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Smelly toilets flushing away British business profits

Published 18th May, 2023 by Neil Nixon

Smelly toilets flushing away British business profits

Smelly toilets are costing British businesses, as new research reveals poor washroom reviews drag down hospitality establishments’ Tripadvisor ratings by an average of one full star.

Initial Washroom Hygiene analysed over 80,000 Tripadvisor reviews for 200 hospitality venues across the UK, in order to understand the correlation between negative reviews relating to the smell and cleanliness of washroom toilets and overall star ratings.

With 463 million people using Tripadvisor every month***, such negative ratings could result in businesses missing out on significant income, with a rise by one star rating leading to an average increase of 2.2-3% in monthly revenue*. This equates to a potential loss of billions to the UK hospitality industry, which is worth 40.4 billion a year to the UK economy****

The analysis comes as Initial Washroom Hygiene’s own research** reveals a whopping 92% of Brits have experienced unpleasant smells in public washrooms, with 78% reporting this would make them less likely to visit again. Conversely, 76% stated that a positive experience in a public washroom would make them more likely to spend with a business.

Toilets appearing dirty or unclean (68%) and having a bad odour (62%) are the top reasons putting people off using public washrooms, followed by human waste on the floor (52%), wet floors (47%) and a lack of soap (41%).

Jamie Woodhall, UK Technical & Innovation Manager, Initial Washroom Hygiene, said: “An unpleasant washroom can make a huge difference in a customer's experience of an establishment and it is interesting to see just how much weight the British public place on a clean, pleasant-smelling toilet. Tripadvisor reviews can be the making or the unbreaking of a venue, and British businesses need to urgently address their washroom hygiene standards, not only to help protect public health, but also to help maintain the reputation of their brand and encourage return visits.”

When asked in Initial Washroom Hygiene’s consumer survey** what types of businesses generally provide the best quality public washroom facilities for customers, visitors and staff, hotel accommodation ranked highest (47%), with banks and estate agents ranked the lowest (9%). High street restaurants also appear to be missing the mark, with only a third (30%) of respondents reporting that they provide quality washrooms, with local pubs (23%) and bars (20%) also lagging behind.

To help businesses maintain clean and pleasant washrooms, Initial Washroom Hygiene has launched Initial AIRTrinity; a revolutionary 3-in-1 air purifying system and the first of its kind in the washroom to bring together multi-level air filtering, including a high-end H13 HEPA filter, a reactor chamber and odour removal carbon filter technology. Initial AIRTrinity also filters out airborne particles and destroys viruses and bacteria from the air in your washroom, to help keep the air clean and reduce the negative impacts of unpleasant odours.


**The research was undertaken by Opinium on behalf of Initial Washroom Hygiene. The survey sample was 2,000 adults and results have been weighted to be nationally representative. The survey was carried out online between 17th January 2023 - 20th January 2023.



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