Should I be a public restroom?

I am located about 30 ft from a ice cream shop. They are open again and boy do I wish i had all the people that hes got just standing around out there ordering food from me. Instead I have all his people bringing their little kids in here to use my bathroom. It infuriates me because of course these are the messiest little toilet users and I get stuck with the mess, water use, toilet paper use and most of the time someone still needs more napkins and they feel more than free to grab a handful of mine. I have a sign up that says “restroom is for paying customers only” most people ignore it and come in anyways, shove their kid in the bathroom then waste our time for a few min. acting like theyre going to order. I feel like people think its rude, and I dont want them to be turned off from my business, but why should I be their public toilet?? Or should I be in hopes of new customers? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Should I put a big sign on the side of my building facing them? What happens if they ignore that too? ARGH!

We lock our restroom doors and hand out the key after they pay for their order. :wink:

Wow this is exactly the same problem I have but the icecream place is 45 feet away! I havent said a thing to him or to the people that use the restrooms. Here is why, I have the opportunity to make those people my customers and even though it bugs me I still figure if all summer long I can gain 5 customers that will more then pay for the use of the rest rooms.

Gosh I wish I could change the font so you would get the picture when I write…


I would love nothing more than 100’s of people a week coming in and seeing my place. I would love to have the opportunity to say hi awwwww isn’t little johnny cute,can I get you a wet wipe. Oh have you ever been here? We deliver…how bout a carry out menu?

I would run over to the ice cream shop and ask him if he had any coupons he would like to swap with me.

I would grit my teeth with each flush, each napkin, each brat and use it as an opportunity to win em over.

I would never ever ever ever hang a sign not welcoming someone in my place…EVER

It reminds me of years back when we had some kids skateboarding on our lot… I slowly walked out and said…hey come here…You guys are pretty good. Listen as much as I hated when people did this to me you can’t skateboard here…you look hot…why don’t you come in and I’ll buy you a soda or a water. They came in I bought them a small fountain drink. Later that night sure enough mom dad boy and brothers came walking through my door. I went to the table, greeted the boy and the family. The mom said this is where he wanted to come, he told us how nice you were and that you gave him a soda. They spent a family amount of money.

Throughout the summer he would come by and I would buy him a soda. His family became regulars. He and his brothers came in one day and sat in a booth cuz they were locked out. I gave them an order of Garlic bread and a soda. Free. His mom came by within 15 minutes of them arriving and thanked me and left me 20 bucks. She was stuck in traffic or something and they didn’t have a key.
Couple of years later the one boy became a cook and stayed through high school until he went to college. I imagine over the past 12 years I have made at least 20,000 off this family for being nice. I still do it, I will always do it and that is how I want people to remember me and our place.

Maybe you could let the ice cream man know that, while you don’t mind potential customers using your restroom, you just can’t keep up with the volume,and it’s costing you money. Then tell him you would appreciate it if he would get a porta-potty for the busy season. They’er opnly $65 a month around here.
I can understand someone not wanting to miss the opportunity to get people in the door, but it sounds like you have a lot more non customer traffic than the guy thats telling you that your crazy realizes. I don’t give people that much cfredit that they are gonna make sure that they order their next pizza from you cause you let them use your toilet.
But if they do get past you and use the toilet, I would try to get a menu in their hand on the way out.

I agree with everybody that says be welcoming to the potential customers.

Why not figure out your monthly restroom costs (supplies, wages to clean, water, etc), and approach the ice cream store owner. Explain your dilema and ask him if he would be willing to share the costs?

We have the same issue and the comments on this have started me thinking too. We put a sign up a month ago or so and it has helped some, but not completely.

Our shop is next door to a tax preparer and beauty shop - there’s a chinese place at the end of the complex but the rest is retail. Our biggest problem is the homeless and transients. I’d take a sticky child any day over that mess. These are not people that will become customers - they will use the restroom and ask if there’s any food we’re thowing away they can have.

Any advice on how to handle those?

Thanks for all the repies. I am thankful that I dont have the homeless. I guess even though I know alot of them might not become customers, this summer I am going to be with open arms. We moved to this building last year so I wasnt sure how to handle it. I think what urks me is the ice cream shop does have a batnroom, they just dont ask him for some reason. I think I will order some signs that look more inviting and put them in my window facing him. We normally only have pizza by slice during lunch but I am going to give it a go and put a bright sign that says pizza by the slice and try it at night too. Maybe I can actually grab some of his customers away from his fried food. There is way too many people to come off with a bad attitude. I guess if that doesnt go well for the situation I can try locks or something next year. Will keep you posted.
Thank you all

Am I the only one that thinks you should start selling ice cream? :slight_smile:

You beat me there Snow. I was going to suggest the same thing after reading this thread.

Kay - If this guy has customers lined up, then buy yourself a soft serve ice cream machine and sell the heck out of 25 cent cones. Advertise it if you want.


I would have to bet that guy charges $3-5 for his cones. You pay your bills with pizza, so the 10% that buy a slice will help with the bottom line, but you can effectively price your ice cream at 50% food cost and make a 50% profit.