(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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Clearwater charity helps local man with medical costs

Group brings in $1,200 in 20 minutes

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

COVID-19 brings burning ban to Clearwater and area

The reason for the ban is to help reduce excess air pollution in populated air-sheds

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Kamloops-Thompson teachers to connect with parents to reveal plans for remote teaching

School district also asking parents to ensure children are practicing social distancing

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

LifeLabs reducing public hours as it assists with COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus tests not done at B.C. patient centres, referrals only

24,000 Canadian Forces members ready for COVID-19 response: Defence Minister

No direct requests made by premiers yet, national defence minister says

IN DEPTH: How B.C. emptied its hospitals to prepare for COVID-19

Thousands of beds have been freed up, but patients and seniors have had to sacrifice

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Crucial details of Ottawa’s proposed wage subsidy program expected today

The government has rolled out a bailout package totalling more than $200 billion

World COVID-19 morning update: Olympics delayed one year; 12,000 health care workers infected

Comprehensive world news update: Lockdown in UK showing signs of hope

Most Read