Some small restaurants in NYC with only a small seating area offer a bathroom for customers, but most small restaurants do not. What is the law in NYC? What size or type restaurant must provide restrooms for customers? Is there an easy way to get this information from some official website?

1 Answer 1


Google is very helpful in this regard. I typed nyc restaurant bath and it suggested nyc restaurant bathroom law, the first result being http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/service/2360/restaurant-bathroom-requirements.

It says:

You can make reports about any food establishment with 20 or more seats that has no toilet and was established after 1977. These establishments must provide toilets for their patrons. Food establishments that have been in operation since 1977 or before are exempt from this requirement.

Food establishments with 19 or fewer customer seats are not required to provide bathroom access to the public.

Food establishments are not required to allow public access to their employee toilets. Patrons are not permitted to use any toilets where the patron must walk through the kitchen or any food storage or food preparation area.

Call 311 to report a restaurant with 20 or more seats that has no toilet and was opened after 1977.

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