Restroom requirements for restaurants

Updated February 21, 2017

It is essential that rest room facilities be provided in restaurants that offer any type of dining, with the exception of strictly takeout establishments. The number of rest rooms required is determined by the final occupancy count of the restaurant. Both male and female rest room facilities must be provided, and large restaurants with an occupancy of over 300 might be required to provide a unisex family rest room as well. Rest room requirements are subject to change between different states; however, all are mandated to follow the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

Vanity Areas

Vanity areas in restaurant rest rooms must follow the ADA specifications. The mirrors most be hung no higher than 40 inches from the floor. The sinks must be lever-operated, electronically-controlled, a push-type or another acceptable faucet design. Faucets equipped with self-closing valves should allow a minimum of 10 seconds before they self-close.

Toilet Stalls

According to ADA, toilet stalls in restaurant rest rooms must meet several requirements. They must be accessible through a safe route with at least one of the toilets being handicap-accessible with grab bars. The minimum depth of a bathroom stall should be 56 inches, with a minimum width of 32 inches and a 90 degree angle for the door. A standard bathroom toilet stall should be a minimum of 9 inches off the floor on at least one partition side of the stall to meet specified toe clearance.


All restaurant bathrooms for males must provide urinals placed at maximum height of 17 inches from the ground. These should be mounted on the wall or placed in individual stalls. The water valve should be no more 44 inches from the ground, with a floor space of at least 30 by 48 inches.

Other Requirements

To minimise the risk of restaurant customers getting scalded or even burnt, be sure all water pipes are enclosed or insulated. Bathrooms must be kept clean and have toilet paper, hand-washing soap, a hand-drying machine or paper towels, and trash receptacles. Plumbing plans will need to be approved by a licensed plumber. All bathrooms must be equipped with an adequate exhaust vent. Foot traffic areas in the rest room must be kept clear of any obstructions to allow customers easy and safe access.

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About the Author

Chris Newton has worked as a professional writer since 2001. He spent two years writing software specifications then spent three years as a technical writer for Microsoft before turning to copywriting for software and e-commerce companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Colorado.