Investing in restroom trailers can be a big financial risk, but the demand for nice restrooms is growing
In a few years, Outdoor Restrooms Inc. (ORI) in Kansas City, Missouri, grew its inventory of restroom trailers from two to seven. The reasons are simple, says co-owner Gary Springer: High demand, higher profit margins, and high potential for more growth in a niche market.
“Trailer restrooms represent the fastest-growing segment in our industry,” Springer says. “Plus the profit margins are far better than for portable restrooms. The return on investment is nothing short of phenomenal.”
After the company landed a five-year contract to provide restrooms for two annual NASCAR Cup Series races at the Kansas Speedway, ORI invested in two large restroom trailers made by Ameri-Can Engineering. The trailers will stand in the hospitality village at the Speedway during the Go Bowling 400 race in the spring and the Hollywood Casino 400 in the fall.
Purchased at the WWETT Show, the 10-stall, 32-foot-long units are a significant investment. But Springer says it’s a worthwhile expenditure, especially because they do double duty as high-visibility marketing tools.
To meet demand from various market segments, ORI also owns small- and medium-size restroom trailers from Satellite Industries and NuConcepts. Again, the investment is sizable. But Springer says it’s a nothing-ventured, nothing-gained proposition. “If we get phone calls for trailers and have to tell customers we don’t have them, they’ll just call someone else,” he says. “So my philosophy is that if there’s a market for them, we’re going to take a calculated financial risk and meet that demand.”
The more people see restroom trailers at weddings, for instance, the more popular they become, Springer observes. “When you deliver a nice restroom trailer to a wedding, the father of the bride becomes a hero. … The trailers are almost the centerpiece of the wedding. Once you see them, you never want to go back (to portable restrooms).
“Furthermore, they completely change people's perception of the portable restroom industry,” he adds. “We expect to buy three to five more trailers within the next two or three years.”