Hygiene standards drive sales and reputation in retail and hospitality sectors, study finds

Importance of hygiene standards in retail and hospitality

Importance of hygiene standards in retail and hospitality

Initial Washroom Hygiene, one of the UK’s leading hygiene and washroom service companies, today revealed the retail and hospitality sectors risk losing out on return revenue unless hygiene standards match-up to the high standards of food and service.

The independent research, carried out to evaluate public hygiene habits, demonstrates the need for the retail and hospitality sectors to focus on critical hygiene practices such as ensuring staff have clean hands and toilet facilities are properly maintained, or risk losing out on repeat business.

According to the research, the quality of washroom facilities can directly impact the profitability of restaurants, hotels, bars and retail venues. Eighty-eight percent of Brits polled stated clean washroom facilities are an important factor when considering a return visit to a venue. More than three quarters (82%) said a venue needs to be clean in order for them to consider parting with their hard-earned cash. The findings also highlight the necessity for establishments to educate their employees about the importance of personal hygiene, such as regularly washing their hands. Seventy-nine percent of UK respondents admit that in order to consider spending money in a venue they would require staff to show a high level of hygiene.

As the festive season is a key time for customers looking to spend time dining out with friends and family, the research also warns venues against the perils of failing to address poor hygiene standards. When their children are concerned, over half (59%) of British parents with children aged five to seven years old, declare they’ve avoided returning to a restaurant or café due to unhygienic conditions and just under a third (32%) to a hotel. Specifically, the vast majority (94%) agreed that a child-friendly venue, with good toilet facilities is important when choosing a restaurant or hotel. 

Looking particularly at the impact of hygiene standards at retail venues including shopping centres and outlet stores, 18% admit to not returning because of the poor levels of hygiene facilities on offer.

Dr Peter Barratt, technical nanager of Initial Hygiene in the UK, said: “Our research shows the financial and reputational value of improving hygiene standards this coming Christmas.  We all know how hard people in the retail and hospitality sector work during the peak season, but without good hygiene standards, many customers will not return. Simple actions like making sure hands are clean will help.”

Initial, a provider of hygiene services throughout the UK has dedicated over four years to extensively researching the impact of hygiene, which has led to the development of its new Signature range. It has been designed to raise standards among users when visiting washrooms, helping restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels to minimise bacteria from spreading.

Signature products feature anti-bacterial silver ions embedded within the plastic and painted coatings to provide hygienic protection on key touchable areas, whilst also incorporating covers specifically designed to be smooth making it easier for dirt, debris and bacteria to be cleaned and removed from the surfaces. Anti-bacterial properties have been evaluated to meet global standards for anti-bacterial plastics.