A Rant About Restaurant Bathrooms

A Rant About Restaurant Bathrooms photo

Obviously I go to restaurants for the food, but to be honest, I also go a little bit for the bathrooms. If you really want to get a sense of a space, you gotta see how well they treat the toilet. Fancy soap? You bet I’ll like the place more. Funky wallpaper that I’ve already seen 100 times on Instagram because apparently people take bathroom selfies now? Game on.

But some bathrooms are so terribly designed it drives you crazy: only one stall in a super busy restaurant, rooms that look like they haven’t been cleaned in days, overflowing trashcans, etc. There’s a clear winner when it comes to restaurant bathroom quality. Mostly: Single stalls where you have a room to yourself is the best, and everything else is the worst. However, the single stall set-up, there are a lot of shades of gray that can ruin Ideal Bathroom Efficiency.

vic's bathroom new york
Does this wallpaper look familiar? You probably saw it on Instagram. Psst, it’s from Vic’s in NYC. Photo: Courtesy Vic’s.

Here’s how it should go down in Dream Restaurant Bathroom Land:

1. Go to where the waiter points to when you ask where the restroom is. Discover ample single-stall restrooms.

2. Said single-stalls are marked simply with a sign like “W.C.” or “Restroom.” There is no “women” or “men” sign because they are all individual stalls anyway! It doesn’t matter! It would be like labeling bathrooms in your house for men or women! That would be weird!

When the stalls are labeled by gender, there is often an empty men’s stall and a woman waiting (except if it is me because I will walk into the men’s stall without a care because a lady has got to have her principles and also she’s got to pee). End this insanity. Let everyone pee based on when they get in line for a free restroom, not when they have to wait for a bathroom even though there is a perfect good one sitting there, sans human, with a toilet beckoning.

The Grey in Savannah treats its bathroom right. Photo: Courtesy The Grey.

3. Pray that the bathroom door lock is one in which you can easily figure out if it is locked or it isn’t. Sayonara locks that you turn 90 degrees and pray that they work. Because in Dream Restaurant Bathroom Land, there’s always a sign outside the bathroom door marked “vacant” or “occupied.” Oh, and there’s a mirror.

4. Wash your hands. Preferably from a communal sink on the outside of the restrooms so that the next person can enter the stall as you get your Aesop on. Grossed out by opening the restroom door without washing your hands? Grab some paper towels that will be sitting there, magically.

5. Emerge victorious, happy that the restroom was well-lit by actual lights and not just candles and thus you were able to remove the chia seeds lodged in your teeth.

Related: See our favorite restaurant bathrooms

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