The survey also found 64% of people reporting that they’d probably or definitely not use a bathroom if it had a bad smell.
The survey was carried out by Initial Hygiene last September with 234 respondents evenly split between male and female.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents (73%) expressed the view that a restroom in a poor condition would probably or definitely motivate them to never return to a business.
The businesses that people found the worst offenders were:
- hospitality venues such as hotels and restaurants where 57% of respondents have encountered a foul-smelling bathroom
- travel facilities such as airports or bus stations (53%)
- retail facilities such as shopping centres (50%).
Schools and universities (13%) and conference or training centres (12%) were venues where people encountered the fewest odorous restrooms.
“This research shows that the condition of a company’s bathroom has a major impact on a customer’s experience and overall impression of that business,” said Richard Faulkner, Advanced Technical Field Consultant with Initial Hygiene, “Ensuring that washrooms are clean, hygienic and not off-putting is vital for any organisation that wants to attract and retain customers, particularly during the busy Christmas period.
“Today, it’s easier than ever for anyone to publicly highlight a hygiene or cleanliness issue in a business to thousands of people online and the resulting damage to that business’s reputation can be immense.”
Initial Hygiene is urging businesses to ensure that their bathrooms are clean and hygienic during the busy Christmas period when more and more customers will be utilising public restrooms in shops, hotels, restaurants, transport facilities and a host of other outlets.