation facilities. This includes proper trash disposal, disinfectant sprays, soap dispensers, paper towels or warm air dryers. Restroom cleanliness needs to be included in the daily restaurant management checklist. The Restaurant Manager must check if the restrooms are cleaned and unclogged from obstacles daily.
- Restrooms must not be established near the dining area or kitchen areas. It has to be ensured that the washrooms are easily accessible, but the way to the restroom must not pass through kitchen or preparation areas.
- Restaurateurs should ensure that their entire restaurant including the restrooms are accessible to handicapped persons and equipped with amenities to be used by the individuals in wheelchairs.
- Restaurants that are spread across a large space should ensure that there is a separate restroom facility for employees and customers.
Your food might be great, services would be exceptional and interiors mesmerizing. But your negligence towards the sanitation actively displays your short-sightedness towards the health of your customers. If you want your business to achieve great success, then please don’t ignore your restroom.
We hope you will take the necessary steps to improve your restroom and strengthen your chances of customer success.
A Concerned Customer