No toilet paper, dirty surfaces, broken toilet seats – when it comes to washrooms, first impressions are everything. If even just one aspect of a facility doesn’t meet the expectations of its users, they are likely to feel negative about the environment they find themselves in. And it can be very hard to rectify this later on.
There are few places where this matters more than the catering and hospitality industry: figures show that over 40% of people are concerned about hygiene when eating out . And if customers think there is a hygiene issue in front-of-house facilities such as washrooms, they will – rightly or wrongly – assume there are issues in the back-of-house too.
The New Year is the perfect time for businesses to assess the state of their washrooms – and what they can do to turn them into facilities that make a difference.
Cleanliness is key, obviously. Washrooms need to be functional and well-maintained. But design also matters: whether it is the washbasins or cubicle doors. A stylish, well-designed washroom will always be more appealing than one that doesn’t take design seriously.
In the past, it was usually harder to integrate a crucial piece of equipment – soap dispensers – into a well-designed environment. All too often, dispensers were eyesores. Nowadays, they are not just much slicker; they can also be fully customised and carry logos and messages. This means catering and hospitality businesses can further their brand identity in any location.
Washrooms that do more than fulfil basic standards are not just more pleasant to use; they can also have a significant impact on hand hygiene compliance – for customers and employees alike. This matters a great deal, if you consider that, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), 39% of staff do not wash their hands after visiting the toilet, while 53% do not wash their hands before preparing food .
Given that our hands are responsible for transmitting 80% of infections , everyone in the industry should take hand hygiene seriously. And both customers and employees are much more likely to wash their hands regularly, using the products supplied, if the washroom environment invites them to.
If businesses go one step further – and use the dispensers in their washrooms to also provide skin care creams – they can offer the users of their washrooms with a fully integrated skin care programme. Protective creams can reduce the direct contact with specific contaminants, help retain natural lipids, and make the skin easier to clean, while restorative products help to improve its strength and prevent it from becoming dry or damaged.
As a global innovator of skin care products and technologies, Deb provides the most expansive range of occupational skin care products available on the market – including cleansers, sanitisers, protective creams, and restorative products. Deb also offers bespoke dispensers and training and supporting educational materials to ensure hand hygiene compliance is adhered to.
If they cooperate with a skin care expert to implement an effective skin programme, companies in the foodservice sector can go a long way to make sure that the skin of their customers and employees is not just clean and safe – but stays healthy. How’s that for a New Year’s resolution?
For more information on Deb’s comprehensive range of hand hygiene and skin care products for front of house and back of house areas click here.