Restroom Winner

CSP-Service Intelligence mystery shop ranks Casey's No. 1

ANKENY, Iowa -- Casey's General Stores cleaned up a second year straight by edging out Kwik Trip to claim the top spot for cleanest restrooms in this year's CSP-Service Intelligence Mystery Shop study.

The 2012 study focused on nine c-store brands: 7-Eleven, Casey's General Stores, Kum & Go, Kwik Trip, Quick Chek, QuikTrip, Sheetz, Susser Holding's Stripes and Thorntons. Conducted from April 26 to June 6, 2012, shoppers began their reviews with pump islands, making forecourt observations and purchasing fuel. Then they went into the store where they made both outdoor and entrance observations. Inside, they visited the restroom, browsed the store and then made a purchase. For comments, they were asked to give their overall impressions vs. focusing on a particular aspect of the store.

Here's how the top five ranked with regards to clean restrooms:

  • Casey's General Stores: 95.9%
  • Kwik Trip: 95.8%
  • QuikTrip: 90.4%
  • Thorntons: 86.3%
  • Sheetz: 86.9%

In its eighth year, the annual survey explored shopper thoughts more in-depth by expanding the comments section. While more anecdotal than scientific, the shopper comments--which often contradicted each other within the same chain--provided snapshots of what consumers experience at c-stores on a daily basis, everything from peculiar smells to exemplary employee interaction.

As for restrooms, mystery shoppers were compelled to mention them when they were particularly messy. Oddly enough, while many of the 350-plus comments raved about clean stores, most of the comments about restrooms specifically were negative--giving credence to the c-store adage that no one notices a clean restroom. Here's a few of the comments:

  • The bathroom had a horrible odor emanating from it.
  • The men's bathroom had toilet paper laying across the seat and the lid to the trash can was upside down on the floor with more toilet paper next to it.
  • One of the toilets in the women's restroom had overflowed.
  • There was graffiti scratched on the paper-towel dispenser in the restroom.
  • The restroom was used for storage equipment.
  • The bathroom had graffiti all over.
  • The bathroom toilet was filthy.
  • The bathroom was atrocious.
  • The bathroom was disgusting.

See “Related Content” below for full results and a feature article on this year's overall winner--La Crosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip.