The only official magazine of The Cleaning Show

Perceptions of hygiene: report

Published 2nd January, 2020 by Neil Nixon

Perceptions of hygiene: report

We all value cleanliness and in today’s society it has become common practice to rate the bathrooms when visiting hospitality venues. Our perception of the venues we visit is often limited to the few spaces we can access and experience, the washrooms being one of these.

The latest results from the washroom survey commissioned by Formica Group revealed that over half (55%) of Brits rate the cleanliness of public toilets across the UK as adequate or worse.

Overall two-thirds of those surveyed agreed that the cleanliness of a bathroom would be likely to influence their perception of the quality in other areas of the establishment - for example, the food served or the cleanliness of the bedrooms in a hotel.

When it comes to public washroom ratings men and women have reasonably equal standards of cleanliness. 57% of women reported that they have visited a public washroom which was so bad it put them off revisiting the venue compared to 53% of men.

The results show that respondents rated train toilets as being the most unpleasant to use, with over half (53%) admitting they would be reluctant to use them. This is followed by nightclubs (25%), motorway services (22%), pubs (21%), and fast-food restaurants (21%).

When asked if the décor in public washrooms affects their perception of how the bathroom smells over half (57%) agreed it did have an effect. Respondents were least impressed by neon colours (3%) and earthy tones (9%) when it comes to bathroom decor. Paler colour palettes including whites and creams (39%) and cool colours including blues, greens and grey (18%) give the greatest impression of cleanliness.

The results highlight that public washrooms enable consumers to instantly form an overall impression of an establishment’s level of cleanliness, indicating that hospitality businesses should focus heavily on upscaling and ensuring their toilets are always fully maintained to achieve that all-important ‘wow’ factor.

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