What are the bathrooms like where you work? And could they be an indicator of the future success of your company?

Years ago, I told the story of a Wall St. stock analyst who liked to visit the companies he invested his clients' money in. This guy got in the habit of routinely using the bathroom at the companies before a scheduled meeting. If the toilet was filthy, he would cancel his appointment and pull all financial support.

This stock analyst knew that if the bathroom was filthy, the employees were not valued -- and that speak volumes about the company's chances of long-term success. I believe the same holds true with reserved parking spots for upper management at a company. Priority parking tells the little guy that he doesn't count, and that doesn't make employees feel valued.

Now USA Today   reports that dirty bathrooms can hurt business in some very direct ways. Nearly 50% of restaurant patrons who experience a dirty bathroom will tell friends. Almost 3 in 10 restaurant patrons won't give a place a second chance if they encounter a dirty bathroom. And if you're a restaurant owner, remember, this is the era of the smartphone where customers are taking pictures of your dirty bathroom and sharing it on social media.

Of course, when you gotta go, you gotta go.  That's why several different smartphone apps like SitorSquat have been developed (available for both Android and iOS),  pointing you to the nearest clean bathrooms wherever you are. And if you're in the midtown section of a metro area, so many chain stores have recently popped up that people are starting to use them as a "go-to" facility. (Here's a tip: they usually hide them on the top floor of the building, in the back, with no signage.)

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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