Industry News | September 20, 2011

Toepener Prevents Germ Spread in Bathrooms

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Many people are disgusted when it comes to touching the restroom door handle for fear of germs, bacteria, or anything else that may be on the familiar metallic surface. After washing their hands, many try the “paper towel wrap” or the “pinky grasp” to avoid touching the door handle before they return to touch their food.

These age-old techniques can now be retired thanks to the advent of the Toepener, which is essentially a door handle for your foot.

“The Toepener serves not only as a gesture to your customers that you care about their health, but also shows your dedication to running a modern, innovative establishment,” says Maxwell Arndt, co-creator of the Toepener.

Arndt and fellow Carlson School of Management graduate Andrew Oppeneer consider themselves foodies and say that the idea sprang from frustration caused by touching door handles at their favorite restaurants.

“We thought to ourselves, we can’t be the only ones who don’t like to touch the door handle ... Why not try to solve this dilemma for the rest of the world?” Oppeneer explains.

And solve it they have. To date, Arndt and Oppeneer have sold more than 500 units to customers including Old Chicago, Famous Dave’s, Lowes Hardware, and a number of owner-operated restaurants and bars. They have relied heavily on social media to generate awareness for the Toepener, using their Facebook and Twitter pages to reach out to end-users and potential customers. Additionally, their YouTube video campaign, which parodies the methods people use to avoid touching the door handle, has accumulated more than 100,000 views in the few months that the Toepener has been on the market.

The Toepener retails for around $50, and Arndt says they offer volume discounts as well as logo placement and color customization for larger orders.