I recently visited my favorite restaurant that shall remain unnamed. I absolutely love their food, and despite how much I complain to myself about how high the bill usually is, I have never hesitated to eat there.  That is, until now.

Now first let me say I am not big on using public restrooms, which is probably why after all these years I finally went into this one for the first time. Upon entering the restroom, I was mortified! Although it wasn’t the typical nasty restroom, where the toilet may not be working, or the inside of the toilet hasn’t been cleaned, but it was the type of neglect that indicated to me the people who are responsible for the facilities do the bare minimum.

The furniture fixtures were plastered with dust and debris as though it had not been touched in months, possibly years. The mirrors were barely visible, and the sink had the nerve to have a hand soap bottle that was spilling over with drips of old soap residue. Even more disgusting, the bottle had to be touched by everyone who decided to use the facility and wash their hands!

In stark contrast, the toilet area had fresh rolls of toilet paper and the toilet was shining as though it had been recently cleaned.

This place is not a small-time restaurant; they are housed in a small building with a very upscale, quaint setting.  The place is very popular and loved by many. They serve scrumptious Mediterranean style food, and the menu is pricey. Considering this, it baffles me that a place so nice, with such delicious food and ambiance, would have such poor standards for maintaining the bathroom. The bathroom (and the kitchen) are places where many, many germs and bacteria have the opportunity to be spread.

Perhaps the guests are so wowed by the food that they simply overlook the bathroom. Perhaps someone took notice as I did and began to second guess whether they will continue to eat at this establishment. Perhaps no one has ever complained.  Maybe some will be like me and give it one more try and just hope that they have taken notice and have cleaned up their act.

Listen, I get it, no one is perfect. There will be times in a busy, popular establishment when things get overlooked, and it simply becomes hard to maintain a bathroom at 100%. However, I do not understand neglect or disregarding responsibilities that protect, serve or cater to the customer, even if that particular thing doesn’t generate money.

I will eventually conclude if this will still be my favorite restaurant whenever I decide to go again. If that dust is still piled high, if that old nasty soap bottle is still there instead of one that is touch free and more practical for a high-volume business that serves the public, I will be replacing my favorite restaurant. Chances are I will just be disappointed because it was beyond clear that the condition has existed long before I visited the bathroom.

This situation bought to mind an existing problem that a lot of businesses and even salons have in common which is neglecting to practice safety and sanitation where they serve customers. Yes, it is our duty to give more than we take. By delegating your time to do things like cleaning to take care of your customers shows not only your willingness to be proactive but that you are hygienic and can be trusted to provide high-levels of service in all areas that touch your business.

No, we don’t get paid for keeping the bathroom clean, we don’t get paid for having a first aid kit around in case someone gets hurt, we don’t even get paid for having a refreshing glass of cold water for our customers on a hot summer day, but the rewards of all of those things bring the added value of a loyal customer base. It’s not always the direct monetary value that should determine how much effort is put into the level of services provided. Customers have the right to be serviced in a clean and safe environment.

Imagine going anywhere or doing anything where you receive some level of service and seeing a dust-free, tidy, warm and inviting environment. How does it make you feel? If you are like me, it makes me feel good to be there, and whenever I need that particular service, I will usually consider the place that was clean before I consider the place that wasn’t—even if it was lesser priced.

Show a level of pride in your establishment, especially one that takes very good care of you financially. I spend so much time cleaning and sweeping–in fact, it is always the first thing I do before my customers arrive, even if it has already been done the day before.

Some may think this is a little over the top, but hair travels, and there is always more that has settled somewhere.  No matter how much I sweep, there is more where that came from. So, I sweep constantly, and I wipe down oils and residues on surfaces and bottles in between each client. One of my pet peeves is sitting my clients in a chair that has evidence of the last person who sat there. Therefore in between clients, I take the necessary 3 minutes and wipe down the chair.

How could I decide that my clients are not even worth that much? How can I be so busy that I don’t take care about the very people that take care of me?

I am honored to serve each client in a clean atmosphere. It lets them know that I care. My bathroom is cleaned and or wiped down each day. Because the lighting is perfect in the bathroom, I even make a point to keep the mirrors clean so that my clients can take their personal selfies after their hair is done. Every time someone visits my bathroom for the first time, they make mention of how great the lighting is, how clean it is, or how nice it is. Do you think they would notice lighting if the mirrors were filthy or if the dust was thick?

I do it for my clients and I do it for me. This is the same pride that all businesses should possess. Even though there’s no direct compensation for good hygiene and cleanliness, care enough about your customers to always provide a clean and safe environment where they receive services, and they will always consider you the “gold” standard.

If you guys feel that this information is helpful, please let me know! If you would like for me to elaborate more, let me know that as well! I love hearing from you, so please give me more feedback on how I can serve you!