(Black Press Media files)

Adding more women’s and unisex bathrooms could help stores’ bottom line: UBC

The time customers spend waiting for the washroom is time they could have spent shopping

Anyone waiting for the bathroom is likely to be rightly annoyed when the line stretches around the corner.

It can be even worse for store owners, because the time customers spend waiting for the washroom is time they could have spent shopping.

The University of B.C. released a study on Thursday that it claims is the first to use modelling and computer simulations to figure out waiting times for bathrooms in different businesses.

Researchers found that increasing the number of women’s bathrooms, or adding unisex bathrooms, could do wonders for stores’ bottom lines.

READ MORE: Famous giant tortoise DNA may hold fountain of youth: UBCO

“In a service setting, like restaurants or movie theatres, a positive washroom experience is something people expect, and inadequate facilities can have a strong negative impact on whatever product or service a business is providing,” said Tim Huh, lead author of the study and Canada Research Chair in Operations Excellence and Business Analytics at the UBC Sauder School of Business.

The best way to achieve equal lineups for both men and women is to change all bathrooms to unisex, researchers said, but that’s not ideal because unisex bathrooms require more total space.

Instead, researchers suggest creating a small number of unisex bathrooms combined with gender-specific bathrooms to create flexible space.

“Unisex washrooms can be more allocated to women when the women’s washroom is at capacity. Once a line starts to form at the unisex washroom, men will not line up there when there is an empty men’s washroom that they can choose,” said Huh. “This is a good solution in many cases.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Santa Claus coming to Tofino and Ucluelet

Two pancake breakfast events on Saturday.

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

COLUMN: Zero Waste Holidays, is it possible?

Kristen O’Keefe and Diane Rudge co-own The Den Ucluelet, a zero waste soap dispensary and refillery.

Courtenay-Alberni NDP MP Gord Johns says Scheer’s resignation not surprising

Pressure is on NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, as the lone major party leader remaining in the opposition

Ucluelet Aquarium celebrates “best” season to date

“We had some wonderful, really engaged visitors,” said curator Laura Griffith Cochrane.

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read