This week I had the opportunity to travel across several western states and as I did so I had to stop for gas and snacks on several occasions. as I was traveling mostly on rural interstates, I stopped at a lot of large travel centers (what we used to call a truck stop). Particularly I stopped at 2 brand new travel centers operated by a large national brand.
These were beautiful facilities and it was clear that they had spent millions of dollars building these new locations. They had nearly everything you could want. They had food options, nearly every type of liquid refreshment you could imagine from soft drinks to energy drinks and sparkling water from halfway around the world. They had electronic items and nearly every type of snack food you can think of. They also had, unfortunately, dirty restrooms.
So, let me say this again:
Clean Restrooms Drive Profits up, while Dirty Restrooms Drive Customers Away!
The restroom stall walls were dirty and streaked, floors had not been cleaned, and there was trash on the floors. It was early in the morning, so it wasn’t as though there had been lots of traffic, and I was surprised that this company did not realize that the restroom is a profit center, and that a dirty restroom drives profits to other companies.
The second store was little better, and I was surprised that a company would spend so much on a building and a business, and then neglect one of the areas of primary importance to nearly all their customers.
Clean restrooms are good business. GasBuddy.com reported that gas stations with above-average restroom ratings on GasBuddy saw a 33 percent increase in foot traffic compared to those with below-average ratings.
In that same study 64 percent of respondents said one of their worst fears about a road trip is the need to use the restroom and not knowing when the next one will be available. Additionally, 69 percent of users said they wouldn’t consider visiting a gas station convenience store with less than 3 out of 5 stars.
The truly disappointing aspect of all of this is that restrooms, and travel centers, are relatively easy to clean. Many companies offer mini-scrubbers to clean floors throughout the day, and it takes only a few minutes (or less) per stall to touch up a restroom. What are business owners thinking when they ignore the desires of their customers?
GasBuddy also ranks the cleanest restrooms by state. My personal favorite restrooms are those at the Maverik Stores throughout the Rocky Mountain West. I know I will find a clean restroom, and happy employees who care at these stores. They seem to know what I have been saying all along…Clean restrooms drive profits up, while dirty restrooms drive customers away.
Take a moment to leave me your best, and worst, restroom experiences, and how they have impacted your buying habits.
Customer Satisfaction and Customer Retention are key elements of the Seven Pillars of Success for Janitorial Companies, a program designed to help turn your business frustrations into renewed growth and profitability through commitment to principles and systems that encourage growth, increase employee morale and turn your customers into promoters.