(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

UVic student killed in bus crash remembered as passionate, kind

Emma Machado, 18, killed in bus crash near Bamfield on Friday

U.S. student killed in Bamfield bus crash remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

MLA Andrew Weaver thins workload after illness, full recovery expected

BC Green Party leader felt symptoms at a public event in Langley, and was taken to hospital

UPDATE: One man dies in Saanich collision

Police are asking people to avoid the intersection at Cumberland and Union roads

Oak Bay approves subdivision for lot that houses Maclure-designed heritage home

Mansion-style Blair Gowie house famous for its design and historical connection with Butchart family

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Two Nanaimo residents share $5-million Lotto 6/49 prize

Jesse Logan and Teresa Winters Day matched all six numbers in Aug. 21 Lotto 6/49 draw

Island campground on the chopping block as ALC deadline looms

Owners fighting to continue facility’s operation, with a huge outpouring of support

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

Most Read