Restaurants’ Best Customers Don’t Take Pest Problems Lightly

Frequent diners will spread the word about restaurant pest problems and might never return

  ATLANTA, October 30, 2006 – Atlanta-based pest control company Orkin, Inc. today announced the results of an independent poll of foodservice consumers about their perceptions of pest control issues in restaurants.

For frequent restaurant diners (i.e., respondents who eat out three or more times a week), seeing a pest calls for discretion – at least as long as they’re still in the restaurant. When asked how they would react to a cockroach – alive or dead – in the dining area of a restaurant, 70 percent of respondents said they would alert the server and 47 percent said they would tell the manager. Only 9 percent of respondents said they would draw other patrons’ attention to the pest.

After leaving the restaurant, however, diners who have seen a pest are less discreet – more than 60 percent said they would tell five or more acquaintances about the incident. Almost 8 percent said they would go so far as to call the health department.

In addition to generating negative word-of-mouth, pest sightings can significantly impact repeat business. Nearly three out of every 10 respondents (28.5 percent) said a cockroach sighting would make them leave an establishment and never go back.

“The threat pests can pose to a restaurant’s bottom line are very real,” said Orkin Director of Quality Assurance Zia Siddiqi, Ph.D. “Restaurants should work with their pest management professionals to implement programs that focus on non-chemical techniques, like sanitation, to help make their restaurant less attractive to pests and more enjoyable for customers.”

Poll Methodology

Perception data is based on the responses of 267 “frequent diners” (those who indicated they dine out three or more times per week, out of 410 total respondents) to an online poll promoted via email campaign to a wide demographic target. For complete poll results, visit: