Today Show: Women Charged $5 For Using Restroom
Have you ever needed to use the bathroom so badly you burst past the sign reading “Restroom For Customers Only” on the front door of a restaurant? Nearly everyone has done it once in their life and Patricia Barnes is no different. Her circumstances, however, are probably a bit different from what you might have experienced.
Barnes never thought it would be a big deal if she ran inside a restaurant to use their restroom. So she entered the Flood Zone where she asked an employee if she could use the restroom, to which the employee said “sure.” After exiting the restroom, another employee told her she would need to pay $5 for using the bathroom because she wasn’t buying anything. The employee then proceeded to point out a small notecard which said any non-paying customer of the restaurant would pay $5 for the use of the restroom.
Thinking no harm had been done, Barnes told the employee she didn’t see the notecard and she left. A few days later, Barnes received a handwritten letter from the owner of the Flood Zone which said she needed to pay the $5. It turns out the owner of the restaurant wrote down her license plate and the sheriff in the town used his resources to find her home address.
Fed up with the nonsense, Barnes tried to pay the $5 but the restaurant wouldn’t accept it and then when she sent a money order, the restaurant sent it back saying they didn’t want the money, they just wanted to make a point. The Today Show talked with the owner who told them the sign and the cost of using the bathroom is to prevent people from vandalizing the restrooms.
Today Show: Should People Be Charged To Use Restrooms?
The Today Show wanted an expert opinion on the story so they asked restauranteur Bobby Flay what he thought about the incident. Flay told them it was ridiculous. It is part of a public business and if it happens, then it happens. He said when he does something similar he will order a drink and then use the bathroom as they get his drink ready. When he comes out he pays the $1 or so and leaves.
Savannah Guthrie said she just uses her kids as an excuse to use the bathroom if she has to go that badly. Finally, to get even more opinions about the ordeal, the Today Show made a poll asking if it is okay to use the bathroom at a restaurant you are not eating at. Seventy percent of the people surveyed said it wasn’t a big deal.
What do you think? Should she have been charged the $5 or should the restaurant not worry about customers using their restrooms? Let us know in the comments.