Flush with Appeal
In an increasingly complex industry, the simple, powerful attraction of a clean restroom remains unmatched.
While the complexity of the convenience store industry and the precision it takes to manage for profit can never be denied, some keys to success aren’t very complicated at all.
Take the clean restroom, for example. In a competitive environment where stores try to brainstorm exciting new ways to entice customers, the attraction of a spotless bathroom remains as strong as it was 40 years ago when the industry was re-imagining itself into the profession it is today. The novelty may have worn off in the intervening years, but not the appeal.
SSCS customer Charlie Reichenau, owner of the eight-site Short Stop chain in the Texas Hill Country, has experienced time and again the strategic advantage that comes with immaculate floors, sinks and toilets.
“Our stores close to the highway place signs that advertise clean restrooms in clear view of passing motorists,” he said. “I even had one lady call me personally to tell me how much she liked the care we took in maintaining our restrooms. She’d been driving by one of our stores every day, but shopping with a competitor on the other side of the road in the direction she commuted. One day, for some reason, she had to drive the opposite way and stopped in at our place to use the restroom. It made an impact—she’s never gone back to the competitor.”
General Manager Kai Maani of SSCS Customer CoCo Farms in New York’s Hudson Valley, has also experienced the marketing advantages offered by clean, well-lit bathrooms. “[If you want to deliver good customer service], it begins with delivering the basics like a clean environment and restrooms,” Maani says. “These types of details shouldn’t be taken for granted—they’re foremost in the customer’s mind and heart. They’re the foundation of a good store experience. They keep people coming back.”
Other stories we’ve found that re-emphasize, highlight, and relate to the importance of clean bathrooms can be found here:
- Cstore Decisions writes about the significance of clean restrooms in this day and age.
- Trax Analytics weighs in on the positive profitability impact of clean bathrooms and the sense of customer confidence that results.
- If the Age of Robots is upon us, is it any surprise that there’s one that will automatically clean your restroom?
- What happens when your c-store restrooms are so pleasant, the city wants to commandeer them to help ease a toiler shortage? Find out in this article.
- And just for the fun of it, here are 18 unusual public restrooms.
Certain business fundamentals stand the test of time, even when an industry adapts to become a better version of itself. Clean bathrooms clearly have a place on that list, likely near the top of it. We doubt that’s going to change anytime soon.
 You can read the multi-part profile of Short Stop stores starting with this blog post.