Restrooms may not be at the top of every retail and commercial business owner’s to-do lists, but study after study demonstrates how important a clean, high-functioning restroom is to the average customer. In a survey conducted by Harris on behalf of Cintas, a staggering 94 percent of U.S. adults said they would avoid a business in the future if they encountered a dirty restroom. Facilities in commercial and retail businesses that look old and poorly cared for can also discourage repeat customer visits.
With this in mind, isn’t it a good idea to take a fresh look at your restroom facilities and consider a redesign that impresses customers instead of one that drives them away? Here are key components to keep in mind, with potential cost-savings enhanced by recent advances in technology.
The Overall Customer Experience
You may not notice it, but unpleasant odors could be lingering in your restrooms. Fortunately, there are many possible solutions, including air fresheners that operate on a 24-hour basis and neutralize bacteria, rather than merely covering them. Other highly effective (and eco-friendly) odor-control devices include auto flushes, automatic drips and urinal screens. Of course, it’s important to frequently clean the facility, remove foul-smelling trash and schedule regular deep-cleaning of floors and restrooms, as well.
These days, many commercial restrooms feature an integrated design combining style, sustainability, maximum hygiene functions and water- and energy-saving functions. The use of renewable materials for countertop surfaces and toilet partitions can also save you money in the long run.
There’s often no need to undertake an expensive bathroom redesign. For a fresher look, paint the restroom walls a neutral color, then add visual interest by installing dispensers that come in different colors.
Commercial restroom partitions are available in a wide range of designs that can be tailored and mounted to the specific dimensions and requirements of your physical space. Materials also vary (from baked enamel to solid plastic and plastic cover), which can help customers have a private restroom experience.
With the advent of waterless urinals, there’s far less cost due to reduced water use and related expenses (not to mention, no frequent flushing!). Customers don’t need to touch a flush valve, so there’s a less likelihood of spreading germs. And because of their growing popularity, waterless urinals can often be purchased for close to the price of more traditional urinals.
Automated, Touch-Free Fixtures
The popularity of touch-free fixtures — convenient for customers and easy for businesses to clean — has soared in recent times. Here are just a few examples that will please your clientele and prove very affordable as part of your building maintenance budget:
1. Automatic Hand Soap Dispensers
Customers place their hands under this dispenser and get a precise amount of either rich, moisturizing foam soap, antibacterial foam soap or hand sanitizer. No soap or water is wasted, but at the same time, this method can prevent the spread of germs and lower the costs associated with employee illness and loss of productivity.
2. Automatic Paper Towel Dispensers
This paper-saving device comes equipped with customizable dispensing options that help you control just how much and how often paper is provided. A built-in delay system limits unnecessary dispenses (and the second sheet is 25 percent shorter than the first on consecutive hand-waves).
Another cost-saving option is Z-fold paper towel dispensers, which dispense only one sheet at a time, as opposed to C-fold dispensers, which can be taken in clumps by a customer. Not only is the optimized Z-fold dispenser less costly, it can also reduce the chance of your restroom running out of supplies at a critical moment.
3. Toilet Paper Dispensers
Less paper waste is incurred by the stationary design of the toilet paper dispenser. An extra roll stays hidden and protected from dirt and water, and the locked system prevents costly toilet paper pilferage.
Looking back at old-school commercial restroom designs, it’s amazing to think that with the use of motion sensor technology, customers can use a restroom in a public business without ever touching anything at all. Taken together with a commitment to maintaining quality cleaning practices at all times, this can make the restroom experience far more pleasant than in the past.
This serves to promote your brand in a more positive manner as well. Customers may not rush to tell friends and family members what a wonderful restroom you have in your business, but you can be assured they won’t stop patronizing you because of a bad experience.