We have all been victims of our own bladders. Whether it be getting caught short in a public place or being desperate to relieve yourself in a very remote location, we have all experienced the pain that is a burgeoning bladder.
Whilst the human race may have evolved and expanded throughout time, public toilets have not. Despite there being billions of people on this planet, there are very limited public toilet facilities to accommodate us all.
It’s a prevalent issue that is becoming more and more stricken with every passing day as huge establishments begin to shut off their facilities to the general public. Take Starbucks, for example, the coffee house boasts 28,218 locations worldwide but restrict the use of their toilets to customers only.
Of course, this rule seems fairly logical. Starbucks hasn’t become the biggest coffee chain in the world by allowing people to take liberties in their establishment.
Why should they pay for people to use their toilet if that person isn’t then going to invest their cash into the company?
It’s a fair question, potentially rendered marginally invalid by the fact that Starbucks cashes in around $2.2 million each hour, according to TIME.
Given that a large majority of those who use the toilet without purchasing anything will have at some point in the past – or even in the future – pay the extortionate prices that Starbucks charges for a simple cup of coffee, it seems fairly mean-spirited for them to deny the public a place to do their private business.
Their decision to close off their toilets has, of course, been met with a great deal of criticism – especially in the UK where the coffee giant has come under fire for tax avoidance.
However, this backlash hasn’t stopped McDonald’s from now introducing the same system.
With 36,899 stores across the globe as of 2016, it is safe to say that there are potentially more McDonald’s on the high street than there are public toilets. In fact, the notorious golden arches that identify each McDonald’s have long been used a symbol of hope for those of us who ache in the lower abdomen. Not anymore.
At a McDonald’s restaurant in Queensland, Australia, customers are now being forced to use the toilets only after they have placed their food order.
Using a unique code on their receipt, customers can gain full access to the facilities. However, some are claiming that by then, it’s too late.
The system is already in place in many McDonald’s restaurants throughout the U.K. and U.S., but until now it had not been implemented in Australia.
Many customers are claiming that they have been left with no option but to wet themselves by the new rule, which prevents anyone from making a quick dash to the loo. In one instance, reported by an angry customer via Facebook, a child reportedly wet himself after being unable to gain access to the toilets in time.
Another customer left a disgruntled message after her 90-year-old grandmother, who has limited mobility, was unable to use the toilets without ordering food first.
Responding to the backlash, a McDonald’s spokeswoman stated that it is not the company’s policy to enforce locks on the bathroom facilities and that “the local licensee has made this decision” and that the toilets “are able to be opened for anyone who requires them.”
Toilet trouble solved? For now, maybe.