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Paying $1 to use public bathrooms is good. Paying 25¢ is bad.

by J. Money on Friday, August 8, 2008

starbucks $2.00 off offerThis is what crossed my mind as i waited in line for lunch yesterday. (How else would i spend 10 minutes of boredom?)

I was in a Chipotle/McDonalds combo place here in DC, and I noticed there was only one bathroom. ONE bathroom, per sex, to share between hundreds of guests!

I then thought about how to limit it’s use during the rush hour eating times, and the idea of charging for it popped into my head.

If you have to actually PAY to use it, how many people would drop out? If any? I then flashbacked to a restaurant I once visited in Korea (aww yeahhh, me a traveling man), and I remembered I had to pay once to use them! I can’t recall the actual amount, but I wanna say it was around 25-35 cents in US dollars.

The problem here wasn’t so much that i had to pay to use it though, it was that i didn’t have any change on me!!! can you imagine? Standing in an empty row of 10+ toilets and having to go soooooo badly! Believe me, it sucked.

This is why I’d rather see toilets charging $1.00 over 25¢ – the odds you’ll have a $1 bill are much higher in my opinion. Not many people have pockets full of quarters, unless perhaps later in the day after you’ve had a chance to purchase things. But in the morning? Good luck…

So how many people would NOT pay to play a rousing game of toilet?
i’d guess around 40%. here’s my take on it:

40% would either skip it because it’s a rip off, or because they were out of change/dollars.
30% would cough it up because they REALLY have to go…esp. after eating and drinking.
20% would give in because they really don’t care, and they’re too lazy to go elsewhere.
10% would give in because they’re not near work or home, and thus don’t have anywhere else to go.

If i were a business man, this is exactly how I’d pitch it too. Just think how clean and empty the bathrooms would be! That alone is a perk. Now, throw in all that money from 60% of the people paying, and you got yourself an extra stream of income! (that’s a free business tip for you American Airlines)

Lucky for us, I don’t see toilets costing anything soon. And since i don’t plan on being a business man in the near future, we’re all safe ;) But hey, it was an interesting way to pass the time!


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