Milwaukee — More than half (51 percent) of Americans say they’ve had a particularly unpleasant experience in a public restroom due to the condition of the facilities, according to a national survey conducted by Bradley Corporation, manufacturer of bathroom and locker room furnishings, including sinks, faucets, hand dryers, showers and lockers.
Bradley’s fourth annual Healthy Hand Washing Survey found that gas stations outstripped other locations for the most awful restroom experiences and the majority of respondents (72 percent) cited a bad smell as the number one cause. Restrooms that looked old, dirty or unkempt, and toilets that were clogged or not flushed followed were named as the second and third most common problems. Water collecting on the floor, and jammed toilet paper and towel dispensers were also high on the restroom complaint list.
For businesses, an unclean restroom proves troublesome. When asked about their perceptions of businesses with poorly maintained restrooms, survey respondents cited poor management (62 percent); lack of care about customers (59 percent); a lowered opinion of the business (54 percent); and a sign that the business doesn’t care about how they look to others (53 percent). While negative customer perceptions can hurt business, the most common action taken because of an unclean restroom is even more problematic, as nearly one-third (31 percent) said they would never frequent the business again.
“The condition of restrooms speak volumes about a business – whether it’s a public facility, workplace or otherwise,” says Jon Dommisse, director of global marketing & strategic development at Bradley Corporation. “Our annual survey underscores that people really do take note of businesses when restrooms are lacking and unpleasant, and sometimes that means they’ll not return to that establishment.”