Two thirds of young Brits take bathroom selfies in pubs, bars and clubs

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Flash in the pan: some 64% of 18 to 24-year-olds will grab a bathroom selfie while out on the tiles
Flash in the pan: some 64% of 18 to 24-year-olds will grab a bathroom selfie while out on the tiles

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Pubs and bars that invest in glamorous toilets could be flushed with success among younger customers and social media whizzes, according to a survey by Formica Group.

The laminate maker’s survey of 2,000 consumers found that one in four people will take a bathroom selfie when out on the tiles in a pub, bar or club.

The stream of pics is strongest among 18 to 24-year-olds, with two thirds (64%) taking bathroom selfies, though this percentage sinks to 15% of over-45s.

When asked what motivates them to a snap in a public loo, the most popular reasons included being in a party mood (39%), great mirrors or lighting (34%) while more than one in four (28%) are encouraged by eye-catching décor.

Half of Gen Z revellers cite being in the party spirit, 47% say the mood takes them if their outfit or hair is on point while one in three (34%) snap because they like the backdrop.

Make a splash with glamorous loos

As reported by The Morning Advertiser​, ‘selfie spots’​ and design quirks that compel customers to stop for a picture can help pubs make their way on to Instagram grids and cultivate social media plugs.

“Surprisingly, glamorous loos are a draw for customers,” Formica Group’s Joe Bell explained.

“There’s a real trend for club and bars designers to create statement toilets that provide something magical. These encourage people to up their selfie game and tag the venue on Insta.

“Previously, little thought was given to customers spending a penny, but now with every detail of a night out shared on social media, venues are upping their bathroom design game.

“While the bathroom is a private space, social media has blurred this and people love to snap selfies with a powerful backdrop.”

Bathrooms reflect pub service

Formica’s research also found that more than one in four (27%) customers check the state of a pub, bar or restaurant’s toilets before deciding to order food or drink, with more than half (56%) confirming there will be no visit number two if its toilets aren’t up to scratch.

What’s more, Formica found that only 5% of consumers thought hospitality venues have spotless loos, while around two thirds (65%) of diners believe toilet standards reflect a venue’s food quality.

Formica’s toilet research paper also found that pubs were the third least popular place to spend a penny behind only train and night club toilets with top reasons driving visitors round the U-bend being finding conveniences too dirty (58%), too busy, (12%), too smelly (46%) or having unflattering lighting (4%).

Yet these findings come after pub giant JD Wetherspoon was named UK Loo of the Year Award Trophy Winner at the 2018 Loo of the Year Awards with the group’s Bolton pubs the Spinning Mule and the Robert Shaw recognised for the quality and standard of their toilets​.

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