Benefits & Drawbacks of Installing a Public Restroom at Your Business

If you don’t have a public restroom available for customers and passersby at your business establishment, it might be time to think about installing one. If you have the extra space, and are willing to invest a bit of money, there are a lot of good reasons to consider installing one.

In much of the world, businesses that are of a certain size are generally required to have a public bathroom if they deal with the public. This comes as a great convenience for customers, and it has some monetary benefits too but it’s not for everyone or every business.

Some business owners don’t install public restrooms because they feel they will have to take on an extra financial burden they don’t need but the actual number of people that use public washrooms isn’t as high as people actually think.

Also, the number of non-customers that attempt to use a public restroom at a business is quite low too. Most people that urgently need a public washroom tend to use restrooms at restaurants, bars, gas stations, and coffee shops.

For the most part and depending on the type of business you have or services you offer, most people won’t know you have a bathroom unless they are a current customer. So, ask yourself, why not give your valued customers a private place to do their business in case they urgently need to?


Sem nome 1000 px × 700 px 1 6 Installing a Public Restroom


The Benefits of Installing a Public Washroom

What are some of the benefits? By installing a public washroom, you’ll see benefits in various ways including:

  1. More traffic by people who could end up being potential long-term customers.
  2. You provide better customer service by considering the urgent needs of your customers.
  3. You allow your customers with children the convenience of using the bathroom.
  4. Your customers will stay at your business longer instead of leaving to use the bathroom.
  5. Reduces the frequency of angry customers desperately needing to use the restroom.
  6. You don’t give away business to other companies that offer restroom services.
  7. Your perceived to be a business that caters to the disabled (e.g., baby changing stations)
  8. Reduces theft by forcing patrons to use the public restroom vs the employee restroom.
  9. Keeps you in the clear from having to worry about Alley’s Law being implemented.
  10. A customer restroom gives your idle employees something to clean during downtimes.


Benefits & Drawbacks of Installing a Public Restroom at Your Business


Did you know? There are current (2022) 16 American states that have a law called Alley’s Law (also known officially as the Restroom Access Act)that forces businesses to allow customers with certain conditions to use the employee bathroom if needed. As the year’s pass, laws like Alley’s Law will be implemented across all states.

Wouldn’t you rather be ahead of the ball and provide a public washroom instead of being forced to let people use the employee restroom? It looks like the idea of installing a public restroom is actually a good idea.

“What is Ally’s Law? Ally’s Law requires retail establishments to allow people with certain medical conditions, such as IBD, to access an employee restroom if no public facilities are available and they need to go.Sept. 14, 2018” [source] 

Readers note: in some parts of the world, like Canada and the US, there are strict laws as to how a public restroom should be built and the type of washroom accessories that should be used to ensure the disabled can use the bathroom too.

Across much of the modern world, human rights laws are at the forefront of many changes that are taking place in business in particular and the workplace in general so it won’t be a big surprise if businesses are eventually forced to install public restrooms.

Some drawbacks to installing a public bathroom

There may be some drawbacks that you’d have to consider when deciding to invest in a public access restroom. With these risks and drawbacks, some proper planning may be needed to execute the investment but note these drawbacks don’t apply to all businesses. Some businesses may have to consider all of the following, some only a few, and some won’t have to at all.

These are some drawbacks to installing a public restroom:

  1. Potential for shoplifting.
  2. Potential for property damage and offensive graffiti.
  3. Problems with people with addictions.
  4. You may develop problems with homeless people.
  5. Possible contract changes with respect to employee job descriptions and contracts.
  6. May have to hire a contact team of cleaners to clean the restroom.
  7. Unsightly lineups to use the bathroom during peak season.
  8. Extra costs for washroom supplies, accessories, and maintenance.
  9. May need to pay for extra security to any degree to maintain business safety.
  10. Your business insurance rates may change, or your policy will have to be revised.

If your business isn’t currently in the position to invest in a public restroom now then it is obvious the above list of drawbacks isn’t for you, but when you’re ready to invest, make sure to go through the list above to make sure you’ve covered all your bases.

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