We all assume that washrooms are available when visiting a restaurant. But when are toilets legally required? In Germany, if the premise serves alcoholic beverages, washrooms must be available. But how many toilets must be provided and which venues get exceptions?
The experience of visiting a restaurant can no longer measured only by the quality of the food. The overall experience matters greatly, including the availabilty and cleanlieness of the washrooms and toilets. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have much higher expectations for how hygienic our environments are – especially in public places. Our expectations go beyond mere cleanliness to whether soap or sanitizer dispensers and other washroom products are available. In the face of these rising expectations, it is worth understanding when it is legally required to offer toilet facilities?
How many toilets are required in the catering industry?
The requirements vary from state to state in Germany. When planning for your business, the first step to take is finding out how many toilets are required in the respective catering ordinance of your federal state.
Here is an example from the federal state of Berlin. Information on this can be found in the Ordinance on the Execution of the Restaurant Act.
The toilets must be easily accessible, usable, and marked. From a size of 50 m², at least one barrier-free/accessible toilet must be included.
In addition, the toilet facilities for men and women must be separated from each other by continuous walls and each toilet must be equipped with a washbasin, soap dispenser, and hygienic hand-drying facilities. Shared towels are not permitted.
Toilets and urinals must be able to be flushed (there are exceptions for certain urignal which, due to their chemical-based design, can function without flushing). Toilets must be usable without charge. Coin-operated machines or similar devices must not be installed.
A toilet is not required if there are no more than 10 seats in an area of 50 m². The non-existence of toilets must be clearly indicated at the entrance.
Deviations from the above regulations are possible and can be found in §5 of the Ordinance on the Execution of the Restaurant Act.
When is a location considered a place of assembly?
The Ordinance on Places of Assembly applies to gatherings of 200 people. Various regulations are laid down for groups of this size. For example, toilets must be available on each floor. Likewise, a sufficient number of accessible toilets must be available for wheelchair users.
The following table shows how many toilets must be available at larger events: (figures rounded up):
Safe availability – even at peak times.
Make worrying about empty hygiene dispensers a thing of the past. Behind the scenes in the catering and restaurant industry, things can often be hectic. In addition to all the daily tasks, keeping washrooms equipped with sufficient supplies takes a lot of extra effort.
With SanTRAL® Plus, keeping track of which washrooms need supplies is no longer a problem. The smart dispensers let you know via app when a dispenser is about to run empty. This means that physically checking dispenser levels is no longer necessary. What’s more, the devices are made precisely for this area. Not only do their designs fit seamlessly into any washroom, but they are engineered to be extremely durable. This combination of smart tech with high-design dispensers for high-traffic areas will help the food industry find new efficiencies while keeping customer satisfaction high. Learn more about the dispenser series here.