What to Know About UK Restaurant Toilet Requirements

There are many legal requirements when you are operating a restaurant in the UK, one of which is the toilet provisions you are obliged to offer. Good hygiene standards, non-slip flooring, ready access to paper towels and hot and cold water are simply not enough. To conform with the standards set out in the Equality Act 2010, you must abide by some important restaurant toilet requirements.

When it comes to restaurant toilet requirements there are three main areas to focus on, most of which are quite simple to adhere to – these include the following:

  1. The number of toilets: How many toilets you require will depend on the number of people you will have in the location.
  2. Disabled toilets: As a public-facing venture, restaurants have a legal requirement to cater to people of different needs.
  3. Staff toilets: Service, kitchen staff and any other employees require staff toilets to effectively do their job in a hygienic, safe and comfortable space.

It can be difficult to understand the washroom specifications and requirements of different business sectors. However, we are leading providers of washrooms, toilet cubicles and other public or commercial facilities – so we take care of every step of the process to deliver quick, efficient, compliant installations to our clients.

You will see our capable and imaginative team in action when you get in touch with us to begin your fully compliant restaurant toilet installation project.

1. How Many Toilets Do I Need?

Broadly speaking, restaurant toilet requirements dictate a minimum of 1 toilet per 50 male customers – assuming you do not provide urinals. If you provide urinals, you must have a minimum of 2 toilets per 50 male customers. 1 washbasin for each toilet and every 5 urinals is also a requirement.

For female customers, the legal requirements are 2 toilets per 30 customers – up to 120 customers. Beyond 120 female customers, an additional toilet is required after each additional 60 customers – and beyond. For females, one washbasin per toilet is required.

Many proprietors of restaurants wonder whether they have to provide toilets at all, particularly when running small coffee shops or takeaways. If food is sold for consumption on the premises, you are subject to the legal requirements. For further details, take a look at our ‘Do Cafes Have to Provide Toilets?’ article.

2. What Are the Rules and Requirements for Disabled Toilets?

People living with disabilities require disabled access toilets in restaurants, with facilities such as grab rails, lower toilets, sinks and paper towel dispensers being common features. Customers living with disabilities need toilet facilities that are akin to most public toilets. The Equality Act says that you should think about what is ‘reasonably practical’ – a perhaps intentionally broad term.

It might be a bit frustrating not to have a clear list of things to check off, but the reality is that all buildings are different and there is no formal definition of what is ‘accessible’. You should simply remember that you have to enable people living with disabilities to comfortably enter, use and leave your restaurant.

Disabled toilet facilities can be expensive, so be sure to find a provider who uses standard specifications to lower costs. For further information on the precise sizes and dimensions that you should include when building disabled access toilets, please see our resource on ‘Disabled Toilet Dimensions and Specifications’.

3. What Are the Restaurant Toilet Requirements for Staff Toilets?

For staff toilets, you have the same obligations as many other commercial premises – the fact you are operating a restaurant is not especially relevant here. Remember, you also have to provide the same levels of toilet provision for staff living with disabilities as you do for customers living with disabilities.

The rules for staff come from a different piece of government legislation, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. The rules include hot and cold water access, hand drying facilities and ventilation guidance – but the number of toilets is your main concern here.

For staff toilets, males require 3 toilets and 2 urinals for up to 60 employees – rising to 4 toilets and 4 urinals for between 60 and 100 employees. Female staff require 1 toilet and 1 basin if there are up to 5 staff, 2 of each for up to 25 staff, 3 of each for up to 75 staff and 5 of each up to 100 staff. You can take a look at our ‘Toilet Cubicle Dimensions, Sizes and Regulations’ resource for more helpful tips.

If you have to create an accessible washroom design it can be hard to know where to start, as it is a lot more tricky to navigate the guidelines. The above tips will help you to save space, create flowing designs, and more easily stay within the regulations.

Personal bathroom spaces have much more leeway than commercial washrooms, but we understand the nuances and can easily create accessible washrooms for a wide range of commercial and public spaces. Get in touch with us to learn more.

UK Restaurant Toilet Requirements Made Simple!

The prospect of providing toilet provisions under threat of law can be daunting, but the guidelines are there to protect all people equally. Building Regulations for all commercial premises require a uniform standard for customers, customers living with disabilities and staff to effectively serve their needs.

For general safety, security and many other helpful tips for compliance with UK Building Regulations, we recommend checking out the government’s ‘Approved Documents’. All ‘Approved Documents’ are compiled by the government to help people stay within the regulatory guidance while undertaking any building work.

It can be difficult to understand the ins and outs of restaurant toilet requirements. However, as leading providers of a range of washroom systems across many commercial sectors – we are well-placed to provide some insight.

Please feel free to get in touch to start a new restaurant toilet design or installation project.