EACH week Talk of the Town asks our readers a question on our Facebook page and group regarding their thoughts on a particular topic either in the news or of general interest.
This week’s Facebook question was based on a story on our web and Facebook pages regarding a Durban restaurant charging R20 to non-customers to use their toilet facilities.
Background: Reeza Khan took to social media on Tuesday to vent about the R20-per-person fee that Jolly Grubber charges non-customers to use the facilities.
“In my whole entire existence on this earth.. this is the most expensive p*** I’ve ever taken… R20 each to use the rest rooms.. That’s ridiculous… oh wowwww and to top it off‚ we even received a slip for the facilities used #daylightrobberybutatnight‚” he said.
The question as to whether the restaurant is right to do this drew an assortment of answers from the public.
Yvonne MacKenzie Botha commented that it puts a whole new angle on spending a penny. “You only wanted to spend a penny but it cost R20,” she wrote.
Lloyd Stephenson wrote, “Given the rate at which the rand is losing value, it is probably cheaper to use a R 20 note than loo paper,” and Doug Kemsley wrote that it gets pretty hectic in mango season!
Charles Kirton was in agreement with the restaurant owners when he wrote, “I think it’s fair; as they say, it’s not a public toilet.”
Dianne Miller asked, “Are there any public toilets in the area? I would have p*ssed for free right in front of the eatery. Seriously, not cool if there is no other place to ‘go’.” Joy de Bruin responded: “Yes, I’m sure there are public toilets nearby but more than likely in a poor state.” To which Warwick Heny wrote, “Not relevant.”
Entrepreneurial Ishmael Katandika wrote: “I have to go open up a toilet business in Durban. I will charge R15 per person.”
Jenni MacLeod quoted her granny’s saying, “Here I sit downhearted. Paid R20 and only farted.” However, Malcolm Christie, however, reminded McLeod to show a little restraint. “Passed wind Jen…..passed wind!” he wrote, whereas Carol-Ann Rattey Stiekema suggested she may be eligible for a refund.
Stiekema went on in a more serious fashion: “Apparently similar cost in Europe. Surprising though that you may use toilets for free if eating but not if merely drinking. Makes no logical sense.”
Rosita Winter wrote that it was ridiculous. “Serving drinks will make naturally make you want to use the toilet.”
Mercy Peace wrote: “I really think that the public should take a good look at themselves. Please remember that you are visiting a restaurant selling food, not a public toilet. How would you like it if a stranger knocks on your front door just to use the toilet? Consider they have rent, staff and electricity, toilet paper and cleaning materials [and] these things are not for free. And it’s not your right to abuse a business or their hospitality so do the right thing and support the business and the toilet fees will go down.”
Beverly Young chirped in that she agreed with Peace. “In the days when there were public, spotlessly clean municipal toilets you paid. Was it a slot and you had to put money in that before you entered? I seem to remember the phrase “a penny a pee”. And there was always a cleaning person on duty.
“If I had a restaurant, and the non-paying (as in off the street people) were walking through the dining area to use the facilities I would get very pissed off. It cost the owner money – no matter what.”
Sue Wicks agreed.
MacKenzie Botha, despite agreeing with the last few statements, still felt the R20 tag was too expensive. Ginger Pat Bartlett said that that particular restaurant would never see her. Gavin Came stated that toilet use at The Historic Pig and Whistle Inn is free.
Beverly Young agreed with Came. “[The toilets at the Pig and Whistle are] beautifully clean, thank you. However, trust me, if the busloads of tourists had to traipse through your dining area… you would become a bit edgy.” She then mused, “I often wonder what tourists do for relief in Bathurst when they need a loo.”
Stiekema also mentioned that Nanaga had coin operated loo facilities. “If you are buying stuff at [the] restaurant you ask for key.”