However, American restaurant owners, gas station proprietors and anyone else with a triangle symbolizing a man and a circle symbolizing a woman are starting to get it through their heads that gross bathrooms flush away potential repeat business. They now see the restroom as a marketing tool. It makes sense. EVERYONE notices a really outrageous restroom, because it's an oddity, which is strange, considering the amount of time we spend there.
(See this year's nominees: Posh potties: Where to go when you're on the go)
Case in point: the men's restroom inside the steak house at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, Calif., has an actual waterfall for a urinal. It's legendary. Somewhere there's a photograph of me in my wedding gown back in, like, 1847, standing by that waterfall. People go there just to see the restroom. That's a marketing tool.
Turns out that very restroom made this year's list of finalists for America's Best Restroom. The annual contest is put on by Cintas, a company that sells restroom supplies, among other products. Besides the men's room at the Madonna Inn, nominees included restrooms at the Tampa Airport (an airport!), the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan and the Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade in Portland, Ore.