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tirgoddess

Restrooms

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The restaurant rating thread got me to thinking about where restrooms come in to play. When dining at a highly rated establishent, I often wonder if the reviewer has been to the restroom. When this "room" in the house is in shambles, poorly stocked, or has watered down soap it grates on my last nerve. Am I too OCD to think that the condition of the restroom is a reflection on the overall operation? How much consideration should be given to the restrooms in the design and planning of a restaurant and how much attention should be paid to them on a daily basis?

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I'm with you on cleanliness, soap, and paper, but I think that an overdone restroom is just as bad as an understocked one. It shouldn't look like the hall of mirrors at Versailles, or I wonder what sort of cost controls were employed in the kitchen to pay the decorator's bill! My pet peeve is a single, tiny, unisex restroom in a place with 50 tables!

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I would say my pet peeve is cleaning staff who enter the restroom while in use, especially when they're the 'other' gender.... and yes it's happened more than once.

Oi...

;)


PastaMeshugana

"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."

"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father

My eG Food Blog (2011)

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I think restroom conditions absolutely reflect on the restaurant itself. There's no need for a restroom to be over-the-top with fireplaces and tv's (Cactus Club comes to mind), but at minimum they must be clean and well-stocked, faucets and toilets fully operational, with proper ventilation. It seems to me that a poorly-kept restroom shows a lack of attention to detail and a disregard for guests' comfort. I mean, if a place like Denny's can meet all the minimum requirements, I don't see any reason that a highly-rated fine-dining restaurant can't do the same.

My restroom pet peeves are restaurants that use the restroom for storage. I do not want to see mops & buckets, boxes of dinner napkins, and tableclothes cluttered all over the floor. Please put them where we can't see them.

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My father always thought of the condition of the restroom as an indicator of the general cleanliness of a restaurant. If the restroom isn't clean, what does the kitchen look like?

Some people thought Frank Bruni paid too much attention to restrooms in the NYT.

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St. Anthony of Manhattan made the point in "KC." Something like "Restrooms are easy to clean. Kitchens are hard to clean. If the restroom is dirty you don't wanna think about what the kitchen's like."


Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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i like that maggie thats good.

dirty restrooms aside when i step into a say a michelin starred restaurant i almost want to be like a kid in a sweet shop. you dont visit the the toliet much in a restaurant so i want it to be as memorable as possible, so long as its a good memory!

warm water cascading onto your hands from what seems to be space, towels so fluffy you cant help but question whether your fellow dinners would notice if you had a quick nap in cubicle 2 between mains and desert, toilet seats that close themselves, silent flushes, comics above the urinals, no pictures whatsoever of food thats a no no in a toilet im in there to pee and crap not eat im a man on a mission, not too scented hand cream and soap (i want to smell my food not molten brown) and lift music.

ive got a sort of fetish for toilet but in a good way not in a 'that was weird, there was this chap in the toilet....' way

wacky toilets, classy toilets, toilets with a stupid amount of graffiti on (ive been to a bar where there were pens on the walls for you to write something down and it was covered in funny quotes or poems or what have you, and of course the odd cartoon) toilets that look like star trek fans had designed them, id love a pixar themed toilet, toilets where the cubicle walls are made up of wine bottles (wasnt as revealing as youd think you just see a hazy shadow but can enjoy the labels on the inside)

toilet designers are my heros.


Edited by eatenmess (log)

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That was weird, there was this chap in the forum... :raz::biggrin:


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I'm assuming we're talking about high end restaurants here. So my answer is absolutely - cleanliness counts. I've been to some dives with great local food and you just hold your breath and get in and out as fast as possible where the restrooms are concerned. But if the restaurant is "nice" then I certainly expect a clean restroom. And I'm with Beebs above...I don't want to think that anything on my table might have once lived by the toilet.


Abigail Blake

Sugar Apple: Posts from the Caribbean

http://www.abigailblake.com/sugarapple

"Sometimes spaghetti likes to be alone." Big Night

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Thanks Jaymes - I will search for the original topic....at the risk of beating a horse that died along time ago, to me ANY restaurant that has disgusting bathrooms concerns me. If I am in a place and have consumed my meal then go to use the restroom and find it disgusting I will mention it to management. If I use the restroom prior to dining, and it is disgusting I usually leave and mention it to management.

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oh yes, the quality of the restroom. some people think a restroom is just that, a place to rest. Others believe the restroom is just called a toilet room and quickly stumble in holding their breath taunted by the optical divisions of stalls, paper on the floor, dirty sinks, half-filled soap dispensers dripping ooze, and not to mention the decrepit smell we can all associate it with...ewwww. So many of those stumblers have worse bathrooms at home so to them this is heaven, regardless. Then we have the cleanly people of the world who view this whole affair in disgust. I believe that a restroom, bathroom, toilet room, crapper, and whatever endless jargon can be thought about the name of this place, one thing holds true. i believe the restroom should be big and spacious, have very contemporary looks, some decor, a soft pleasant smell of incense to counter the lurking stench that falls behind that wall of pleasantry, a full soap dispenser, a full paper towel dispenser, a clean floor, a nice covered garbage can, and a slight dimness to it. Am i wrong but wouldn't also the best time to clean the restroom, of course, unless an accident has taken place, would be in between busy times? And that's my value added idea of what a restroom should be to us all.!!! :rolleyes:

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The most memorable bathroom experience I've had has been after high tea at the Savoy in London. There was a tall attendant in uniform standing near the door who, when I was done using the urinal, discreetly pressed a button on the floor with his highly polished shoe to flush before I could think of reaching for the valve handle. He then started the water in the sink to be sure it was a comfortable temperature, allowed me to wash my own hands, and handed me a fresh, fluffy warm towel, and as I handed it back to him, he produced a brush and dusted off my jacket. I think I tipped him two pounds.


Edited by David A. Goldfarb (log)

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Ok, I guess I'm just not the sophistimicated type. The restroom attendant thing would be creeping into the weird zone for me. Rather than be a comfort benefit, I think it would be a bit uncomfortable. And I'd never be able to do that job myself. If some snooty acting stuffed shirt came in and foghorned the place I would not be able to hand him a towel and brush his coat without laughing. I wonder if they have a courtesy flush policy? If too many dangerous sounding noises are coming from stall 7 do they just do one of those discreet toe taps at their own discretion?


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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The basic expectation for a restroom is that it be a)CLEAN and b)CLEAN! I don't care if it has one stall or fifty, and if it has the latest-greatest in decor... as long as the floor is clean, there's soap and towels available (and no used papers of any sort strewn across the floor), the toilets look like they've been cleaned in the last 24 hours, and the cubicle door locks, it's okay. If you go to the cinema, the restrooms are kept immaculate and they have thousands of people through there every day, so a restaurant should be able to manage! I've been in a few places where I've walked into the bathroom and immediately walked out again and told my husband we have to eat some place else... the staff have to use that restroom as well, and if it's filthy it doesn't say much about their general standard of hygiene! I've also eaten in restaurants where I didn't discover the icky restroom until after I'd eaten and I didn't die... but it's preferable to avoid!

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Heh. If I were dining in a high-end restaurant, I guess I would be appalled if the restroom was sketchy in any way, shape, or form. Since the majority of my dining tends to be on the low-budget side, I'm willing to put up with a certain amount of funkiness, as long as some basic level of hygiene is maintained.

I recall at least a couple of beloved divey ethnic restaurants in which you had to make a sometimes-harrowing passage through a part of the kitchen in order to reach an extremely, erm, rustic restroom--all of which I'm sure violated some aspect or other of the health code. As long as the facility itself was clean, I'd put up with it because the food was damn good.

I've also been in any number of low-budget ethnic restaurants where the owners had obviously gone to some effort, despite their tight finances, to make the restroom nice: cheap travel posters carefully framed, uneven walls freshly painted, a little inexpensive table with a little inexpensive dried flower arrangement in a corner, everything looking and smelling like it had been washed and disinfected within an inch of its life. I can't help but mentally salute their work ethic.

I also know of numerous hippy-dippy joints where the restroom is decidedly on the rustic side, by design as well as by budget. San Diego's much-loved Big Kitchen has one such--you leave the main building, cut across a short span of the back patio dining area, and enter a small space that looks like it started off life as a garden shed--though now dressed up with bright paint, second-hand plumbery, and interesting graffiti. My highly-sensitive nose assures me it's perfectly clean; it's just a bit on the picturesque side; I happen to find that kind of thing amusing so I'm okay with it.

Yep, the restroom does say a lot about the rest of the establishment--but there's a lot of variety in the stories. ;-)

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Why are most restrooms "disgusting", and I agree that they are. But, usually it's the patrons that mess up the rooms. They do things that I hope they don't do at home. Flushing anything in sight down the toilets and then walking away from the overflow. Diapers, pads, paper towells, etc. Missing the urinal, throwing hand wipes on floor, butts in the urinal. All these things are common. They restrooms don't start the day dirty, but stuff happens. Your fellow guests are the problem...fixing the problem starts there. IMHO.


Captain Hongo

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I'm there to eat, not fix my fellow diners poor bathroom habits. It's the restaurant's job to keep it clean and if it isn't clean I don't eat there.

As far as I'm concerned public toilets are just disease waiting to happen, so the less I have to touch the better. Magically operated water, paper towels that roll themselves out, zig zaggy entrance ways rather than doors with handles, I'm all for it.

If I could redesign my house, kitchen and bath, I'd make those suckers so I could spray everything down with bleach and then hose them down a drain built into the floor.


“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”

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I agree with all of you-as a restaurant manager, I make it a habit to include (atleast the ladies') restrooms on my "laps" around the restaurant as I check on guests, staff, kitchen, etc...I always make sure there's atleast one guy on the FOH staff with me so there are no "gender issues" although I'm not afraid to politely knock on the men's room door if necessary.

If the restroom is dirty, it's a detail that proves the management is not paying attention-not to the restaurant, not to their guests. It's always a big deal for me when I go out...I even like to see the little clipboards on the door with the checklists-I tend to take a peek and see if they're current-and yes, I use them where I work as well...

they always say "location, location, location" but after those quotes there's always "restrooms, restrooms, restrooms"...


"have a sense of humor about things...you'll need it" A. Bourdain

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"As far as I'm concerned public toilets are just disease waiting to happen, so the less I have to touch the better. Magically operated water, paper towels that roll themselves out, zig zaggy entrance ways rather than doors with handles, I'm all for it."

Yes!!! And put that covered waste pail by the exit...especially if the door has handles. I am uber sensitive about the hand washing and if I can't properly wash my hands, then neither can the staff....that visual creeps me out and I have to try hard not to let it ruin my meal.


Edited by tirgoddess (log)

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I look at it quite simply. You tell the difference between a bathroom that isn't cleaned regularly and one that is regularly cleaned just messed up by slobs.

So long as it's an issue of slobs and not an issue of not being cleaned regularly, I'm good.

I'd rather a dirty bathroom then my server bringing my food after being elbow deep in the toilet.

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