Interiors 812 views Mar 22, 2018
Start with the washroom for good business image

Here’s a fact to chew over: did you know, that three out of four customers said they would never return to a restaurant with a dirty washroom? The survey conducted by Harris Poll shows how highly we value the cleanliness of sanitary facilities in the public arena. Is it because, in our minds at least, the state of the toilets say so much about the state of the business in which they’re installed? Let’s face it, if hygiene standards are falling short in a restaurant’s washroom, it’s not unfair to assume the same slovenly attitude to health and safety applies throughout the establishment, particularly the kitchen.

Drips lead to trips

That’s the problem, you see - first impressions count for so much, and can take forever to reverse if initial feelings aren’t good. It’s why businesses of all type should pay close attention to the design and upkeep of their washroom. From a health and safety point of view, wet floors caused by splash-happy taps and basins are an obvious hazard, as well as an eyesore. We live in litigious times, and any fall or trip on a surface where maintenance standards have slipped could result in a compensation claim costing thousands of pounds. This is evidenced in a 2015 report by insurance firm AXA, which found slips and trips accounted for half of UK claims from the public against retailers. Thanks to the onslaught of social media and websites such as Trip Advisor, word of a company’s lax, rather than luxurious rest room offering is able to spread faster than before. This could lead to a raft of customers washing their hands of a business without even seeing it.

Dirty handtowels, overflowing bins, chipped or soiled basins, poor lighting, cubicles where privacy is compromised due to a faulty lock or damaged panel; a few little failures can add-up to a hugely unpleasant washroom experience. But customers should not be the only beneficiaries of a smart, comfortable washroom. Well-fitted and functioning toilet areas are found to increase staff wellbeing in offices and businesses. And happy employees means better productivity due to less time being lost to sick days caused by mental and physical stresses and strains.

Design to inspire

Perhaps, eventually, the question as to why companies should take the greatest care with the design and upkeep of their washrooms comes down to a matter of pride. Every aspect of a commercial premises, from the ‘ladies’ and ‘gents’ to theboardroom, should inspireconfidence in visitors that the company they’re dealing with employs the highest possible standards at all levels of the business.

As soon as we are old enough to understand, we are urged not to judge a book by its cover. Yet our judgement on businesses we visit is proven to be affected by the cleanliness of the washrooms they keep. Therefore, a smart, hygienic rest room could be considered to be among a company’s most valuable asserts.