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Your Estimated Sanitation Services

Based on what you've told us, we've generated this estimate for your needs.

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Estimated Standard Portable Restrooms Needed: 0
Estimated Hand Wash Stations Needed: 0
Estimated Enhanced Access Restrooms Needed: 0

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8 Mistakes to Avoid When Ordering Porta Potties for Special Events

If you’re planning an outdoor special event and stationary restrooms aren’t available, you may need to order portable restrooms for your guests. Now you may think ordering your portable restrooms is going to be easy, right? You just estimate how many you think you’ll need and order them up. How hard could this be? But there are some common missteps that you may want to try to avoid to make your event the best it can be. These issues can range from ordering too few restrooms, inaccessibility of your restrooms, placement errors and even the selection of the company you choose to work with. This blog will walk you through the things you should first consider before ordering restrooms, and what you should do once you’ve got your reservation nailed down.

8 Mistakes to Avoid When Ordering Porta Potties for Special Events

  • Not Ordering Enough Restrooms for Your Crowd

We’ve all been there when planning events. Your budget starts to get tight and you’re looking for ways to cut costs to stay within your means. You may consider ordering fewer portable restrooms, but in the end this decision may cost you. Ordering too few portable restrooms is a common problem for event organizers, but it’s a very big and visible factor of your event. The Portable Sanitation Association International (PSAI) recommends that you provide one portable restroom for every 100 guests that will be in attendance. So let’s say you’re expecting 5,000 people, you’ll probably need around 50 portable restrooms for the event. Several factors can affect that number such as alcohol consumption, the main gender of guests (women use restrooms more often than men), whether there are some stationary restrooms provided and so on. You can use our handy portable restroom calculator to help you better decide how many restrooms your event may need.

Portable restroom calculator


Keep in mind that if there aren’t enough restrooms available, or if the restrooms you do have are overused, your guests may be more inclined to leave your event early and spend less money. Spending the money before the event to provide adequate restrooms could mean big bucks for you and your vendors later.

  • Inaccessibility and ADA Regulations for Portable Restrooms

If you’re planning a public special event, you’ll have to keep ADA regulations in mind. The American’s with Disabilities ACT (ADA) has specific rules for portable restrooms at events. Event organizers must provide 1 ADA accessible portable restroom for every 10 standard portable restrooms that are ordered for the event.

When deciding placement for the accessible restrooms, you should also be mindful not to place them on curbs or any other areas that may be hard for someone in a wheelchair to access. Also, disperse the accessible restrooms throughout the event space being careful not the bunch them in one singular location. Your guests that require these restrooms should feel just as comfortable as other attendees. If you need more advice about ADA regulations for your event, check out our blog on ADA Regulations for Special Events and use our portable restroom calculator to estimate how many ADA portable restrooms you will require.

  • Placing Restrooms in Only a Few Locations

Just like your ADA accessible portable restrooms, you don’t want to bunch your other restrooms around only a few areas of your event. I’m sure you’ve been to events where there are long banks of restrooms in only a few specific locations. While this may be ideal for events like 5ks and marathons where there are starting lines and finishing points, with larger expansive events you’ll want to scatter your restrooms around the event grounds.

When creating placement maps for your vendor, make sure to place smaller banks around different areas. Think about the layout of the event and how you would like people to flow through. Are people going to be hanging out by the entrance, or will they just pass through to the stages or food vendors? Put the most restrooms in the areas with the most traffic, and scatter small clusters of restrooms around areas where people won’t tend to gather. Also, don’t forget to place restrooms near the exit and possibly even in the parking lots. You don’t want people to leave your event thinking about the overly used restroom near the exit.

  • Inadequate Hand Washing Opportunities

If your event has food vendors or involves getting dirty, you may want to consider renting portable hand washing stations. Guests may be reluctant to eat food with their hands after using a portable restroom and sometimes hand sanitizer just doesn’t cut it. Hand washing stations provide clean water; soap and paper towels to your guests will feel clean and more comfortable consuming food after use. The stations that On Site can offer you are free standing stations that have a foot pump and pair well with trash receptacles for paper towels. This means more revenue for you and your food vendors and guests will be more likely to stay longer.

  • Not Making Families Feel Comfortable

Most special events are geared towards the whole family, and you may want to step things up a notch to make them feel welcome and comfortable. If you have families coming with small children and babies, consider providing baby changing stations and areas where parent’s can feed their children. If there aren’t specified areas for people to take care of their children, they might consider going home when it’s diaper changing or feeding time. Some events, like the St. Paul Irish Festival, have provided breast-feeding tents to ensure feeding mothers have the privacy they desire when taking care of a little one. Any way you choose to do it, keeping families happy and comfortable is a good way to attract more guests and keep them around longer.

  • Waiting Too Long to Make Your Reservation

When you’re planning your event booking your portable restrooms shouldn’t be a last minute afterthought. Like any business, portable restroom providers have to deal with inventory, scheduling and labor management, and fitting in any event at the last minute may cause hiccups in your event planning. Portable restroom providers usually recommend booking your restrooms 4-8 weeks in advance of the event date to allow for ample planning time. This way the restroom vendor will reserve your inventory and set aside the labor to be able to set up your event exactly when you need it. Keep in mind also that booking your restrooms late could incur extra fees for last minute organization, which could disrupt your budget. So book your restrooms early and avoid headaches close to your event.

  • Using Multiple Portable Restroom Vendors

There are several reasons someone might consider going with several restroom vendors. They waited too long to book and no one has enough restrooms available, smaller companies may be willing to give price cuts, or one vendor may not have all of the types equipment that you require. While this may seem tempting, it’s usually a mistake to use more than one restroom vendor. Using several vendors may cause a logistical nightmare for your and all of your vendors. First off, all different members will usually have to schedule different pickup and drop-off times in order to get all the equipment in and out. With all of the vendors you already have to schedule, why add another possible problem onto your plate. You are also more likely to run into a situation where one vendor may provide better equipment or better service, which means your restroom will be inconsistent in quality. If half of your restrooms are amazing and clean and the others are falling apart, the nice units will just get used more, and guests may be turned off by the inconsistencies.

  • Choosing Price Over Service

You’ve always heard that you get what you pay for, and portable restrooms are no different. I know that working with tight budgets may make it tempting to choose the cheaper restroom option, but you really have to think about the consequences of having less than stellar restrooms at your event. Choosing the cheaper option may look appealing for your bottom line, but what happens when the restrooms show up and they’re in rough shape. Companies that charge less are more likely to keep older equipment longer, so you may end up with restrooms that show their age. Spending a little extra to work with a company with great equipment and excellent service means you restrooms show up on time, they’re stocked with everything you need and they’re going to look better for your guests.

No matter what size your event is, access to restrooms is key to the success of the event and the happiness of your guests. By following these rules for ordering portable restrooms, you can avoid some common mistakes and keep attendees at your events longer. If you have any other questions about portable restroom rentals for your event, or if you need to order special event portable restrooms for the Twin Cities, Rochester, Mankato MN or St. Louis Missouri areas, please visit our contact us page to get ahold of us. We’d be happy to help make your event a success!

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