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On Gender Neutral Bathrooms

National Restaurant Consultants weigh in on the great bathroom debate and how to determine the best solution for your restaurant.

By David Kincheloe - August 24, 2018

It's one of the most recent debates concerning gender equality and fluidity--just look at all this news coverage. Sometimes it's about complying with the laws, and sometimes it's about listening to what the people want. Like it or not, gender neutral bathrooms need to be a topic of discussion for business planning. National Restaurant Consultants has a broad range of employees and experience, and so even within the company, views can vary. So, we took to polling a few people. We asked our families, we asked over dinners, we asked diners in restaurants: How do you feel about gender neutral bathrooms?

The first thing we noticed, people were quick to jump to one side or the other of the political conversations driving these changes. While that's certainly a part of the general argument, it doesn't have to be a component of your business practice. As we address gender neutral bathrooms from a business standpoint with our clients, that is what we're looking at.

Secondly, there was some misconception over what a gender neutral bathroom would mean. We're not talking about single-stall unisex bathrooms, or separated toilets with a common sink. When we are looking at gender neutral bathroom plans with clients, this would mean one room, with many stalls, available to any person, regardless of gender. Side-by-side, floor to ceiling stalls would all be housed in one room (mostly for the purposes of less plumbing materials), with a common sink, all behind one bathroom door marked as gender neutral. 

Finally, age seemed to play a major factor in the conversation. While there were people both old and young who either accepted the idea or disliked the idea, it seemed that younger pollers gravitated toward responses like, "This is just the way things are going," where older people asked broader questions about logistics, safety, and hygiene. 

All of these points are the legs of a growing conversation in our offices and across the country, and so, we want to know, where do you stand? We want to collect information and take a temperature on this issue. Feel free to contact us privately, if you wish; but if you're up for it, visit our Facebook page and chime in with your thoughts. 

Photo by Juan Marin on Unsplash