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Bidding And Estimating / Restroom Care / Sales And Marketing
October 2013 Bidding & Estimating

Restrooms And The Bidding Process

How to calculate labor, costs and cleaning times to guarantee satisfied customers and profit.

October 09, 2013
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Restrooms are an important and sensitive area in any building and must be maintained at high levels of cleanliness, sanitation and safety at all times to avoid complaints, liability and a negative impression on employees, customers and the public.

This emphasis on cleanliness can be used as a valid marketing tool when preparing and submitting proposals for services in all types and sizes of buildings.

Restrooms are unique in that they are often designed for cleaning, with water and stain resistant surfaces that include vitreous china, chrome, stainless steel, ceramic tile, glass and other relatively easy to clean materials.

Water connections, floor drains, ventilation and good lighting can also be part of the design that will facilitate and speed up the cleaning process.

What To Look For

During the pre-bid walk through, you should closely inspect the restrooms and ask the contact about their current satisfaction with the services they receive in their restrooms.

This will give you a better understanding of their concerns and provide insight with regards to where to you should provide emphasis in your proposal.

Even if the restrooms aren’t clean to your standards or that of the prospective customer, it is best to avoid making any negative comments about the level of service or the existing contractor.

Cleaning Options

How you go about cleaning a restroom depends on a number of factors.

The most common considerations include such things as size, condition, age, use level, facility type, customer and user expectations, frequency, budget, process and products used.

Other considerations include access to water and power, drainage, resistance of materials to moisture, scheduling, frequency, ease of access and limitations on closure or staffing.

An important issue when calculating costs relates to what is provided by the customer and what supplies, chemicals and equipment will you provide at your cost.

Green And Sustainable

Restrooms offer a number of options to implement green and sustainable cleaning processes; this includes such things as:

  • Green chemicals and sanitizers
  • Bucketless mopping
  • Micro-autoscrubbers
  • Spray and vacuum systems
  • Microfiber cloths and mops
  • Recycled content for towel, toilet paper and liners
  • Composing and recycling of waste materials.

Production Rates

Most restrooms are bid by fixture count, not square footage.

The average time per fixture – sink, toilet and urinal – is two to three minutes each.

Using this formula generally allows time to complete all the other tasks that need to be done in the restroom.

This does not include supply, chemical or equipment costs.

If you prefer to bid by the square foot, the production rate generally ranges between 200 and 500 square feet per hour.

A small two sink, two stall restroom that isn’t heavily used will take you about 10 minutes for light cleaning and about 12 to 15 minutes for once-a-week heavy cleaning.

Pricing restrooms is normally done by the hour.

Pay rates range from minimum wage to $20 per hour.

Burdened billable rates range from $18 to $45 per hour.

If you have less than one hour's work, it would be best to establish a minimum charge per service call which can range from $45 to $65

Costs

Labor will run you 50 to 80 percent of the cost.

Chemicals 2 percent, equipment 2 percent, paper and plastic 8 to 10 percent (percent of wages).

Staffing And Workloading

This will depend on the location.

If it’s a medium to large facility, it will generally be more productive to train and utilize restroom specialists to clean easily accessible or building core restrooms.

When staffing for restrooms, the key is to find someone who enjoys, wants to clean and does of good job of restroom cleaning.

Not everyone is suited for this type of work.

In larger and heavily-soiled restrooms, if the surfaces and location will handle the moisture, a spray and vacuum system will be the most productive and effective.

If you have odor problems, frequency and process are often the cause.  

Quality Control

Restrooms should be inspected frequently to assure ongoing quality service.

Nothing gets complaints and cancellations faster than soiled and poorly serviced restrooms.

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