Monitor Clean Bathrooms and Keep Customers Happy

Client: Star Express

Growth:  Grew 4 C-stores to 18 in 4 years. From 9 to 28 stores overall (including QSR’s). Owners expect the highest quality for every aspect of the convenience they serve to customers.

Background:  Star Express is a second-generation company that has grown from a single store to outlets that include C-Stores, fast food, and a travel center Their busiest location sits next to an Interstate highway in an affluent area. The large store includes 4 bays, a large store, a Subway, and their fresh food canteen. The store has a beautiful layout with an upscale design.

Business issue

C-Store bathrooms were not always clean, which could affect overall business.

Problem Assessment

The busy and profitable c-store was operating very well, but the bathrooms were not being kept clean according to spot-check results. Because it was so busy, it was easy to let the upkeep of bathrooms slip. Customers had reported a few issues. Since travelers will frequently choose where to stop based on bathroom cleanliness, it was likely that the store was losing business.

Analysis results

Electronic survey devices – a wall-mounted tablet with a single question – were installed next to the restrooms. The BandyWorks custom surveys were taken 40-50 times per day and were showing 60 to 90 percent ‘clean’ feedback, but the results were not consistent. The data from the survey were analyzed to determine the time of day that the non-clean ratings were given. After analysis, it was discovered who was generally responsible for bathroom duty at the times the ratings were down.

Solution

By reviewing the results with the staff, the manager was able to explain the expectations. Obviously, she had to follow-up. Bathroom ratings went up for a while. Later, and perhaps not surprisingly, the ratings fell. This time it was easier. The same process, analysis followed by coaching, was followed. Additionally, reminders created. The store manager now discusses any dips below an 80% clean rating.

Lessons learned

Customer feedback is honest – sometimes brutally so – but makes things happen. No one likes bathroom-cleaning duty. Therefore, frequent reminders and coaching are going to always be part of C-Store management. Naturally, measure what you want to improve. First, analyze time-based information. Then, study the patterns to understand the issue. Finally, an on-going solution can be applied.

  • Shiv Patel, COO, Star Express

    I would recommend BandyWorks to other companies. Data manipulation, pulling data, getting new reports, it’s all difficult to do. Doing it through Quik Data, it’s quick! Quik Data!
    Shiv Patel, COO, Star Express

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