New research on customers’ hospitality experiences commissioned by P&G Professional (the away-from-home division of Procter & Gamble [P&G]), shows hotels and restaurants could increase revenue if they improved their hygiene standards.
Cleanliness, often overlooked by business owners in the flurry of keeping up with customer demands, is in fact of utmost importance in building repeat loyalty, according to the findings. Based on justone unclean area of a restaurant or hotel, 63 per cent will question cleaning practices elsewhere and 22 per cent would leave immediately based on a negative hygiene experience. Even if a customer had an overall great experience,66 per cent would not return if the establishment had unhygienic toilet facilities. A staggering 91 per cent of the 2,000 customers questioned agree cleanliness is the mark of a good food or hospitality business. Indeed, hygiene is so important to customers that 85 per cent agree a clean restaurant is just as important as food quality.
While cleanliness is often relegated on the list of cash as it helps create a critical positive experience. First impressions are key to encouraging repeat business and it’s not surprising that the top three elements people first notice in a hospitality establishment relate to hygiene.
Top turn offs noticed by customers immediately when entering a hotel or restaurant:
- Unpleasant / bad odour (56%)
- Dirty or sticky floors / carpets (27%)
- Stained, spotty or dirty dishes, glassware or cutlery (27%)
Social media can drive footfall in an establishment, but equally can have the opposite effect. Nearly 30 per cent said they would give a hotel or restaurant a negative review due to poor cleanliness and word of mouth can be just as damaging with more than four out of five people (85 per cent) likely to tell their friends and family about a poor hygiene experience. Bad news for businesses who aren’t paying attention to their cleanliness standards as over half of people (56 per cent) say they normally choose where to eat based on a recommendation by a friend.
Establishments selecting the right cleaning products and brands was also found to be important. Sixty-six per cent of customers agree that knowing trusted brands are being used to clean a hotel or restaurant makes them feel confident.