From Icky to Inviting: Washroom Trends To Drive Traffic To Your Convenience Store
Modern bathrooms make a fresh impression with customers. Follow these washroom trends
Until recently, the gas station washroom served a strictly utilitarian role. They were simple, plain, nothing flashy. Yet, with neglect, many had developed a reputation for being grungy – something to avoid except in the case of extreme emergency (particularly among female customers).
With the new focus on providing a higher-end service offering (such as gourmet coffee bars and in-store restaurants), standards and expectations have changed when it comes to the state of your biffy. People are demanding a higher level of finishes and features – and a renewed focus on cleanliness. Operators who fail to modernize their washrooms risk flushing business down the drain (pardon the pun).
The changes we’ve seen in recent years have been dramatic. Many washrooms are incorporating touches of home. When discussing some of the washrooms he’d seen, one of our C-Store owners recently commented, “Some look like what you’d expect in a 5-star hotel.”
Fortunately, new laminate and tile finishes allow you to create a luxurious looking bathroom without the luxury price tag. That being said, we are also noticing that some owners are not shying away from elegant touches like granite countertops, framed mirrors, and even decorative waterfalls. These things have a high initial price tag but are often part of a larger image building strategy.
CTM’s design team can show you a variety of the latest countertops, cabinets, fixtures, tiles and flooring choices that can instantly elevate your washroom in the eyes of customers. At the same time, we focus on what is most important to you: a practical, long-lasting, easy to clean solution that fits your budget.
Below are five washroom trends we have noticed when it comes to your convenience store:
1. Tap handles are so 2010
Touchless technology is considered the defining feature of a modern washroom.
It was primarily developed for sanitary purposes – to reduce the spread of germs and bacteria that come from contact with taps, toilet handles, and towel dispensers.
However, as touchless technology has grown, many customers have come to appreciate the convenience and the “cool factor” of sleekly designed products such as the Dyson Airblade. Or the Bradley sink, which has a touchless tap, soap dispenser, and hand dryer build right into the sink – eliminating the need to walk around with wet hands.
Removing towels and containing soap to the sink is not only nice for the customers, but also make it easier for your staff to keep the washroom clean.
2. Doorless washrooms?
You’ve seen them in airports and malls… now doorless washrooms are coming to convenience stores and restaurants.
By removing doors, you eliminate the germs that can come from touching door handles. The reason owners like them is that they respect the privacy of customers, yet the airy, open design reduces loitering and discourages graffiti and vandalism.
While incredibly modern, this style of washroom design does require more space.
3. Designer toilets…designed for easy cleaning
At one time, all toilets were pretty much the same. Today we’re seeing a wide variety of designs in all shapes and sizes. For ease of cleaning, many convenience store owners are excited by new models that are wall mounted vs. floor mounted. With no base, these toilets make mopping a breeze.
Today’s toilets are also being designed to minimalize nooks and crannies: so they are easier to wipe down. A big bonus for you and your staff.
4. Divide and conquer
To discourage aspiring artists and authors, we’re starting to see new stall dividers made of scratch and graffiti resistant materials. Expect to see more options in the near future.
5. Added touches
From scent systems to candles to artwork, there are a million little things you can do to make a your washroom feel clean, contemporary and well cared for.
We’ll end with this little rule of thumb… if you’d be embarrassed to let a house guest see your washroom, you should be alarmed to have a customer view it.
Today more than ever, customers will judge you and your business on the state of your bathroom. If you don’t meet their standards and expectations, they’ll choose to go somewhere that does. [Read more about working with Convenience Stores]