I went to the bathroom at a nice restaurant recently – brand new build-out, immaculate interior. The bathroom was clean and roomy and well stocked – what else could I ask for? I washed my hands and decided to use the blow dryer, as I reached my hands under, the trash can underneath my hands starting blowing dirty paper towels all over the room…
Bathrooms are an often-overlooked part of the restaurant experience, but they shouldn’t be. The bathroom is a critical component of your guest experience and is a reflection on your brand. Ensuring you’re giving your guests a positive bathroom experience is important to creating loyal customers.
Cleanliness is Godliness
Nobody likes to clean a bathroom – much less a bathroom used by hundreds of strangers. Creating a concrete cleaning and stocking schedule for your staff is essential to ensuring your bathroom stays spick and span. Make sure your staff also remember to check on things after big rushes and anytime they go to the bathroom. If you have gendered bathrooms it can be helpful if you try to have both genders represented at all shifts to help facilitate this process. If you don’t, create some protocols around bathroom checks so they can still happen regularly.
Perhaps you’ve gotten your staff on a bathroom cleaning schedule but despite your best efforts your bathroom always just seems grungy. Maybe you’re old toilets clog too often, your faucet drips or your hand-dryer barely blows air anymore. While the newest kitchen toy or an updated dining room look may seem more fun or sexy, consider spending that discretionary budget giving your loo a facelift. The last thing your guest wants to do is clog your toilet or shake the water off of their hands.
Fine details in the bathroom may not be for every concept – sometimes clean and functional is all that is needed. But if you have a fine-dining concept you should ensure you have a fine bathroom to match. Upgrading away from the 1-ply toilet paper, adding fancier soaps and lotion and creating a unique and pleasant interior are all ways to increase your guests satisfaction and outlook on your restaurant.
Bathroom Superstar – The Signature Room at the 95th – Said to have the greatest view of Chicago from the women’s restroom (sorry gentleman) I can attest this view goes above and beyond to wow. While impossible to replicate this bathroom deserves a spot in the bathroom hall of fame.
For those of you not able to give patrons a million-dollar view of your city consider some of the following:
- Interesting tiles and eye-catching wallpaper
- Luxury soaps, creams and towels
- Doors us tall people cannot see over (please – this is so awkward!)
- Music to drown out those bathroom sounds
- Air freshener
- Extra toilet paper!
- Wastebasket big enough to accommodate all of the waste