Gas Stations Now Taking Restroom Cleanliness Seriously

Posted on March 19, 2012

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Restauranteurs have long known that the cleanliness of their restrooms reflect the image of their restaurant.  That image is tied to the customer’s perception of the cleanliness of the establishment.  Most restaurants strive for restroom cleanliness, and many strive for immaculate cleanliness.  Gas stations have long had a different stereotype, where cleanliness is not a top priority.  However, the business has been and is changing.

Recently, I have noticed multiple gas stations, with very clean restrooms.  Two of them had signs in the restrooms with a statement such as “Restroom cleanliness is important to us.  If you are not satisfied with the cleanliness of our restrooms, please notify a manager.”   For businesses working against an ill-perceived stereotype, this is a step in the right direction.

Gas stations are no longer only in the fuel business.  They are no longer in the tobacco business.  Or the lottery ticket business.  Or the tall boy business.  Many of them are now in the restaurant business.  Even if it is fast food, cleanliness is important.

In his book the E Myth, Michael Gerber talks about selling the “product not the commodity.”  Gas stations have realized that fuel is the commodity and their product is convenience.  Selling food adds to the product.  Likewise, they have realized their competitors are others in the restaurant business, and those competitors take restroom cleanliness seriously.  For someone who travels frequently and enjoys my convenience store stops, I like the direction these two companies, along with some others, are heading.

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