Ahead of the festive season, the busiest time of the year for the leisure sector, new research has revealed how people are put off eating in restaurants because of the poor standards of the loos.
The new data, from research commissioned by Cannon Hygiene, has revealed that Brits are sticklers for the hygiene of toilets in bars, restaurants and other public places with many taking extra steps to avoid germs.
Over 97 per cent of people would be put off returning to a restaurant or bar because of poor toilets according to the survey of 2,012 British adults who use public toilets, polled by YouGov, and 85 per cent will also warn friends and family members planning on going to a restaurant if the toilets are in a bad condition.
The research revealed that more than three quarters (76 per cent) of people would also be put off visiting a restaurant or bar because a friend or family member told them the toilets were in a poor state.
Unclean facilities (90 per cent), a lack of toilet paper (89 per cent), no soap (70 per cent) and bad smells (63 per cent) are the biggest bug bears for the public when it comes to restrooms.
British people are most likely to squat above the toilet (29 per cent), lay toilet paper on the seat (24 per cent), and cover their hands when holding doors (23 per cent) to avoid touching unhygienic surfaces. Nearly one in five of us (19 per cent) also admits to holding our breath in toilets.
Older Brits are more likely to care than millennials, with nearly all (99 per cent) over 55s saying unclean toilets would put them off returning versus 95 per cent of 18-24 year olds, and that women are more likely to warn friends about bad standards than men (88 per cent versus 81 per cent).
We also don’t keep it to ourselves. When it comes to complaining, 60 per cent said they would be likely to bring it up with staff directly, while a quarter (24 per cent) say they’d make a public complaint on social media.
Howard Sedgwick, MD of Cannon Hygiene, said: “Many of us are conscious of the upkeep of restrooms in public places, particularly those where food is being prepared as it suggests a lot about the hygiene elsewhere in the building.
“Britons are clearly sticklers for good hygiene and the data suggests that a huge majority of us aren’t willing to put up with poor standards with many going above and beyond to warn friends, family and followers on social media when they’ve had a bad experience.
“It’s a warning to restaurants, bars, hotels and others in the retail and leisure sector that their repeat business can goes out of the window very quickly if customers are forced to use facilities that aren’t up to scratch.”