In a restaurant:

  1. If they have a bathroom, must they let paying or unpaying customers use it?
  2. Can they deny use to people who have not bought anything?
  3. There's a McDonald's that does not allow use of its bathroom after 11pm. Is this legal?
  • 5
    What jurisdiction? Building codes and restaurant inspections are highly localized.
    – user662852
    Feb 25, 2016 at 15:17
  • 1
    +1 for the above. At least in NYC, small restaurants aren't required to have any sort of bathroom.
    – dsolimano
    Feb 25, 2016 at 16:29
  • @user662852 I didn't mean to ask that, I updated the question
    – SamT
    Feb 26, 2016 at 11:47
  • @SamT What jurisdiction?
    – Mr_V
    Feb 26, 2016 at 13:15
  • @Mr_Vitale BC, Canada
    – SamT
    Feb 28, 2016 at 23:44

1 Answer 1


Like the others asked, you need make clear where in the world you are talking about.

My brother owns a bar in London England - My understanding is if you have seats for five or more people, then you must have washrooms during business opening hours.

If the business is closed, or if you are not a customer, they do not have to let you in the premises, let alone let you use their washroom.

Some premises ask non-customers to pay - they can - They are in a service industry, and keeps the facilities clean and/or functional.

  • Exception: People with certain disabilities have the right to use his washroom. Or whatever facilities are there if there is no washroom. As long as someone is there who can open the door.
    – gnasher729
    May 27, 2016 at 15:01

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