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Bad Restroom Reviews Threaten UK Hospitality Industry

Complaints of dirty, smelly environments are flushing star ratings down the toilet.

May 9, 2023

According to a recent article by Cleaning Hygiene Today (CHT), a survey conducted by Initial, a U.K.-based hygiene services company, has found that poor restroom reviews are costing U.K. hospitality establishments an average of one full star on travel website Tripadvisor.

Initial looked at more than 80,000 Tripadvisor reviews for 200 hospitality businesses in the United Kingdome to determine the correlation between negative restroom reviews and the reduction of star ratings.

A rating increase by just one star leads to an average revenue increase of as much as 3%, CHT reports. Conversely, decreasing star ratings could cost the U.K. hospitality industry billions in lost revenue.

The company also noted that 92% of British citizens surveyed have experienced unpleasant odors in public restrooms, with 78% saying that the smells would make them less likely to visit that establishment in the future.

Dirty toilets (68%) and bad aromas (62%) were cited as the top turnoffs, followed by human waste on the floor (52%), wet floors (47%), and a lack of soap (41%).

However, 76% said that a positive restroom experience would make them more likely to return.

“An unpleasant washroom can make a huge difference in a customer’s experience of an establishment, and it is interesting to see just how much weight the British public [places] on a clean, pleasant-smelling toilet,” stated Jamie Woodhall, U.K. technical and innovation manager at Initial. “Tripadvisor reviews can be the making or the unbreaking of a venue, and British businesses need to urgently address their washroom hygiene standards, not only to help protect public health, but also to help maintain the reputation of their brand and encourage return visits.”

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