No toilet paper, dirty surfaces, broken toilet seats – when it comes to washrooms, first impressions are everything. If even just one aspect of a facility doesn’t meet the expectations of its users, they are likely to feel negative about the environment they find themselves in. And it can be very hard to rectify this later on.
There are few places where this matters more than the hospitality and leisure industry: figures show that over 40% of people are concerned about hygiene when eating out1. And if customers think there is a hygiene issue in front-of-house facilities such as washrooms, they will – rightly or wrongly – assume there are issues in the back-of-house too.
The New Year is the perfect time for businesses to assess the state of their washrooms – and what they can do to turn them into facilities that make a difference.
Cleanliness is key, obviously. Washrooms need to be functional and well-maintained. But design matters as much: whether it is the washbasins or cubicle doors. A stylish, well-designed washroom will always be more appealing than one that doesn’t take design seriously.
In the past, it was quite different to integrate a crucial piece of equipment – soap dispensers – into a well-designed environment. All too often, dispensers were eyesores. Nowadays, they are not just much slicker; they can also be fully customised and carry logos and messages. This means hospitality and leisure businesses can further their brand identity in any location.
Washrooms that do more than fulfill basic standards are not just more pleasant to use; they can also have a significant impact on hand hygiene compliance – for customers and employees alike. This matters a great deal, if you consider that, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), 39% of staff do not wash their hands after visiting the toilet, while 53% do not wash their hands before preparing food2.
Given that our hands are responsible for transmitting 80% of infections3, everyone in the industry should take hand hygiene seriously. And both customers and employees are much more likely to wash their hands regularly, using the products supplied, if the washroom environment invites them to.
If businesses go one step further – and use the dispensers in their washrooms to also provide skin care creams – they can offer the users of their washrooms with a fully integrated skin care program. Protective creams can reduce the direct contact with specific contaminants, help retain natural lipids, and make the skin easier to clean, while restorative products help to improve its strength and prevent it from becoming dry or damaged.
If they cooperate with a skin care expert to implement an effective skin program, companies in the sector can go a long way to make sure that the skin of their customers and employees is not just clean and safe – but stays healthy. How is that for a New Year’s resolution?
Learn more about Deb’s comprehensive range of hand hygiene and skin care products for front of house and back of house areas
About the Author
Paul Jakeway is the Marketing Director for Deb in the UK & Ireland.
Having recently joined the business in 2015, Paul is focused on raising awareness of the importance of hand hygiene best practice in the workplace to prevent the spread of germs and improve skin health.
To connect with Paul, please contact him on LinkedIn.
 Food Standards Agency (FSA) – http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Pub-Food/News/FSA-food-hygiene
 Food Standards Agency (FSA)
 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention