Public Opinion of Portable Restrooms: A New Standard?


AirVote® uncovers the truth about public perception of portable restrooms.

Who hasn’t heard people talk about a portable restroom as the place to avoid unless you “can’t hold it anymore”? But really, how true that is today? Is there any data to help answer this question? We are talking objective numbers from an independent source and not some one-off cases or one-off opinions…

We got together with Dmitri Poukhovski, the founder and the CEO of a service called AirVote®. This service puts QR code stickers called QR Smileys® inside thousands of porta-potties. A person using the restroom, scans a QR code (green, yellow or red) and lets the company know about its condition. The data helps the operators quickly fix problems, catch recurring issues and negotiate higher service levels with their customers. QR smileys also help portable restroom companies get more good reviews on google: the system steers happy customers towards social media to leave a review. AirVote ratings are kept anonymous to encourage honest responses.

Now, how does the public opinion rate porta potties today? AirVote gets thousands of restroom ratings every month, from the residential settings, events, and construction sites. Looking across the whole portable sanitation industry, we see an interesting trend. On average, fifty-four percent of all restroom users choose to scan a green AirVote QR Smiley and leave a happy response. As much as 4% of them choose to take their happy response to social media! Again, these are anonymous ratings submitted from inside a portable restroom and in complete privacy of one’s own.

Surprised? Don’t be! The responses from the actual restroom users shatter the old paradigm of a porta-potty as a gross and stinky place to avoid at all costs.
Keep in mind that this is 2021 data – the year where the people’s expectation to hygiene raised to a new level because of COVID-19 realities.

The only caveat to this statistic may be that the portable restroom companies who chose to implement AirVote are generally those profiling themselves as exceptionally customer-focused and clean-conscious. Naturally, their end users are more likely to be happier walking into their restrooms as compared to some of the other ones.

In any case, this is a very encouraging trend. It creates a standard for the industry by building on the public perception that is already out there.

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