Have you seen the great new toilets at Gatwick?
Certainly not hidden away – boldly and proudly declared right next to the arrivals gate – and such great design! An inspiration for Eastbourne businesses!
It may often be forgotten, but research shows businesses really benefit from great attractive and clean loos. We all know that if toilets are not pleasant, it gives a negative impression of the ethos of that company – especially in cafes, restaurants and hotels – and people may not return just for that reason. If a company takes a bit of special care to ensure their toilets are attractive, it can for sure benefit the business.
There has been research over recent years that available toilets out in the community can make a huge difference to the health and well being of any community. A professor of urban design has revealed toilets are relevant to social, economic and environmental aspects of city living (Greed, 2013). If cities want people to use more public transport, bikes or walking, more local toilets are essential as people can’t dash in a car to find a loo. And yet, as local councils’ funding is being cut, many local authorities are closing their public toilets!! Such a plan is counter-productive, for businesses, community activities, and tourism. People will spend longer in towns if there are nice toilets close by. People with disabilities comprise at least 10% of any population and yet they are very often completely discouraged of spending very long in town due to lack of toilet provision. Its fabulous news for Eastbourne that we now have a Changing Places toilet – as specially big toilet for disabled people with an adult-size changing plinth – in the Andale!
Older people need toilets more often, and women need toilets close by generally more than men (Greed, 2016), due to menstruation, pregnancy and childcare – as well as the anatomical need to have toilet cubicles – and yet planners rarely provide many more toilets for females. How often do we women have to endure long queues!!
There has been very interesting official realisation lately that clean, well designed toilets are vital to all businesses! Take look at www.bighospitality.co.uk../the-bottom-line-why-your-business-needs-great-toilets Published in June 2016, written by Hannah Thompson, it reminds us that toilets may be the first and last impression of your business, to we cannot underestimate their importance! In essence, this article highlights how no matter how good the hotel room or meal, people will always remember if a loo is dirty, lacking paper. etc – and they might even tweet about it! The design, cleanliness and feel of a toilet reflects the care and policy of the company – “good toilets build confidence and trust in standards”. One survey found that 94% of customers would never return to a business if the toilets have poor hygiene levels. BATHROOMS, IT SEEMS, CAN BE EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN FOOD, FOR A RESTAURANT’S BUSINESS! This article outlines the great tips for toilet enhancement and management. A lot of this can be explained by another important fact: that bad toilet smells apparently stimulate our most primeval emotion, that evolved to protect us from potentially dangerous bugs: disgust. Who wants that emotion evoked by an aspect of their business?
Inclusive Eastbourne hosts the Community Toilet Scheme – a campaign to try and and persuade businesses to open their toilets to welcome people even if they are not buying from their business – THIS CAN BRING PEOPLE INTO YOUR BUSINESS AND, IMPRESSED BY YOUR WELCOME, MIGHT RETURN TO BUY SOMETHING. Eastbourne businesses are invited to join the scheme to enhance the toilet provision in eastbourne – designed for all. You would be asked to display a welcome sign outside your premises.
posted by Gaynor Sadlo
one of the directors of Inclusive Eastbourne