The design and maintenance of a restaurant bathroom are crucial to the overall experience you offer your customers. It is said that the cleanliness and hygiene of a restaurant's restrooms are indicative of the overall quality of the establishment. That's why restaurant owners and managers need to pay attention to the design and maintenance of their restrooms. A well-designed bathroom can enhance the customer experience, especially if it meets the following requirements:
- Functional design
- Aesthetically pleasing decor
- Offers accessibility for all types of customers
- It can accommodate several people during peak hours.
Maintenance is also vital. A dirty bathroom can leave a negative impression on customers or result in health risks. Regular cleaning, stocking, and management of supplies, and repairing any broken accessories are necessary to avoid these problems. In this article, I will tell you about the following:
- Importance of cleanliness and proper design of restaurant restrooms
- Various aspects of bathroom design in restaurants that you should consider.
- Best cleaning and maintenance practices.
Finally, I will talk to you about how you can create a positive impression on your customers through your efforts to offer a quality experience even with your bathrooms. Let's get started!
The Importance of Restaurant Bathroom Design and Cleanliness
First, let’s talk about the importance of design. Nowadays, meeting the needs of your customers with every inch of your restaurant’s layout is crucial to offer them a good experience. Considering that they only have access to certain parts of the restaurant, generally called the front, makes the restroom facilities a big percentage of their experience. Even if it’s only 20% of the restaurant’s design, it must be designed with the same quality as the rest to offer a good experience. To do so, you must consider several factors, such as accessibility, functionality, and comfort to accommodate all of your customers. Restaurant bathrooms also must comply with building rules, standards, and other local regulations that might be mandatory in your locality. If something breaks, fixing it may also save you and your customers from having accidents, like slipping with water from a broken sink – that can also cause legal issues. Additionally, you might want to pick the most efficient design you can to reduce water waste, which will always earn you good points with environmentally conscious clients.
Now, even if you design the perfect bathroom, cleanliness is something else you must upkeep daily, and even more often than that – a customer should never let you know there’s a mess in your bathroom. Also, you must consider that 80% of customers take a dirty restaurant bathroom as an indication of the overall cleanliness of the establishment. Even if you have the best food and service in the world, your bathroom will play a big role in the way your customers perceive your business, especially if it’s dirty. So by that, we determine that cleanliness is so important it’s expected, but not so much rewarded by customers.
How to Design a Restaurant Bathroom
When designing a restroom for a restaurant, you need to consider the concept or theme and the overall aesthetic of the business. The bathroom should complement the design of the restaurant – if you have a fine-dining restaurant, having a bathroom with a common design can disappoint your customers. Therefore, always keep in mind that the bathroom is still part of the restaurant experience and therefore must be at the same level, or even at a higher level. In any case, it is more common for restaurant owners to think that it is the least they can do to satisfy their customers. Here are some tips for designing a restaurant bathroom that meets the minimum requirements:
- Design: The bathroom should be aesthetically pleasing and in keeping with the overall theme of the restaurant. Consider using colors, textures, and materials that complement the overall restaurant design. If you have a seafood restaurant, you can opt for decoration and colors that complement the rest of the design. But that wouldn’t make any sense if you have a casual family restaurant.
- Lighting: Proper lighting is essential for safety and functionality. Consider using LED lights, which are energy efficient and provide bright, natural lighting. Also, consider using materials and colors that make the bathroom feel even cleaner – white and light colors help give that feeling, as well as make it easier to spot accumulated dirt.
- Ventilation: Proper ventilation is crucial to prevent odors and promote air circulation. A well-ventilated bathroom also helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew, although if you consider designing a bathroom that has wide, open spaces, it's easier to avoid that problem.
- Cleanliness: The bathroom should be easy to clean and maintain. Materials that are resistant to moisture and bacteria, such as porcelain or stainless steel, are good choices. Also, using touchless fixtures like faucets and soap dispensers can help prevent the spread of germs, which is very important in a post-pandemic era. On top of that, keep in mind that your employees will have to clean it constantly. Therefore, designing it with hard-to-reach places, very high, very narrow and more can make it difficult to clean it.
- Accessibility: The bathroom must be accessible to people with mobility issues. This
includes wide doorways, grab bars, and ample room to maneuver a wheelchair or crutches.
By considering these factors when designing a restaurant bathroom, you can create a pleasant space for customers.
Hire Specialists to Create a Functional Bathroom From a Technical Viewpoint
Another thing to consider is that restaurant bathrooms are used by multiple people throughout the day, especially on busy days. So the last thing you want is to create a bathroom that is difficult to repair or even prone to failure from continued use. To avoid these problems, it's a good idea to hire architects, designers, and builders who are competent in building commercial restrooms, which are slightly different from regular restrooms. That will save your bathroom from having to be difficult to repair because the pipes were designed to fit rather than with functionality in mind. It will also save you from design errors that cause water flow issues, dust or mold buildup, and more.
Tips to Make a Restaurant Bathroom User-Friendly
There are other considerations to make a restaurant bathroom satisfy your customer’s needs. Here are some tips you can use to ensure it:
- Don’t install fixtures that are hard to use. This is also an important part of the accessibility you can provide.
- If you do want to install innovative fixtures with unconventional designs, make sure to include signage and directions. The simplest sign can make a huge difference and not including it might either confuse your customers or cause accidents or messes that your staff will have to clean. The clearer you are, the better!
- Ensure that the bathroom is also equipped with safety equipment, such as durable locks on every stall to ensure privacy, water drains to avoid flooding, anti-slipping floor covers, and more.
- Include complementary soap, toilet paper, and common toiletries to accommodate your customers. They will highly appreciate them!
Finally, making your customers comfortable in your restaurant also includes considering their suggestions to make changes in the layout, design, and more. Not all customer complaints are actionable, but some of them will, and can improve the rest of your customer’s dining experience.
Restaurant Bathroom Cleaning and Maintenance Tips
As we’ve established, cleanliness is vital. When it comes to cleaning and maintaining restaurant bathrooms, some practices can make a huge difference when you instruct your staff to clean them. Some restaurants employ third-party cleaning services to take care of their bathrooms, which is a good idea because deep cleaning is hard, and not all your staff will be willing or capable of doing a good job. Still, that’s not only unsustainable every day, but also it doesn’t guarantee that your bathroom will always be clean. For that reason, here we’ll share some of the best tips you can use to maximize cleanliness.
1. Third-Party Services Are Useful, but Not Everyday
Use third-party cleaning services every week or every two weeks – that will save you money while taking care of the major cleaning issues. Of course, there are occasions when you will need to use third-party cleaners due to messes being too big to handle. However, in most cases, having someone from your staff to take care of cleaning the bathroom is cheaper, even if you pay them a little bit more to do so. You can also divide the work among several staff members and give them incentives.
2. Equip Your Staff With the Necessary Tools
To clean a bathroom you’ll need the following:
- Commercial-grade disinfectant and cleaning solutions
- Scented cleaning solutions
- Resistant gloves, face masks, and eye protection
- Mops, brooms, buckets
- Scrubs, aprons, and even boots
Keep in mind that these will help your staff members be as comfortable and safe as anyone can be while cleaning a bathroom.
3. Create a Procedure to Clean the Bathrooms
Creating procedures ensures that every staff member that cleans the bathroom is applying the same techniques and that there’s no room for skipping steps. It can be something like this:
- Sweep and clear out the trash bins.
- Refill toiletries and other supplies
- Clean mirrors, bathroom stall doors and walls, and other surfaces
- Wipe sinks and counters
- Scrub toilets inside and out
- Disinfect door knobs, light switches, faucets, hand drier buttons, and more
- Mop the floor with disinfectant
- Mop the floor with scented cleaning solutions
- Ventilate the bathroom
These steps will help you keep the bathroom clean at all times, especially because they can be used several times per day – and you’ll need to if you have a high-volume restaurant.
4. Check the Bathroom Every Hour
Make a habit of checking the bathroom for cleanliness every hour or even after a customer uses it. This will help you spot issues inside it before a customer has to tell you about it – by then it’s too late and that said customer has passed their judgment on your establishment. Also, it’s worth mentioning that customers will tell everyone they know about it. Considering that phones with cameras and social media exist, you can assume your restaurant won’t benefit from having a poorly maintained restroom.
How to Impress Your Customers with Your Restaurant’s Bathroom?
Most restaurants will settle with not hearing complaints from their customers about their bathrooms. However, how can you impress them enough for them to compliment your service and make your restaurant stand out? There are a few strategies high-end restaurants apply to achieve that result. Some of them are the following:
- High-end finishes: Featuring premium finishes such as marble countertops, designer tiles, and decorative lighting fixtures can improve the appearance of your bathroom. If you plan to install such fixtures, make sure they don’t cause design issues like the ones mentioned above.
- Luxury products: Offering luxury hand soaps, lotions, and other personal care products can also impress your guests. Offering these can improve their view of the experience you provide, even if your restaurant isn’t high-end. Of course, there are costs associated with these services, so make sure to justify them well within your budget.
- Upgraded fixtures: Innovative or upgraded fixtures such as automatic toilets, touchless faucets, and high-tech hand dryers can also improve the customer’s experience.
- Personal touches: Extra amenities such as mouthwash, mints, or feminine hygiene products can also provide a sense of personalization to your service.
Overall, including luxurious or even just memorable aspects in your restaurant’s bathroom can be enough to exceed your customer’s expectations. If the minimum doesn’t get you compliments, details such as these surely will. Of course, making sure that these are in line with the rest of the restaurant and their quality is crucial. Not even the best bathroom can make up for a bad dining experience, that’s for certain!
Clean Restaurant Bathrooms – Unsung Heroes of Restaurant Success
Having a clean restaurant bathroom that has a proper design can help you boost your confidence in your business. It’s not a menial task – a clean bathroom speaks wonderfully about your business’s attention to detail, especially if you go the extra mile when taking care of it. Subtle things like having it always smell good, making sure everything is pristine, and that it’s comfortable to use, will make your customers feel safe and well taken care of. The thing is, if you do a good job, no one will say anything about it. But if you don’t, everyone will, and your business will be doomed. So, are your bathrooms clean enough? They better be!
Another unsung hero of success is your POS. A proper POS system like Waiterio can help your business in more ways than you might realize. Learn more about what Waiterio has to offer!