The following article is a guest post from Felicia Baratz-Savage who is a writer and graphic artist living in Indianapolis, IN. As a contributor for Cooks & Travel Books, she specializes in travel, culture and education.
Setting up your new restaurant is like writing a novel. You pick a strong and memorable name, you craft a story with dishes that will have people talking and craving more, and you create an escape for your customers to savor.
While you’re probably focused on developing that kitchen of your dreams to whip up gourmet masterpieces, it’s important to remember all of the little details of the space work together to tell the ultimate story. And one of those detailed-filled areas comes with setting up the restroom.
Sure, restrooms are simple. But the options for getting the best, most-efficient one on the block are actually endless! From types of soap dispensers and toilets to dryers versus paper towels, there are plenty of decisions to make. Here are five things to keep in mind:
Automatic Soap Dispensers
Standard wall soap dispensers with the lever you pull are fine and dandy, but automatic soap dispensers provide a few more perks. First, they limit the amount of contact you have to make with potentially germ-covered surfaces. Second, they control the amount of soap that comes out in one burst. Yes, some may use it multiple times, but the automatic control will likely save you money on your soap supply.
Automatic faucets with hand sensors also keep you free from touching germ-ridden surfaces while providing water conservation your environmentally conscious customers will love! Faucets that use sensors will prevent customers from leaving them on to run for minutes, maybe hours. This will save you potentially thousands of gallons of water and, as a result, perhaps more than $100 a year.
Low-flow and high-efficiency toilets are also making their mark as not only being eco-friendly, but cost-effective. Today’s standard low-flow toilets use approximately 1.6 gallons of water per flush, down from almost 5 gallons in previous versions. High-efficiency toilets can reduce that number to 1.3. This saves thousands of gallons of water per year while adding around $90 or more back into your wallet in saved utility costs.
Hand Dryers and Paper Towel Holders
Perhaps one of the biggest restroom debates is whether to use hand dryers or paper towel dispensers. There’s really no cut and dry (no pun intended) answer. Hand dryers provide the ability to not touch a surface, but they also use energy-burning electricity. Paper towels contribute to waste, but you can also get automated dispensers that help cut down on the amount of waste. It all comes down to personal preference.
The Little Touches
Restrooms can either be the standard sterile environment or a chic oasis in your restaurant. For the ladies room especially, nice touches like lotion dispensers give a little something extra. Also don’t forget the option of things like feminine product dispensers and make sure all of the appropriate receptacles are in place. Toilet seat covers are another option to consider providing within stalls.
While it may feel silly to put extra thought into a restroom, it’s just as much a part of the big picture experience as the food you’re putting on the table and the environment you’re creating in the dining room.