No sir, there is no toilet here!

This weekend, we were in a bar with friends and one of them, having needed to "relieve", comes back from the back of the bar and said, "It's bad, here they have no toilet.

Of course, this was a joke ... Our everyday experience shows that toilets are always present in bars or restaurants. But where does this finding come from? From a tradition, a habit, or an obligation?

An article was needed to answer this simple question.

Chapter 1. A regulatory obligation

TheOrder of 9 May 1995 regulating the hygiene of food delivered directly to the consumer Article 21 provides:

In food establishments [where food is prepared for direct delivery to the consumer], toilet facilities should be provided, including lavatories and washbasins for the exclusive use of the clientele.

It seems pretty clear to me all that ... You have to:

  • At least one WC per restaurant (possibly mixed).
  • At least one sink (with cold water OR hot water) per restaurant.

The question we can legitimately ask ourselves is "what if the bar does not offer food but only drinks"? Personally I do not know if he would be subject to this obligation ... but honestly, you know many who do not even use peanuts?

Chapter 2. A regulatory option

For restaurants wishing to obtain the "Tourist Restaurant" classification, theOrder of 27 September 1999 has in part V:

The tourist restaurant must have sanitary premises in constant state of maintenance, cleanliness and functioning. They must not communicate directly with the kitchen or the dining room. They include a toilet. men, a toilet women and a sink with hot and cold water, for every fifty people likely to be accommodated.

PS: Personally, I preferred the term "lavatory" to "w.-c. But hey: (... I thought it was more kitschy ...

Must therefore :

  • A separation between men's and women's toilets,
  • At least two toilets for every 50 seats in the restaurant,
  • At least one sink (with cold water AND hot water) for every 50 seats in the restaurant (this sink can be mixed).

Chapter 3. Can they be paid?

That's a big question ... I do not know!

I only found one pay bar in one bar (I even took a picture to capture the occasion).

This seems to me questionable even if I have found no case law on this subject.

Chapter 4. Conclusion

Whew ... I finally answered this thorny question (that you all had to ask once in your life, no?).


  1. How can a glacier without a toilet stay open!
    Which public body does this?

  2. How is it that in La Ciotat the glacier l'Ecume des ices has no toilet or hand washing and can remain open! Its ice cream is even prepared in another local one street further to avoid the controls! Which organism should take care of this glacier outlaw!

  3. Is it mandatory for a restaurant to have an indoor toilet if there is one right across the same property, and accessible to the disabled?
    Does the law still require you to have an indoor toilet for the clientele?

  4. Can restaurateurs forbid the use of toilets to people who do not consume in an establishment?

  5. That restaurants must be equipped with toilets OK!
    But can they make paying access?
    (Example: altitude restaurant or even the Clichy Square Quick: p)

    • Honestly, I did not find any text saying that these "lavatories" should be free, but I think that's the spirit of the text ... Making them pay would, in my opinion, go around the mind.

      But hey ... I'm going to dig!

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