How can your restaurant’s washrooms be an important loyalty-building tool?

Some people tend to forget it, but restaurant washrooms are an integral part of the customer experience. A restaurant isn’t just about food, it’s also about atmosphere, welcome, service, music and toilets. How many restaurants have their toilets judged? A restaurant’s washrooms often announce the attention and quality of the service provided to customers. Restrooms remain the busiest part of your restaurant, as some people return a second time. This means that you need to develop a customer loyalty strategy.

So how can your restaurant’s toilets be a loyalty-building tool? Let’s take a look together.

Do your restaurant’s toilets help you stand out from the competition?

It goes without saying that a restaurateur can distinguish himself through his cuisine, but we’re seeing more and more concepts that resemble each other or use similar terms. We can mention buying local, local or terroir cuisine, vegetarian cuisine, etc. In short, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. The aim of a restaurant concept is to offer customers a unique experience. Sure, we can mention the kitchen and the great principles of catering, but your toilet could really make a difference. When creating a restaurant concept, investment in this vital aspect of service is often overlooked. You have the chance to offer an experience that will be talked about. And maybe believe more than your kitchen or service.

Chances are that people who have experienced your toilets will take photos, talk about them when they return from the table, and arouse the curiosity of others. You gain in visibility. A great way to build customer loyalty. You could attract new segments of curious customers. You could win points and stand out from influencers and other media who are constantly on the lookout for something new. If your competitors have dull, unkempt toilets, it’s obvious that you’re going to score points. Clean toilets are also a sign of confidence and safety for your customers.

Your restaurant’s washrooms: a relationship of trust with your customers!

These days, hygiene issues are more than topical. How many customers who have used unkempt restaurant toilets have decided never to return to the same restaurant again? Nobody wants to use a “dirty” toilet. It’s your restaurant’s image that’s affected by your toilets. The risk of seeing bad comments on specific platforms and social networks is quite high. Knowing that many people rely on alleged comments about the restaurant, a dirty toilet will deter many potential customers from discovering you. It’s not the best advertising I’d like you to have.

Again, dirty toilets can mean that the kitchen is likely to be similar in management style. Let’s not talk about possible contamination. Your toilets must reflect the design of your restaurant, the image you want to give it. It goes without saying that you’ll need to put certain procedures in place to ensure that your toilets are always clean during service and opening hours.

How can your restaurant’s toilets make you money?

When it comes to advertising strategies, nothing beats a good, original idea. Your toilets can be an integral part of this idea. You need to make your toilets unique. You need to involve your designer, if you’re dealing with one of course. A budget must be set aside to create a single location. Yes, some people will say that this kind of investment is unnecessary, but today that’s a mistake. The first advertising strategy is that of your windward location. It’s the one that makes the most lasting impression on your customers. Many restaurants will call in agencies and spend a fortune. Start by investing in your point of sale. The best advertising in our business is still word-of-mouth.

Your customers are your best ambassadors. They’ll take it upon themselves to advertise your restaurant through various networks. The positive use of your toilets could have an impact on your customers’ average bill. Knowing how to put your customers in a good frame of mind following a positive experience can increase your sales and, by the same token, your waiters’ tips. Don’t hesitate to give your toilets a unique character.

How can you surprise your customers?

That’s what it’s all about: surprising your customers when they least expect it. The surprise effect will have 100 times more impact in terms of loyalty and spin-offs. A place as atypical as a toilet deserves its own universe. Providing your restaurant toilets with their own universe not only extends the customer experience, but also enriches it. Today, we can bring technology into the toilet, enabling and avoiding possible contact.

The grooming experience can be enriched by music, décor, shapes and little touches for the ladies, such as where to put your handbag. In short, there are many ways to enhance your customers’ experience of this unusual place. The idea is also to eliminate all the possible irritants that can sometimes be found in certain establishments. Examples include smells, toilet paper you can’t reach, toilet paper that tears as soon as you pull on it, doors that don’t close properly, unclean floors, unclean faucets and much more. Today, we have all the tools you need to make the washroom one of the most privileged parts of your restaurant experience.

In conclusion:

Don’t hesitate to invest a budget in making your toilets a reality, to increase traffic, loyalty and brand awareness. Not just at the start, but throughout the year. Your toilet is your image, so take care of it.

Philippe Bertrand

Founder of the Quebec Restaurant Entrepreneurship Center

  • Master of Restaurant and Hospitality Management
  • Licence Rights-Economy-Management: Creating and taking over a restaurant

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