Restaurant Restrooms as They Relate to Kitchens

Customer Perceptions vs. Inspection Scores


  • Joseph Scarcelli York College of Pennsylvania
  • Barbara Almanza


Cleanliness, Restroom, Restaurant, Sanitation, Customer opinion


The purpose of this paper is to determine whether there is a relationship between the cleanliness condition of a restaurant’s restroom and that of its kitchen, and to determine what criteria are important to customers when assessing restroom cleanliness. Three sources of data were used; a public opinion survey was administered to determine criteria for cleanliness, audits were performed in restaurant restrooms, and Health Department inspection scores were collected.  ANOVA and regression were used to determine if there was a relationship between restrooms and kitchens. There is no relationship between the cleanliness condition of a restaurant’s restroom and that of its kitchen.  Customers use different criteria than the Health Department when forming an opinion of the cleanliness of a public restroom. The study was performed in restaurants within the same county.  The findings need to be confirmed by further evidence from other regions.  Future research should investigate whether the cleanliness of a restaurant’s restroom reflects management’s attitude toward sanitation and food safety. Restaurateurs should understand how much restrooms matter to the public. They have great potential to contribute to loss of business and negative word-of-mouth publicity.  Additionally, restaurateurs should know which areas of the restroom are most critical to the customer. This research adds new information to the body of literature and will assist managers by highlighting the bottom-line importance of the restroom, as well as by detailing the specific areas of most concern to customers. 

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