Survey: Consumers Avoid Dirty Restaurants


A recent Cintas Corporation survey conducted by telephone by Harris Interactive among more than 1,000 U.S.adults ages 18 and older revealed that dirty dishes, unpleasant odor, and dirty restrooms are the top reasons consumers would never return to a restaurant. In fact, all three perceptions of cleanliness rated higher than poor service when choosing whether to return to a restaurant.

“Consumers have many dining options and it’s critical for restaurant owners to provide a pleasant atmosphere to attract and retain patrons,” says Brian Garry, senior director, Cintas Foodservice. “This research confirms that maintaining a clean environment is mandatory to provide a satisfying dining experience.”

When asked what experiences would make adults likely to never eat at a restaurant again, they reported as follows:

  • Unclean Dishware - 86 percent
  • Unpleasant Odors - 85 percent
  • Dirty Restrooms - 75 percent
  • Unclean Tables - 74 percent
  • Poor Service - 74 percent
  • Dirty Floors - 68 percent
  • Poor Staff Appearance - 65 percent
  • Dirty Glass and Windows - 51 percent

In addition, the survey discovered that 86 percent of U.S.adults equate the cleanliness of a restaurant’s restroom with the cleanliness of its kitchen. Even the most pristine kitchens can be negatively perceived if a restaurant does not have a proper restroom maintenance program in place.

“Regardless of the quality of food and customer service, a dirty restaurant turns patrons off from returning,” says Dave Mesko, senior director of marketing, Cintas. “Partnering with Cintas enables restaurant owners to improve cleanliness and increase repeat business by providing customers with an enjoyable dining atmosphere.”

This survey was conducted by phone within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Cintas from Oct. 28-31, 2010 among 1,008 adults ages 18 and older. Results were weighted to reflect the population.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.

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