Studies Show Perception of Restaurant Cleanliness Impacts Customers’ Intent to Return
Have you ever gone to a restaurant and propped up your elbows on the table to peruse the menu only to find that they are now stuck to some unknown sticky substance coating the table? Not a pleasant first impression. It seems obvious that the cleanliness of a restaurant impacts customer satisfaction, but just how important is it for restaurants to manage those perceptions?
According to research by Technomic, a leader in foodservice industry metrics, 93% of consumers say that cleanliness is important or very important when choosing a restaurant. The Consumer Brand Metrics suggest that when a restaurant is untidy or visibly dirty, the perception is that the operator doesn’t care or pay attention to detail throughout their operations. That translates into an assumption that preparation or service of food isn’t sanitary as well, running the risk of contamination and foodborne illness.
So what are consumers paying attention to? A study in the Journal of Foodservice Business Research found that consumers use tangible sanitation conditions, such as restrooms, employees, and seating areas, in their perception of the overall hygiene of a restaurant, and that these conditions significantly affect their emotional responses. When dining in an establishment, consumers notice details, and these details directly impact their experience and their intent to return.
How do you feel when you dine in a restaurant for the first time and notice that they haven’t cleaned under the table and the remains of the previous diner’s meal is under your feet? How about when you are seated next to a window and you notice you could carve out your name in the dust on the windowsill?
Clean blinds are one of the number one conditions neglected in most restaurants. For many establishments, general dining room cleaning focuses on vacuuming the floors and wiping the tables down, and dusting blinds is a task done infrequently and with minimal productivity. However, the consumers’ perception of sanitation is influenced just as much by dirty blinds as it is by sticky tables.
Cleanliness matters, and in the competitive restaurant industry, it can make or break a business’s customer loyalty. Regular cleaning is not only essential for the protection of consumers’ health, but it is critical to the integrity of a company’s credibility.
Are you a restaurant operator that has dirty blinds in your dining room? You’re not alone, and we are here to help!
Call now to book a cleaning and improve your customer experience.