What it's like to own a luxury restroom rental company
If you're looking into starting your own restroom trailer company or are looking to purchase a restroom trailer in the future this article is for you. Me and my wife started our company about 5 years ago me having previously owned a plastic portable toilet company for many years before that. I have spent nearly my entire life in the portable toilet industry starting from about 12 years old.
An event planners guide to planning bathrooms.
In our business of luxury bathroom rentals and my previous job in plastic porta potties we meet generally speaking 2 types of clients. Some clients begrudgingly rent our bathrooms because they need it, or their venue requires it. However, event planners worth their weight in gold know that beneath the glitz and glamour of a table setting or an awesome live band and possibly the most important service in the event are the bathrooms. Today we'll be talking about how to make sure your event bathrooms get the job done and don't grind your event to a halt.
Bathrooms are a crucial part to your event
If you're reading this article you likely already understand this but bathrooms are more important than almost anything else at your event. Why? Bathrooms are actually quite scarce and without them guests cannot attend an event for long. Think of some other services you might book for your event and ask yourself what would you do without them. Lets say the event catering doesn't show up, what do you do? Order food, or go without it; people can survive a month or more without food and several days without water, but how long can they last without using the bathroom? What if the DJ/Entertainment cannot attend, perhaps you can rent some speakers and play some tunes or get a karaoke night going. What happens if the bathrooms don't show up? Guests get angry, leave and the event is over. Unlike most of the other event services bathrooms are not easily replaced. You cannot simply call up and have a bathroom delivered like you would a pizza or even purchase a ready to go bathroom from your local retailer. Bathrooms need to be right the first time. I recommend dedicating a good amount of time to selecting the perfect bathroom company and model that fits your needs. Look at the companies' reputation, ask your other event services if they've worked with the company previously and gauge how responsive that company is to your questions. Portable restroom rentals is primarily a service based business, if the service isn't up to par you should think of someone else.
The perfect location for your bathroom
One of the most challenging aspects that most event planners deal with is placing the bathrooms in a location that is ideal for their clients/guests. Some event planners unfortunately try to place the bathrooms in the most inconvenient location for their guests or place the bathrooms too close to where the bathrooms are a focal point of the event. I personally feel that your event bathrooms shouldn't be seen and especially not heard. Bathrooms should be placed on level ground that would be easy for your guests to traverse to get to the bathrooms without tripping, have some signage made up if the bathrooms are not in an obvious spot. Make sure to have adequate lighting on the path to the bathroom if your event is held at night. If your event is on multiple levels, place the most bathrooms in the location where most of your guests will spend the most amount of time. If renting a luxury restroom trailer like one of ours please keep in mind how these bathrooms must traverse your venue to get to your chosen spot. Make sure that the entire course is free from obstacles.
Never underestimate the amount of bathrooms
Second only to not having any bathrooms at all is not having enough bathrooms for your guests. There unfortunately have been many times when event planners will lie to us about a guest count or underestimate how many attendees they'll have for their event. The real problem with underestimating your bathroom needs is compounded by how difficult it is to get more bathrooms on the day of. It's truly challenging and expensive for any bathroom rental agency to provide your event extra bathrooms on the day of the event. We recommend having a bathroom to guest ratio of 50 guests per bathroom stall. If space / budget is a concern you might be able to push it to 100 guests per bathroom assuming you use a janitorial / bathroom attendant during the event to keep the bathrooms clean, manage bathroom lines, and keep toilet paper restocked and the garbage empty. There are many services to help you manage your bathrooms from our restroom attendants to gig hire companies like WeWork, Task Rabbit, Craigslist "Gigs" section, and temp hire agencies. Bathroom attendants are quite cheap and worth their fee when you compare their cost to increasing stall counts or having your guests use filthy bathrooms. Still not sure about the stall count? You can not only hire luxury bathrooms from us but rent some plastic porta potties as backups just in case.
Enhance your bathroom Rental
Nothing shows you care more than to put your own finish to your bathroom rentals. Little decor enhancements on the interior or exterior can really add to your guests experience. An easy add-on is a toiletries' basket. These baskets are filled with common bathroom items from floss, deodorant, and feminine hygiene products. Enhance the exterior of your bathrooms by providing your guests with a lounge area for them to wait for their loved ones or even to wait in line for the bathroom. Consider renting a privacy fence, or drapery to conceal your bathrooms and give your guests privacy, it also helps keep your restroom trailer rental out of the photos. Most of our bathrooms have ample room between each stall, you could probably place a projector there to entertain guests in the bathroom cue.
Talk to your restroom rental agency
When in doubt, talk to your restroom rental agency to iron out any kinks, and listen to their advice. Spend the time to attend the delivery, connect with them to get an ETA, go to their business location and look at their equipment. Be proactive and if the company you worked with last time could have done a better job, try another company or voice your concerns. As an owner of a service based business our goal is your complete satisfaction.
Using the bathroom at large public events can be a very unpleasant experience. People naturally find sharing the bathroom with hundreds of strangers to be a psychologically stressful experience. In typical chicken and the egg fashion our fears of possibly sharing a toilet seat with a stranger makes some do weird things that make using the bathroom an even worst experience for the next user. Techniques on using a public bathroom range from the classical hovering to using half a toilet paper roll to cover the seat to even standing on the seat and squatting. These techniques often make a perfectly clean restroom into a pigsty in only a few minutes and promote other users from adopting the same techniques to avoid the mess the first person made. Unfortunately there isn't too much that can be done to alleviate these bad habits but there is a possible solution to finding oneself with a nice clean bathroom experience.
The solution to this problem is exclusivity. It's merely a numbers game, the more people who use a bathroom the more likely it'll be a gross mess. So where can you find those coveted pristine bathrooms at public events?
Bathrooms IN Undesirable/low volume areas.
When attending a public event there are bound to be hotspots and cold spots for people to congregate. Look for spots without many people, perhaps an attraction has not started yet or that part of the venue doesn't have terribly interesting things to do. Often times bathrooms on a second or third story are far less used than bathrooms on ground level. Get a map out of the facilities and look for hidden restrooms out of sight for most people.
Conversely, try to avoid high traffic areas, food courts, areas near large attractions. If you want a good bathroom be prepared to walk a bit further.
Picking the best porta potty in a large row
If you are at an event with several rows of portable toilets there are techniques to help you pick the best one. Typically potties near the ends will have the most traffic due to their convenience. But most people know that, so they'll pick bathrooms toward the center too. I tend to find the best bathrooms look the worst on the outside. What makes a porta potty look bad on the outside? Sometimes it looks worn, faded, scratched up, perhaps there maybe toilet paper hanging out from the floor or is even just a bit wonky. These bathrooms have likely seen some horrible gross things in the past but are clean and fresh now.
Timing is everything
When attending a festival or event for several hours with thousands of other people it's a good idea to plan your day around other peoples habits instead of with theirs. For example most Americans have lunch around 12 noon, this means the bathrooms at these events will be mobbed with attendees washing their hands before a meal or using the bathroom within 30min-1hour after their meal. Nothing promotes your body to make room than consuming food so it's a good idea to eat early or later in the event and avoid the issue all together. Another hotspot of bathroom activity is after the event has concluded (sometimes before as well). Once the event is over and people are heading home they are very likely to attend the bathroom to prepare for their long journey home. Avoid this problem by leaving early or later, pre-emptively using the bathroom or not consuming foods/liquids at least an hour before leaving the event.
Paying for the best bathrooms at an event
If the inconvenience of walking or the uncertainty of finding a good bathroom have you bummed out most large events these days have a premium/VIP area with exclusive bathrooms. We at Fancy Flush are used at several of these venues and provide restroom attendants to ensure that all VIP access guests get the best experience possible. The VIP experience varies by event and so does the cost but most event planners worth their weight in gold know that one of the key factors in providing their VIP guests with an amazing experience starts with their bottoms.
Fancy Flush is now looking to branch out with new franchise opportunities
Fancy Flush is now looking to connect with entrepreneuring individuals to start their own Fancy Flush luxury restroom rental agencies in their city. Fancy Flush is one of the fastest growing restroom trailer agencies in the country and our formula for success can be used in other markets as well. With a catchy brand, simplistic business approach, proprietary & superior equipment we have the edge on our competitors.
A Fancy Flush franchise is not simply a job it's a lifestyle for those who want to meet new and interesting people, visit unique and beautiful places as well as have time off to spend with family, travel or simply relax. Our industry is recession resistant (everyone needs to goto the bathroom) and has huge growth potential with very little investment or heavy regulations to worry about.
We're looking for franchisees who know how to tow a trailer, has property to store trailers, is handy, clean, and possess an attention to detail. Franchisees will be trained at our home office in the beautiful Wine Country of Northern California.
Why choose Fancy Flush?
Contact us today
We've just got back from visiting the WWETT expo which is an expo that covers most of the sanitation industry from plumbers, porta potty companies and even our luxury restroom trailers. We've found several manufacturers there who build restrooms and even some companies like us who rent restroom trailers.
After looking at all the options I find that everyone's got something I like and dislike, nothing is perfect. First things first, I find it really important to use fiberglass/composite exterior panels versus aluminum and metal skinned restroom trailers. Though fiberglass does not come in any other color except white (unless painted) the benefits outweigh the lack of customization. First and foremost, metal walled restroom trailers dent, and when this happens you have 2 options, live with it or replace the panel (very time consuming and costly. With fiberglass, it's very unlikely it'll dent to begin with and if that were to happen you can fill it back up with gel-coat.
Other options I didn't like were some manufacturers use of standard RV fold out steps. These might be fine for a family of 4 but should not be used for commercial applications. RV fold out steps are made to a budget with thinner metal which will bend, flex, and possibly break. It's not designed for a person weighing 300-400lb to use. Regarding stairs, I loved how some manufacturers used adjustable legs that go to the ground, this is a great design which prevents the stairs from flexing under larger people's weight.
We also spent time speaking with other luxury restroom rental companies and had a great time learning from them and also offering our insights. One thing I realized after speaking to them is that those who have very customized/personalized restroom trailers did not do as well as those who had more neutral designs. I personally feel that a more neutral design will appeal to more clients and guests then a personalized design. One person I spoke with had their trailers made to the color of their favorite football team for example and was not doing too well. We've also met with other restroom trailer companies who are very similar to ours and some who are where we'd like to be one day.
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