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November 2017

How much are you willing to pay for a clean toilet?

Written by Lemay Rogers
Cleanliness and Hygiene

I must admit that when I was first posed the question my kneejerk reaction was that a clean toilet is the standard and a non-negotiable. Really, it’s a basic requirement!  

Working at Rentokil Initial has possibly elevated my expectations but in reality, in a high traffic public environment how realistic is it?

The conversation was sparked by an article in the European Cleaning Journal (August 2017) announcing that a luxury toilet provider had teamed up with V Festival to bring festival goers toilets with high levels of hygiene and more facilities than the average stadium bathroom. Of course, it comes at a premium of £35 (R600) for the weekend.   

Paid toilets are not unique to V Festival, in fact, they’ve grown in popularity over the past few years. One must recognise that a bathroom is a rather intimate experience and some people are just not willing to take any risks. They will pay to ensure they have a pleasant experience, which includes no odours, a clean floor, a hygienic cubicle, running water and handwashing facilities.

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Companies recognise the need for premium services and are heeding the call. The Wall Street Journal published a transcript in 2014 talking about the shortage of public toilets in New York and how private companies are charging $8 (R116) a visit to their facilities. Closer to home, a Durban restaurant caused a social media storm in May when Reeza Khan posted a picture of a receipt where he paid R20 per bathroom visit.

You may also find that a few restrooms along busy holiday travel routes as well as facilities at certain beaches are charging. The justification? Some would rather charge for a facility and create a more controlled environment in order to limit vandalism and other damage to property. A few providers have even stated that it is less about the money and more about managing the facility’s reputation.

No matter how you look at it, this remains a rather controversial question.  

In my last article What can you buy for R2.40 per day? we explored how cost effective hygiene services are within an office environment. I’m sure you are thinking that a volume based discounted price could come into play within a high traffic area like a public bathroom. The short answer is all relative to the foot traffic of the facility and depends on various factors.

So, how much is too much?  I’ll leave you to ponder on that. But if you would like to know what it would cost to keep your office toilets clean and hygienic.

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Lemay Rogers

Lemay Rogers

Lémay Rogers is the Marketing Manager for Rentokil Initial. When not contributing to the Initial blog, she is the custodian of all things Marketing for Rentokil Initial South Africa, and supports the Sub-Saharan African businesses. As a frequent traveller AND mother of a toddler, she is all too aware of how easily germs can travel with us, from one location to another and then back to our homes. Follow Lémay on Twitter and LinkedIn for practical advice on good hygiene practices, both at home and in the workplace.

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