A Spiffy Biffy

PROs dress up special events units to ensure all users have a positive experience.

The old saying goes that men fall in love with their eyes and women with their ears. Though it may not be about love, when it comes to feeling good about using a portable restroom, everyone’s comfort level is affected by all their senses. And all those senses must be saying the same thing: clean, neat and safe.

It’s no secret that women are pickier about restroom conditions than men are, and mothers with children are even more so. In a family entertainment environment, such as that found at most special events, how can PROs improve the user experience with their rental products?

A few of your colleagues share what they do to make use of their units a memorable experience … in a good way.

N.D. Sellers serves north central South Carolina with about 400 portable restrooms. About half the company’s portables business comes from special events. “We try to be accommodating to our customers by having options,” says route driver Ben Crowley. “We offer hand-wash sinks, hand sanitizers, mirrors and lights on the units we use for events. We’ll also provide gender-specific labeled restrooms on request, if that’s what makes people more comfortable.”

Since 1979, Midwest has bought out four of its competitors in the Lafayette, Ind., area, but operations manager Paul Fassnacht isn’t about to relax. “It’s a very competitive market, and we have to stay ahead of the game,” he says. One way the company does so is to make sure the presentation of its product is as good as it can be. It also helps to have more than a half-century of experience and 1,000 units in inventory.

Midwest offers a VIP restroom from PolyJohn Enterprises Corp. for weddings and other higher-end events. With a hand-wash station, a soap and paper towel dispenser, and flush capacity, the restrooms are appealing to women because there is no urinal. Midwest also makes it available with an optional solar light.

For men, they use the PolyJohn Fleet model with urinal. Three special events trailers attract what Fassnacht calls the “tie and skirt” crowds, and the company is preparing to possibly add a fourth trailer, this one a 40-foot model. But Midwest’s prime market positioner seems to be that the company also offers a full line of other party rentals, from chairs and tables to tents, linens, decorations, and more.

Cook’s serves the annual Saratoga sailing regatta, along with some weddings and smaller events with about 40 restrooms from Five Peaks Technology. These units have shelves inside, “a big plus for the customers, from what we hear,” says Daniel Cook. “We’ll put lights and sometimes cut flowers inside, and we've put small rugs on the floors just to dress them up a bit.” The company also provides hand-wash stations outside their units.

About 30 percent of ASS-WC Mietservice’s business is providing portable restrooms for special events in the Black Forest region of southwest Germany. With an inventory of about 1,000 restrooms, including 10 ADA units, Mietservice serves street festivals and other events with restrooms (called “cabins” or “containers”) from PolyPortables Inc., Satellite Industries and the German company Thal. Europeans may use either a seated or squat toilet design.

To provide a more pleasant user experience, units are supervised by company attendants. It’s customary in Germany for customers to request gender-specific units, though the company also provides mixed-gender units. Generally, these are made more attractive with onboard sinks, hand sanitizers and disposable toilet seat pads.



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