As a restaurant operator, you know that exceeding your customers’ expectations is key to success. But did you know that one small factor can make a big difference in their overall satisfaction? Believe it or not – satisfaction doesn’t always begin and end in the dining room. A recent survey revealed that 79 percent of customers would avoid a restaurant in the future if they had a bad restroom experience (Cintas, 2017). More than half of those customers would go on to tell friends and family about it – flushing a once good reputation down the drain.
A common question among restaurant and retail operators is, “what defines a good restroom experience?” For the vast majority, it is safety and cleanliness. Sadly, customers rarely give credit for meeting those expectations. But, make no mistake, they will quickly sully the reputations of establishments that fail to measure-up. The perception of safety and cleanliness have several contributing factors, but almost always correlate to illicit drug use. Substance abusers seek out public restrooms because they provide privacy, immediacy, and quite frankly – they are unlocked and available for use.
Despite the ongoing crisis, retail and restaurant operators have tried tirelessly to prevent their public restrooms from becoming ground-zero for the opioid epidemic. Unfortunately, solutions that seem too good to be true – often are:
- Restroom attendants: Aside from being unaffordable, hiring third-party protectors can have unintended consequences. Unless specifically trained on de-escalation and interventions, these hired helpers could also become victim to the very issues they were hired to prevent.
- Lock & key: Remember, retail and restaurants are focused on the customer experience. Nothing could be more unfriendly to a good customer than adding an extra step between their avocado toast and what could be a long trip home. Save the lock & key for the vintage Bordeaux.
- Special lighting: Good idea in principle, but not effective in practice. Specialized (blue) lights designed to conceal the user’s veins, put customers and employees at risk as they reduce visibility, pose slip & fall hazards, and prevents good sanitation practices. Additionally, lighting provides no actual security from other undesirable activities or crimes.
Here’s the deal, there is no guarantee when it comes to preventing activities that result in damage to customer experience and brand reputation. The key to prevention is adding resistance, by making the restroom less opportunistic. Drug abusers and criminals seek the path of least resistance when looking for a potential location. Hardening the target pushes these offenders and their unwanted behaviors elsewhere.
Today’s restaurant and retail operators need a smart solution that is specific to business needs, yet flexible enough to evolve with a changing threat landscape:
- Intelligent Access Control: When it comes to intelligent access control, restrooms are often one of the last places that people think about. But the truth is, the same technology that “controls” access for specific users, during customizable hours, and tracks activity for your server room, is the perfect solution for your restroom, too.
Looking for the right solution to take back your restrooms? Just ask Amphion. Amphion delivers a comprehensive approach to loss prevention and security products and services laser-targeted to the unique needs of restaurant and retail clients. Download the access control brochure here. Safeguard your business assets with a nationally renowned technical support task force. Amphion provides a US-based, live 24-hour, technical support team and a comprehensive service management model with certified technicians that can be onsite within four hours of the initial call—7-days a week, 365 days a year.
Amphion is a security integrator delivering unmatched service to national restaurant and retail guests across the country. Specializing in loss prevention and security products and services, they are the one-stop-shop to safeguard your business assets.