Whether for space concerns or state regulations, restaurateurs have been rethinking unisex restrooms and getting creative with their design and signage.
Unisex restrooms are not new, despite the fact that we may be hearing about them more lately.
Some operators are going beyond the single-user restroom to ones in which guests share the same restroom with multiple stalls and sinks.
At Sake Rok in Las Vegas, a large sign simply states, “restroom.” Once inside, a restroom attendant ushers guests into the space, which has a communal sink, multiple fully enclosed stalls and no urinals, according to Sake Rok owner and CEO Albert Mack.
“Sake Rok is a fun, upbeat and lively venue, and we wanted the bathroom to have a similar vibe,” Mack said. “We incorporated clever designs of geishas and ninjas on each of the doors. On the handicap stall, there’s an image of a samurai in a wheelchair, drinking a bottle of sake and doing a wheelie.”
Mack said that for Sake Rok, the bathroom attendant is a big help.
“People who may be confused or not used to gender-neutral bathrooms are greeted and put at ease as soon as they walk in the space,” he said. “The attendant also helps keep each stall tidy and clean.”
Mack recommends bright lighting and ample space in a communal restroom setting.
“We keep our restaurant lowly lit, but it was important to us to keep the bathroom bright. Additionally, we gave asmuch space as possible to the waiting and washing area, so people aren’t standing on top of each other,” he said. “These are little things, but I think they make our guests more comfortable.”