Richard F. Ghiselli, Head of Purdue's School of Hospitality, is the lead researcher and author of a study which shows that senior diners value restaurant cleanliness above all else. In fact, it took home the top three spots:
- Cleanliness of kitchens
- Cleanliness of dining areas and tables
- Cleanliness of restrooms.
Although hand cleanliness was not included in the study, one can well imagine handwashing is a high priority for seniors, a segment increasing by 8,000 per day.
Might this appetite for cleanliness make clean hands, surfaces and restrooms brand builders, right alongside advertising and promotion? Perhaps leaders should consider promoting and protecting the cleanliness factor by moving its cost up on the P&L as a revenue driver, rather than seeing it as a target for the next round of "value-engineered" efficiencies.
Let's start courting customers with cleanliness.