person on phone in bathroom

Photos, Phones and Food: Public Restroom Use Rated 'Disgusting'

Research shows that restroom occupants will take video calls and even eat inside restrooms   May 13, 2024

By Dave Lubach, Executive Editor

“Doing your business” is a phrase often associated with going to the bathroom. Apparently, in some instances, it can also imply that people all too frequently might be doing business in a public restroom. 

GP PRO recently polled 500 people who have visited high-traffic public venues in the last six months, such as stadiums and airports, to track public restroom activities. 

Their findings, many would say, border on “disgusting.” Surely managers at institutional and commercial facilities can relate.  

Some of the less-than-flattering results include: 

  • 90 percent of respondents have observed others using their cell phones in the public restroom. A closer look indicates that: 27 percent have observed video calls and 19 percent have seen videos being taken. 
  • Self-reporting their faux pas, 41 percent of respondents admitted to making their own phone calls; 21 percent to video calls; and 23 percent to taking photos. 

Consuming food and beverages bring more “wow” responses, as 38 percent of respondents have witnessed others actively eating in public restrooms and 48 percent have seen others actively drinking, with 15 percent and 18 percent, respectively, admitting to these behaviors themselves. 

Related Content: Report: Americans Struggle Using Dirty Public Restrooms

And of course, what’s a good restroom fail piece without reporting on the number of people who have dropped their phone in a public toilet? Only 14 percent did it, but many of them – 84 percent – retrieved it. 

Dave Lubach is executive editor of the facilities market. 


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