The number one deal breaker when it comes to eating out isn't expensive prices or rude wait staff — it's cleanliness, according to 44% of Americans. PHOTO BY GUSTAVO FRING/PEXELS 
The number one deal breaker when it comes to eating out isn't expensive prices or rude wait staff — it's cleanliness, according to 44% of Americans. PHOTO BY GUSTAVO FRING/PEXELS 

The number one deal breaker when it comes to eating out isn't expensive prices or rude wait staff — it's cleanliness, according to 44% of Americans. PHOTO BY GUSTAVO FRING/PEXELS 



By Lennox Kalifungwa

The number one deal breaker when it comes to eating out isn’t expensive prices or rude wait staff — it’s cleanliness, according to 44% of Americans.

A survey of 1,000 Americans and 1,000 small business owners and hospitality workers found that when it comes to restaurants, cleanliness ranked higher in importance than having a variety of menu options (35%) or the affordability of the restaurant (33%).

The survey looked at how cleanliness plays a role in the decision to visit a business and how businesses handle cleaning.

When dining, customers are keeping their eyes out for cleanliness — or lack thereof.  They’re surveying the tables (56%), plates/bowls (56%) and cutlery (49%).

A survey of 1,000 Americans and 1,000 small business owners and hospitality workers found that when it comes to restaurants, cleanliness ranked higher in importance than having a variety of menu options (35%) or the affordability of the restaurant (33%). PHOTO BY KLAUS NIELSEN/PEXELS

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of P&G Professional, the survey found that Americans value tidiness so much that three in five said that uncleanliness would be a dealbreaker when it comes to both restaurants (61%) and hotels (62%).

Respondents also ranked cleanliness as the top factor they consider when choosing somewhere to stay on vacation (39%).

Lack of cleanliness is also the top reason that respondents wouldn’t return to a business, followed by quality concerns (38%) and poor customer service (35%).

More than half of those surveyed would become repeat customers if a business was always clean (52%) — more so than if it offered discounts or perks (42%) or was within walking distance (31%).

A survey of 1,000 Americans and 1,000 small business owners and hospitality workers found that when it comes to restaurants, cleanliness ranked higher in importance than having a variety of menu options (35%) or the affordability of the restaurant (33%). PHOTO BY KLAUS NIELSEN/PEXELS

To ensure they’re making the right decisions, most Americans “always” or “often” research reviews of restaurants (64%) or vacation rentals (62%) before choosing “the one.”

At vacation rentals, respondents are scoping out the bathroom or shower (55%), linen/sheets (49%) and flooring (48%) the most.

Overall, 64% of Americans have a great appreciation for businesses that keep their establishments clean, and those in the industry are aware of this.

“Keeping restaurants and hotels clean is the obvious choice for business owners,” said Dr. Juan Goncalves, leader of scientific communications for P&G Professional in North America. “Patrons value cleanliness when it comes to deciding what businesses they support. So cleaning is not just a chore. It’s a competitive advantage. It’s our mission to provide small business owners with products and resources needed to clean as simple, safe and effective as possible.”

Small business owners recognize that cleanliness is important to visitors, which is why they spend an average of 167 hours a year just cleaning their establishment.

Similarly, more than half of hospitality workers noted cleaning as their most time-consuming task (53%).

While helping customers (44%) and cleaning (41%) are the most time-consuming parts of their job, professionals have an affinity for the former.

Meeting new people (44%) and helping customers (40%) ranked among the top three favorite things about SBOs and hospitality workers’ jobs.

It’s a good thing they enjoy caring for their customers since the average small business owner and hospitality worker spends about half their day doing so.

In fact, these professionals would like it if they had even more time in their day doing what they love — interacting with customers (37%).

Fifty-six percent wish they could get some of the time spent cleaning back on their side and find inspiration for time-saving cleaning tricks on social media (46%) and from others in their industry (43%).

“We seek to equip business owners with cleaning products to meet the needs of their business and help them put their best foot forward for their customers,” said Bryan Smith, Vice President North America for P&G Professional. “We combine our knowledge of the industry and our expertise in cleaning to offer businesses products that get the job done as quickly and effectively as possible. We understand the critical role quality products play for businesses, and we provide products that help with the cleaning and sanitization process so that consumers can trust that their preferences when it comes to the cleanliness of establishments are heard.”

Produced in association with SWNS Research

(Additional reporting provided by Talker Research)