From the NON-public restroom inside a deli in Bishop, California:
related: “If it wasn’t for the toilet, there would be no books.”
FILED UNDER: "customer service" · bathroom · California · etiquette · guilt trip · restaurant
Ah, yes, Jewish Gramma’s Deli; they do have great food.
May 15, 2011 at 5:14 pm rating: 21
But woe be to you if you leave ANY of it behind.
May 17, 2011 at 10:47 am rating: 4
Try again. http://raymondsdeli.com/
You’re right on the food though. Really good food, and nice atmosphere.
Jun 8, 2011 at 2:47 am rating: 0
Just buy a Snapple and wack away at your leisure. Oh, walk away.
May 15, 2011 at 5:33 pm rating: 34
so, THAT’S what it says.
I totally thought that I had found my new mecca. so disappointing.
May 15, 2011 at 11:54 pm rating: 7
Hey Look! A Deli...
… but i just want to use the restroom -> WALK AWAY!
May 15, 2011 at 7:27 pm rating: 19
No loo for you!
May 15, 2011 at 7:40 pm rating: 19
BAD PEE YOU
May 15, 2011 at 9:07 pm rating: 16
The restrooms of restaurants open to the public should be open to the public.
May 15, 2011 at 7:54 pm rating: 9
Obviously you have never worked at a restaurant adjacent to a fairground.
May 15, 2011 at 9:03 pm rating: 27
then they should charge money to use the bathroom if you’re not a restaurant customer.
May 15, 2011 at 10:36 pm rating: 0
The fact is either customers can use the bathroom anytime they like or they should put a lock on the door to keep people out. It’s not good business to be like “You’re not allowed to pee here! but we will make an exception if you buy this day old ham sub” stuff like that makes people not want to come back for more. The owners should stop circle jerking around the issue, sparing everyone the petty guilt trips, and make a decision already.
May 16, 2011 at 3:42 am rating: 13
I am torn on this, actually. I have worked in service industry jobs and OMFG are the general public capable of some truly horrific disgusting behavior. I have no idea, for example, how or why the customer (human) at the vet clinic managed to shit on the walls and further chose not to give any warning or notice that there may be a cleanliness issue in the restroom. Talk about a shitty impression for our next customer to try to use that room….
At the same time, I think a civilized society needs to provide basic hygiene facilities to the public. And a business serving the public should make reasonable accommodations as well… b… b… but it isn’t reasonable to expect that biz to have to hire biohazard teams for cleaning….
I dunno. Maybe there isn’t a good solution as long as people are asshats to one another.
May 16, 2011 at 8:17 am rating: 18
Why should a store have to pay to clean up a toilet after you when you have bought nothing from them?
If I was your friend went to your house for coffee and then asked to use the bathroom, that would be fine. However if a complete stranger knocked on your door and asked then would you let them? No.
May 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm rating: 13
yeah, but a private home isn’t anything like a public business.
May 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm rating: 10
Open to the public does not actually mean the business is public. Most businesses are private.
May 16, 2011 at 10:48 pm rating: 5
ashmeadow, by “private business” do you mean privately owned, like a restaurant, or “private business” like an architect’s offices? I think there may be a slight difference in expectations in those circumstances.
If I pop into a restaurant to use the restroom, there’s a real possibility I’ll come out, take a seat and order something (maybe be so grateful that if I don’t have time today, I’ll be a patron at a later date). If I run into an architect’s offices and use their restroom, I’m probably not going to come out and ask to have a home designed.
Honestly, Kate, why do you assume that everyone who uses a restroom needs to be cleaned up after? We don’t all have bad aim and poor habits you know.
May 17, 2011 at 12:16 am rating: 4
‘Open to the public’ may not relate to the ownership of the business, but it has a legal connotation in terms of when and where you can and can’t bar members of the public from going on the premises. I’d say the restroom is fair game for anyone if it’s open for customers, unless customers are a safely identifiable class of people (eg. an architects office can tell who has an appointment, but you can’t walk into a department store and reliably identify who has or will buy something). The store has to pay to keep the toilet clean for everyone just like it has to pay to keep the shopfront well-presented for everyone – i.e. they don’t, but they’d better if they want any customers at all. Ages ago there was a local scheme where I lived where pubs would officially open their restrooms to the public and get some sort of break from the council in return (rate relief, probably – speaking of which, most businesses get their water included with their rates so aside from the cleaning they’d have to do anyways, it really isn’t any skin off their nose).
May 20, 2011 at 8:10 am rating: 0
I’m most disturbed by the thought of using their facility and walking away wanting more.
Should I be repulsed at the thought of people wanting more non-public (and yet, not private, read: probably at least a little grody)restroom time?
Or is it a magical restroom with no germs and a caramel-covered Johnny Depp attending to my every need?
May 15, 2011 at 9:47 pm rating: 9
Yeah cause everyone wants to come back to that one deli best known for its AMAZING bathroom with mediocre food and service. Yep, I keep wanting to come back for more toilet time cause of the leather padding they put on the toilet seat.
May 16, 2011 at 3:35 am rating: 3
Omg omg omg, I cannot even contemplate padded toilet seats. I don’t care what you do to it, there is NO WAY to get that shit clean. Pun intended.
May 18, 2011 at 12:02 am rating: 1
I’ve raved over a restroom before.
The restrooms at Windows on the World at the top of one of the towers of the World Trade Center in NYC were nothing less than breathtaking. So much so I felt a little guilty peeing in there. Most beautiful marble I’ve ever seen.
I did have to pay for brunch (honeymoon) and dinner (anniversary) to use them though. Most expensive pisses I’ve ever taken!
May 18, 2011 at 1:57 am rating: 1
I’m sure this really helps the decor of the place. Lets write a giant paragraph about to bathroom on the door in terrible, smeared handwriting.
May 15, 2011 at 10:05 pm rating: 8
If I went in there with the intention of ordering something after I used the restroom, seeing this would make me change my mind. I don’t trust food made by people who aren’t smart enough to put a lock on a door.
May 15, 2011 at 10:18 pm rating: 8
I don’t think that if I ate your food and must immediately make a deposit in your restroom I’d say the food here is great, or that I’d walk away wanting more…unless the name of the place is “The Vomit Comet” or “The Upchuck Hut”.
May 16, 2011 at 1:19 am rating: 2
Yeah, their food must not be that good if they’re guilt tripping people into both buying and shitting out their food. But make sure to say “Thank You” for using the facilities before filing a complaint about food poisoning.
May 16, 2011 at 3:22 am rating: 6
I dunno, I guess if I owned a restaurant I’d let non-customers use my restroom without a hassle. They’d be potential future customers if I did so, but less likely to return if I’m an ass about trying to leave them in urinary distress.
May 16, 2011 at 1:28 am rating: 9
That’s kinda my thought, too. I mean, it’s the “service industry.” You cater to the public. If there’s a line between “cater to” and “let yourself be taken advantage of”, that line can be fuzzy and bendy. (that’s what she said.)
I personally wouldn’t make a huge deal about it. If it were in a super-foot-traffic-heavy spot, maybe a smallish sign on the front door that says “Restrooms are for customer use only.” I think most people would respect that. And if some jackwad does not… I mean, unless it’s costing me $500/month in TP and water bills, or unless the non-customers were super unsavory characters, I wouldn’t see it as a huge thing.
May 16, 2011 at 2:48 am rating: 13
The store where I work as a public restroom and several times we’ve gone through $200 or more of TP alone in one week (I have no idea what the water bill was, but it must have been quite high).
Not that I get the whole “you must buy something to earn the privilege to pee and poop here” mentality.
May 16, 2011 at 4:28 am rating: 1
People are also absolutely disgusting. Especially if you let just anyone in off the street. Having restrooms for customers only helps to ensure that if you are dining somewhere and need to use the bathroom, the facilities will be acceptable.
The solution here is not for private businesses to provide public restrooms, but for the city/town to provide adequate facilities for its residents in public areas.
May 16, 2011 at 7:48 am rating: 6
Just FFS* don’t follow the path of Seattle and their infamous horrendous multi-million$ automatic public restroom kiosks…. ~shudder~
*For Fucks Sake, of course
May 16, 2011 at 8:05 am rating: 7
Jessi, you work *as* a public restroom? That must suck.
May 16, 2011 at 8:50 am rating: 20
Hey, birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, people gotta pee. Lighten up. It’s just the bathroom, and that’s not where the lost money of your failing business is being flushed down the toilet.
If there are a great many unsavory characters coming in to use your facilities, your customer base probably also sucks…”location, location, location”.
Not many indigents attempt to use the facilities of five-star restaurants, and not many five-star restaurants are located in depressed areas.
@Kim…your customers are just as nasty in their bathroom habits, if not more so, than the trash from the community. They just happen to all be people off the street, strangers to you from whom you know not what to expect.
May 16, 2011 at 9:36 am rating: 0
I’m a chef.. meaning my career is the service industry.
On one hand: When I am a customer in someone else’s business, solicitousness go a LONG way with me. I would remember if a business let me use their restrooms and would make it a point to re-visit (to make a purchase instead of a deposit, hehehehehe). I would also remember if they refused my request.
On the other hand, we’re there to make money, not buy TP for the neighborhood. It IS a fine line, and totally subjective, to decide just how far you’re willing to go for your customers. (And it goes without saying that nobody should be subjected to having to clean someone’s shit off the walls.)
My opinion: The smart service industry worker will view and treat everyone as a potential customer. And the customer comes first. Like I said earlier, I think a little “Customers Only” sign would go a long way in deterring people interested in shitting all over your walls; it would at least provoke people to ask permission, and for the most part, it’s pretty easy to get a read on whether someone’s doing the peepee dance for real or if, you know, they want to shit on your walls. If you get a bad vibe, kindly say “no.”
I’m more a fan of killing ‘em with kindness than protecting my restrooms. Because in the end, that’s what’s gonna get me ahead.
May 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm rating: 6
Oh no, you can’t tell! I have gone into an upscale clothing stores dressing room to find a pile of shit! Everyone there looked classy and clean. You never know who is going to paint the place brown and I find that horrifying!
May 16, 2011 at 2:21 pm rating: 6
lagne. you’re a chef?! My wife (you might remember her, “misstech”? The one who said what an ass I am and asked you what kind of name “lagne” is?) keeps nagging me to go to culinary school, it seems she likes my cooking and thinks I should open an eatery!
Maybe in retirement I’ll think about it.
May 17, 2011 at 1:39 am rating: 0
Eh, it depends. Are you a fast food or coffee shop or a fancy dining place? Are you located in an area with a lot of homeless (or next to the fairground)? How bad have prior messes been? Are you a tiny mom-and-pop or a large corporation that can hire someone specifically to maintain cleanliness? Where is the bathroom anyway (easily accessable vs hidden away)?
It’s nice when a restaurant can have a bathroom open to the public, but I certainly understand when they don’t.
When I worked retail, our restroom was back in the stockroom area. To let someone use it (customer or not, we based it on obvious need), we had to have someone escort them back, wait, and then escort them forward.
May 17, 2011 at 11:01 am rating: 2
Do it, do it, do it, Canthz! I absolutely love it. Be forewarned, though, that it’s incredibly hard work; your retirement will be spent slowly killing yourself. But it’s so much fun and a pure creative outlet.
Yep, those are all good points, Elf; in fact, one of the reasons why I allow people to use my restrooms is because they’re located in the front of my place. If they were hidden away in the back, I might be less inclined.
May 17, 2011 at 11:05 am rating: 1
And really? misstech is your wife? I do remember that lightheartedly unpleasant exchange, but *waving to misstech*!
May 18, 2011 at 12:05 am rating: 1
Yes, she’s my better half. I told her all she’d have to do is call me an asshole on here to get thumbs, not address the issues. She disagreed and we bet dinner on it.
I won and she paid.
Thanks for the encouragement…I really might try that eatery (notice I’m still leery of the word “restaurant”)!
I don’t think I’ll ever be a chef, but maybe I can become a really good cook.
May 18, 2011 at 1:15 am rating: 4
You don’t know? It’s FESTIVUS for the rest of us being held in your very restroom! We get to celebrate using your restroom without the pressures of participating in the commercialism of having to buy anything from you. Traditionally we must practice the “airing of grievances” and our grievance is that there is no law stating that we cannot use your restroom without having to buy anything first. Quit jerking us around! Either we get to use the restroom or you put a lock on it. Plus, your food really isn’t that good anyways. Now how do you like having that aluminum pole all up in your six inch sub? If it’s manners you want, than I will gladly give them to you. Thank you for letting me take a crap in your toilet. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to challenge someone to a feats of strength.
May 16, 2011 at 3:20 am rating: 0
Have to play devil’s advocate here. If I’m paying for soap, paper towels, toilet paper, and the water bill, I want it to be for my customer and not the entire neighborhood. Plus, as stated above, if my bathroom is full of non-customers, my actual customers aren’t going to be thrilled. It may sound like the owners are being jerks, but there really is a reason behind it.
May 16, 2011 at 8:10 am rating: 18
If I’m paying for soap, paper towels, toilet paper, and the water bill, and I want those commodities to go to my customers and not just some shmoe off the street, I’d invest in a lock for my bathroom door.
May 16, 2011 at 8:16 am rating: 3
havingfitz, not to put too fine a point on it mind you, but have you ever seen a restroom “full” of non-customers at an establishment that does not refuse restroom access to non-customers?
I’d be more likely to be one of your customers if you let me use your restroom in my time of need.
Sounds like a pretty cheap way of advertising your business’ customer friendliness to me, and so good for business. Should more than pay for the soap, TP and oh so expensive flush.
Also good for business if your storefront doesn’t smell like urine…’cause that’s where I’d have to go if not your restroom.
I cancelled my Blockbuster Video membership years ago because they wouldn’t let me use their “employee only” restroom. Was that good for business? I’m pretty sure they’d have made a profit on my future video rentals vs. the cost of my relieving myself a few times.
You are, of course, free to disagree (this not being big enough to create a PAN-fight over), but as someone who’s always had a weak bladder, I kinda like access to a restroom when I need to go. Do me the favor, and I’ll favor you and your business…you’d be making it in my own best interest to keep your doors open, and that equals loyal customer.
May 16, 2011 at 9:44 am rating: 3
I’d like to add that, more often than not, when I dash into a place to use their facilities I’ll buy something on the way out…even if it’s just a pack of gum.
I just don’t have time to be a customer on the way in…’cause, y’know, I GOTTA PEE!!
One thing I like about Arizona (besides the sunny weather) is the availability of restrooms. Far freer access here than back in New Jersey. Maybe that accounts for that special Jersey air! LOL
May 16, 2011 at 9:05 pm rating: 1
Never understood the whole “you can’t use our restroom” thing. Yes, because it costs so much extra money to allow that, right? Oh but if you allow more people to use it, it will get dirty, well most employees are filthy too, so it will get dirty, that’s kinda how bathrooms work. They’re not exactly known for being bastions of cleanliness. If they’re so anal about people using their restroom, why don’t they just have it locked and only give out the key if someone buys something? Or have it locked and unlockable only by a button at the register? Otherwise, you’re just basically putting a candy bar in front of a child and telling them not to eat it, walk away, and then expect them to not to eat it. Not going to happen.
May 16, 2011 at 11:55 am rating: 0
Just a note though — typically the employees (filthy and otherwise) are the ones who end up having to keep said restroom clean. In my limited anecdotal personal experience, that alone keeps employee-only restrooms reasonably neat. Employees who filth-up the loo are drawn and quartered by other employees.
May 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm rating: 9
“Most employees are filthy too.”
Whaaaaat?!?!?!?! Just where the heck are you going that all the people who work there are dirty? A mechanic’s shop? A mineshaft?
I don’t think I’ve EVER been in a place as a customer when I’ve looked across the counter and thought, “Man, what a dirty employee.” I HAVE been on the other side of the counter and thought to myself, “Man, what a dirty customer.”
May 16, 2011 at 11:13 pm rating: 2
LOL, we had an all-employee office meeting (a town hall) at one of my former employers’ offices wherein the ladies complained about the maintenance staff’s cleaning of the ladies room.
The CEO informed them that the men’s room was very clean and suggested that the ladies police themselves! After all, he told them, they’re the ones who use it, not the janitor.
In my own experience from my days in restaurants, cleaning the men’s room was always less adventurous than cleaning the ladies room. I mean, why put a sanitary napkin in the toilet tank…not the bowl…the TANK? Happened several times, and I just don’t get it. The food wasn’t that bad!
May 17, 2011 at 12:52 am rating: 0
We ain’t all filthy.
The chef who prepares your lunch.
May 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm rating: 2
Karate Los Angeles
If someone constantly used my restroom and didn’t ever buy anything, I would similarly angry. However, I don’t think I would have gone to this extreme- but then again, what’s a great Seinfeld reenactment without over sized drama?
May 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm rating: 2
If someone really had to go (emergency!), reading the extensive screed on the door would take so long that the grossest stuff would be splattered *outside* the restroom door.
May 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm rating: 1
Wow-to my surprise I saw this and said to myself…. I KNOW this door! Sure enough the identifier is “a deli in Bishop, CA”. Please allow me to give you details- this deli is on the main highway that runs from Los Angeles to Reno, NV, and we are the largest town on the highway to the ever popular Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, the restroom is located at the back of the deli where there are no employees and the back entrance is located in the parking lot of a main shopping center (if you can call it that). Bishop is tiny! The population is about 4120 and we ARE the biggest town for some 230 miles. So you are going to Mammoth and you have been on the road for 5 hours…you get to Bishop, park in the main parking/shopping area because you don’t want McDonalds, Carls Jr or Jack in the Box, and what do you see? A DELI! Surly they have a restroom! This photo is of the inside of the door, so once you commit to going in you will see the message, but probably not prior. They basically would like the restroom users that DON’T purchase food to simply say “thank you”. Is that so difficult? The deli is very in your face, with old photos of hippies, bikers, babies, rodents, rock bands, motorcycles, animals, parking tickets, concert ticket stubs, life sized paper mules (made by local school kids as a fund raiser), muscle car parts and antiques on the walls, old 1960’s vintage newspapers under the glass of the table tops, and a lot of smart-ass comments written on the walls and menus. Their food is awesome and they are very nice people. They give the high school kids lunch deals and usually serve 60 kids in less than 40 minutes. You can fault them for the bathroom door but it totally fits in with the deli.
On a side note, a friend of mine owns a gas station/mini mart on highway 395 further north past Mammoth Lakes. He said his restroom alone generates 4-75 gallon trash cans A DAY from traffic. Our trash service for one 75 gallon can is $15. So 4 cans a day x 30 days =120 trash bins a MONTH for restroom trash; 120 bins x $15=$1800 a MONTH for trash generated from a restroom! Saying thank you is the LEAST people can do!
May 16, 2011 at 9:07 pm rating: 16
Hmm, if I’m on the road for 5 hours, I not only need to use the restroom, but also need to get some food.
We call that customers where I come from.
Kinda seems like how a business in the middle of nowhere survives…doesn’t it?
Hell, they should have a huge sign which reads “restrooms and fresh pie” prominently displayed.
Commercial trash rates are probably not as high as residential trash rates (just as commercial gas and electrical rates are lower than residential rates), and you have not factored in how many of the people using your friend’s restrooms are also paying customers…so really you’ve made no point at all with that part. I see what you’re trying to say, but that’s full of holes and won’t fly.
Have you seen the price of gas these days? I think your other friend can support a restroom on his profit margin as the price of a barrel of oil goes down but the price of a gallon of gas goes up. The price you pay at the pump goes up, while the gasoline in his underground tanks was purchased by him at a lower (and wholesale) price. That’s an increase in profit margin no matter how one spins it. Should help pay for toilet paper and trash removal just a bit, wouldn’t you say…as your “friend” sells you gasoline at current retail prices?
No sympathy here, but I always say thanks.
May 17, 2011 at 1:59 am rating: 2
“They basically would like the restroom users that DON’T purchase food to simply say “thank you”. Is that so difficult?”
When you blast the message to the general population in that shitty tone, yes it is so difficult.
May 19, 2011 at 9:05 am rating: 5
I understand that businesses must get frustrated when they are spending lots of money on bathroom supplies and cleaning, but until public access toilets, public funded toilets (or pay toilet booths) are widely available, businesses will just have to suck it up. When lots of businesses ban people from using their restrooms it adds unnecessary stress, as there is the constant threat that you may not be able to access a bathroom when you need it. I don’t like to travel, shop, or go to areas where I know ahead of time that it’s difficult to find restrooms (like I’ve seen in New York city).
If businesses really dislike customers freeloading off their restrooms, they should change an entry fee per use. In many businesses in Europe, they will charge one Euro entry fee at the door to the restroom, which you give to an attendant. This money helps cover the cost of the bathroom maintenance. Sure it was a pain to have to pay to pee, and I love free bathrooms in America just like I love free refills and free condiments, but it did mean the bathrooms tended to be cleaner.
May 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm rating: 1
I actually like the idea of money being exchanged for restroom use. Wouldn’t hurt the restroom user to slip the hostess/an employee a little monetary tip on the way out the door. At least, that way, the employees don’t have the impression that the potty user feels entitled to use their restroom, and the potty user acknowledges that the establishment just extended them a courtesy.
May 17, 2011 at 6:44 pm rating: 0
I love how the “your” was corrected to “you’re”, obviously by someone who is a fan of this sign.
May 18, 2011 at 2:19 pm rating: 1
A fan of this sign? Not of this site?
May 19, 2011 at 10:28 am rating: 0
I’ve used that restroom!
Sad news: it just goes along with the whole decor of the place.
They’re not really free-pee-depriving assholes, they’re just upholding a certain image.
In fact, the name of this restaurant is Passive Aggressive Food and Stuff….
May 19, 2011 at 11:00 am rating: 1
I actually submitted this photo, and agree with the other poster that this place is rad, and they serve up their excellent food with a little “in your face” attitude. The whole place is decorated with crazy signs and the people that work there are really cool. This is on the inside of their bathroom door, and I can understand why they would like people to extend a bit of common courtesy when using the restroom but not buying food. I think the tone of this door goes well with the whole tone of the deli, which really is a kick-ass place to stop and eat.
Jun 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm rating: 0
— The Elf
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spelling and grammar police
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You call that punctuation?