Research News

Washroom hygiene impacts experience at restaurants

It’s Wednesday evening. Half the week has flown by. The day was exhausting and no one wants to cook for themselves. Your partner suggests a visit to a familiar restaurant. You think of your go-to dishes, drinks, and the comforting atmosphere and feel relief.

The moment when you decide to visit a familiar restaurant you can instantly recall how you feel about it. But do you know why?

Whether we feel comfortable at a restaurant appears to depend on more than just food and service. Of course, friendliness of the staff, the ambience, the quality of the food and even the parking possibilities influence our opinion of an establishment.

GfK, A German Consumer Agency, recently conducted a study on “Hygiene from the consumer’s point of view” where they surveyed more than 1,000 people from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

The results indicated that hygiene is the top criteria for selecting a restaurant and eclipses other characteristics such as ambience (32%), friendliness of service (56%) and even the quality of the food (42%). A total of 79% of the respondents stated that perfect hygiene and cleanliness were the most important criteria for returning to a restaurant. For women, cleanliness is even more important than for men, with 83% of the female interviewees giving the cleanliness in a restaurant the highest importance. For men, the figure was 75%.

Within the category of cleanliness and hygiene at restaurants, there are several interesting factors that influence a customer’s perspective. A restaurant does not have to be equally clean everywhere. When asked where hygiene was most important to the guest, the entrance was the least consequential with 8%. The cleanliness of the tables, tablecloths, cutlery, menus and dishes was considered important by 78% of the study participants. However, the cleanliness of the kitchen remains the absolute leader with 87% of subjects saying that this determines whether they would visit again. However, only very few guests have the opportunity to take a look at the kitchen and convince themselves of its cleanliness and hygiene.

How do we recognise the cleanliness of a restaurant? How do we make a positive or negative impression? GfK also wanted to know this and asked the study participants exactly this question. The answer from 90% of all respondents was simple: a visit to the washrooms. According to the information provided, this would be examined particularly critically and would give an informative impression of the overall hygienic condition of the restaurant.

Thus, it is conceivable that washroom hygiene is THE main criterion for the satisfaction of guests and motivates them to visit a restaurant again.

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