Smart convenience retailers are focused on improving the customer experience at their store and many have turned to clean restrooms to do so. For some retailers, having clean restrooms has proven to be a key driver of in-store traffic. This is important because getting more of your customers to come inside the store is a HUGE opportunity when you consider that 65% of your profit dollars come from in-store sales . But did you know that on average 46% of your fuel station customers never come into the store? That’s a lot of lost opportunity for additional sales and profit dollars!
Getting your customers to come inside your store is key to increasing your bottom line, but giving them a reason to come inside may prove to be difficult.
Dirty Bathrooms = Dirty Food
There are a lot of people who will stop to fill up, or to drain the other tank, at a select location largely based on the cleanliness of the bathrooms. Making your bathrooms a destination is sure to increase your store’s traffic and presumably earn you more profits. Retailers such as Buc-ee’s and Wawa have long ago figured this out and are now reaping the benefits. A recent Buc-ee’s customer was quoted saying “Cleanest public restrooms I have ever seen….let’s be honest….they sparkle better than even my own private home bathroom” (Mindy H. Austin, TX). With consumers now turning to C-stores to purchase a variety of food offerings, it is essential that your facilities are clean and meet their expectations. Foodservice excellence and cleanliness go hand-in-hand from your customer’s perspective but it’s more than just having clean bathrooms. Looking At Cleanliness from Your Customers’ Perspective Have you considered what the condition of the outside of your store says about the condition of your bathrooms, and in turn, your food offerings? When you pull up to your gas station, ask yourself, “Is this a place where I feel comfortable going #2?” If the answer is anything but a “YES”, then you’re in deep doo doo. Trash on the ground, dirty gas pumps, graffiti and gum are major turn offs and sometimes even a deal breaker! Many of the people that visit your store every day come to fill up the tank and drain the bladder. A negative experience in your forecourt or restroom will leave a negative impression of your store and they may never come back. Not good! NACS/Coca Cola research shows that cleanliness is a core need for customers to feel comfortable. Smart retailers took this information and ran with it. Making cleanliness a top priority resulted in this Buzzfeed list written from a customer perspective that outlines why Wawa is so awesome (pay special attention to #4). Even though approximately only 54% of your fueling customers are coming inside your store, 100% of them experience your store’s exterior. Therefore, it is crucial that your fueling areas and equipment are kept remarkably clean. Doing so is a great way to start bringing more customers inside the store and driving more profits. So clean up your forecourt areas so you can start taking crap from your customers, regularly!