Bad Smells Create Bad Perceptions of Your Organization

Smell plays an incredibly powerful role in how customers perceive your facility. Pleasant scents create exceptional customer experiences, but bad smells can be truly harmful. Nuisance odors can hurt your bottom line & compromise your business’s reputation. Odors make your facility seem dirty, neglected, outdated, and of low quality. In fact, there is a large body of research showing just how harmful it can be. Reading on, you’ll learn why, how, & the importance of odor control services. If you struggle with odors in your facility, consider consulting with professionals in indoor air care. No industry is immune to foul odors, but some are more severely impacted than others. According to a 2020 study from Oxy-Gen Powered,

93% of Americans say a foul odor would negatively impact their perception of an organization.

The key to gaining repeat customers begins with your customers’ first impression. 9 out of 10 Americans say that the cleanliness of a business is a crucial factor in deciding to be repeat customers (Facility Executive).

Malodor & the Perception of Cleanliness

Studies show that customers associate malodors with an unclean facility. However, offensive odors can arise at any time, even right after a thorough cleaning. This is especially true in heavy traffic areas. Furthermore, you may have an impeccably clean facility, but if your facility smells bad your hard work will have gone to waste.

56% of Americans say they would assume a facility is not clean if it has a foul odor

Your customers deduce a great deal of information about you based on first impressions. Even if your surroundings are impressive, upscale, and pristine, a bad smell can RUIN the overall perception. Why? Because odor creates negative impressions & lowered perceptions. For instance, think about those Febreeze commercials. People are blindf0lded in a filthy room. When the room is sprayed with Febreeze, they imagine a dreamlike, serene place. If this were switched around, with a beautiful room and a horrible smell, people would be repelled!

Your lobby could be truly spotless and recently cleaned. However, bad smells can arise at any time and your customers will automatically assume its unclean. This has been proven in a number of recent studies. It’s truly a risk to overlook a deodorizing service.

Industries Where Odors Create Serious Problems & Odor Control is a Must

Bad odors impact all types of businesses, but certain types of facilities face harsher consequences from unpleasant smells. These businesses include hotels, restaurants, and retail stores. Here’s a breakdown of the most impacted industries (Facility Executive).

Restaurant Odors

As expected, consumers have high standards for cleanliness in restaurants. Of all industries, bad smells are least tolerated here. If the public area smells bad, then your customers will assume the kitchen is even worse. Restaurant odors can ruin the whole dining experience. Foul odors in restaurants can have long-lasting consequences:

  • 79% of Americans say a bad smell at a restaurant would negatively impact their perception of the business
  • 51 percent agree that if the restaurant is really clean, they are more likely to overlook poor service.
  • 57 percent say that a clean table is more important than the quality of the food.
  • 73 percent report that a smelly restroom is worse than receiving the wrong food order.

Hotel Odors

Next, hotels are the second ranked industry most impacted by odors. Travelers hold hotels to high standards. You cannot provide an extraordinary guest experience in the presence of bad smells. In fact, 38% of people check for ratings & reviews of cleanliness before booking a hotel. Hotels without an odor control service or solution in place are playing with fire.

Odors in a hotel would negatively influence 75% of respondents’ opinions of that business

Retail Odors

People want their new clothes to smell new. Retail stores that suffer with musty smells will lose sales & customers.

  • Nearly two in three (64%) would think poorly about a shopping mall or retail store with foul odor issues.

Other Smelly Facilities

  • Malodors would also negatively impact more than half of Americans’ perceptions of entertainment venues (63%), office buildings (57%), and gym/fitness centers (56%).

Restroom Odors Stink!

Restroom odors are a problem for every business. In general, the more traffic your restroom sees, the worse the odor problem. Today’s odor neutralizing technology is truly amazing. The options for restroom deodorizing products are endless & (imo) exciting! There are really effective, innovative, and affordable services out there. I encourage you to research your options to avoid this:

  • Unsanitary-appearing restrooms in commercial establishments will drive up to 33% of customers away, according to findings from an 18-month study conducted by Impact Products LLC.
  • “Restrooms reflect the quality of service provided throughout a business. So if, for example, a restaurant restroom is perceived as dirty, how might the kitchen look or smell?” Jeff Gayer, Director of Product Development at Impact
  •  The majority of parents surveyed (70%) say a school’s restroom reflects the quality of the school, its staff and its teachers.
  • 75% of American consumers are disgusted by urine odors and urine stains in public restrooms.
  • 66% would refuse to patronize business establishments such as restaurants or hotels with unclean restrooms
  • More than half would likely review a business more negatively (online or offline) based on whether the restroom was clean.


Many business overlook scenting & odor control in their interior design. A subtle, pleasant fragrance communicates to your customers that you truly care. It demonstrates that you’re willing to go the extra mile to give them a better overall experience. Stand out from the competition with customized scenting solutions and professional deodorizing services. These days, there are tons of innovative, effective, and affordable solutions for odor neutralization, odor control, and ambient scenting. Check out these pro tips for making your business smell amazing! Additionally, you can find out the Top 5 Benefits of Professional Odor Control Service.

If your facility is suffering from stubborn or unknown sources of odors, there is help available. Professionally trained indoor air experts can help you address and eliminate odors. Professionals like those at AeroWest have training in a variety of relevant fields such as plumbing, engineering, chemistry, and construction. Look for an honest, reputable company to help you. Ideally, you should have a monthly deodorizing service to address problem areas and stop any problems before they start. To learn more, subscribe to our newsletter or contact us for a free trial.