Hands Free

by Katie Lee

Why new generation hand dryers have a direct impact on your bottom line.

By Krystal Pesch

Many, if not most, restaurants and retail chains use hand dryers in their restrooms. Yet we’ve all seen hand dryers that look — to put it politely — a bit battle-worn. While they may still activate and work (kind of), there are bottom-line reasons to consider an upgrade.

When you invest in modern automatic high-speed electric hand dryers for your facility’s restrooms, you create a touch-free, sanitary environment that saves money and reduces waste. That, in turn, contributes to a great customer experience and to your restaurant’s overall cleanliness. Here are three compelling reasons to turn your attention to how your patrons dry their hands in your establishment — especially if your hand dryers have been around for a long time or if you’re still using paper towel dispensers.

Take Advantage of New Tech

Hand-dryer technology has advanced quite a bit in recent years. You might be surprised at just how much they’ve improved if you installed your restroom’s dryers some time ago. For example, the newest compact, clean-line, surface-mounted designs dry hands in just 10 to 12 seconds — that’s up to three times faster than older models — and use up to 80% less energy. Additionally, the latest models include smart features like HEPA filters that clean the air before it gets blown out of the dryer and controls to adjust motor speed and heat, optimizing energy use and user comfort.

Lifestyle photo VMax hands in hand dryerAnd, something innovative to watch for in future hand dryers: As the Internet of Things (IoT) mainstreams, hand-dryer manufacturers are developing technology that sends data from sensors on hand dryers to facility managers about restroom use for better management.

Think back to when you’ve had to use a restroom littered with paper towels or tried to cram your hand into a jammed paper towel dispenser. When your customers have a better restroom experience, they’re more likely to head home with a better impression of your brand and restaurant overall. Happy customers mean repeat customers and referrals.

Save Valuable Time and More Money

Drying lots and lots of hands with paper towels can get expensive, quickly. Just consider the long term, ongoing costs associated with ordering, inventorying and restocking paper towels, along with any dispenser repairs.

Most people use an average of 2.5 paper towels to dry their hands at a cost of about 1.06 cents per person. Now multiply that by the number of people using your restrooms daily. By contrast, a high-speed hand dryer can dry a person’s hands for an average of .04 cents — that’s only 25% of the cost of paper towels. That dollar savings adds up over the course of a year. Plus, when you invest in new generation hand dryers with the latest motor technology, these automatic dryers can operate for years on minimal maintenance, saving you additional time and labor costs.

Studies have shown that automatic hand dryers can save businesses up to 99% in operational costs as compared to paper towels — removing much of the maintenance involved in restroom upkeep, including restocking and disposal.

Create a Cleaner Restroom Experience

Did you ever hear a patron in an establishment say, “I really don’t want to use the restroom here.” And we all know what those bathrooms are like: water and soap puddling on the counters, and wet paper towels overflowing the trash can, heaping on the floor.

Wet, used paper towels scattered in restrooms are a turnoff to customers, and they can lead to bacterial growth. They need to be cleaned up often, negatively impacting the cost of labor to keep your restaurant properly maintained.

Customers today also want restrooms to be as touch-free as possible. Motion sensors on new generation hand dryers trigger a flow of air to thoroughly dry a patron’s hands, so they avoid direct contact with the unit. For even more protection, newer automatic hand dryers offer antimicrobial technology to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold and fungus, extending the dryer’s serviceable life.

Word-of-mouth and online reviews are key to new business, and your restroom can play a big part in that. When customers perceive that your facilities are clean and sanitary, they have a better overall experience. While your restroom hand dryers may not usually rest top-of-mind for you, consider that an investment in automatic, new generation dryers can contribute to your bottom line and keep customers coming back.

— Krystal Pesch is senior product marketing analyst for World Dryer (www.worlddryer.com), a Zurn Company (www.zurn.com).

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