In the world of event planning, it’s easy to get caught up in the fun details and forget about the most basic necessity: restrooms. If there aren’t enough or any restrooms on site, renting portable restrooms is the next-best solution.
Portable restrooms aren’t the most glamorous aspect of the events industry, but they are very important to the attendees and the event workers. Of course, there’s one thing that must be taken into consideration: how many portable restrooms will you need?
Whether you’re organizing a wedding, a kickball league playoff, or a music festival — the number of people who attend your event determines the number of port-a-potties. But because no two events are alike, determining the exact number can be difficult without knowing the variables that impact your event.
In this handy guide, anyone planning an event will learn the following:
- Considerations to make prior to renting portable restrooms
- How many restroom units you should rent for events large and small
- How to estimate your needs more precisely
Let’s get started by diving into things you should consider prior to renting portable restrooms for your upcoming event.
Getting Started: Event Planning Considerations for Portable Restrooms
We know you’re an ultra-organized event planner. However, it can be challenging to know what sort of information you should provide a vendor to get exactly what you need for your event. Here are some things to consider prior to placing an order for portable restrooms.
Is your headcount as accurate as possible?
Headcount is key when determining how many restroom units you will need for any event. Weddings can be a bit easier since the headcount is often fixed. However, large public events can fluctuate wildly. If you can, use similar past events to help inform your estimates.
Is the event date locked in?
Knowing the date of your event (or at least a timeframe) ensures that your portable restroom vendor has the number of units you need when you need them. At the very least, knowing the timeframe of the event can help determine the best selection for the season.
How long is the event?
An outdoor music festival can last days whereas a wedding and its reception may last up to 12 hours. Knowing the duration of your event will help inform your overall rental rate. Plus, a vendor will need to understand what the cleaning and maintenance needs will be.
Are you serving alcohol?
If you plan to serve alcohol at your event, you can count on needing more units. Demand for restrooms increases with alcohol. Once you have a base number of units determined, consider increasing that by 10-to-20% to meet the demand.
What is the formality of the event?
Are you planning an ultra-casual wedding or a high-end charity gala or concert? All have their own styles and clothing requirements. Understanding the formality (or lack thereof) helps your vendor offer recommendations on the best units for the event and its guests.
If you have the answers to these questions, you’re ready to move on to determining how many portable restrooms you should rent for your event.
Portable Restroom Units: How Many to Rent for Your Event
Determining exactly how many units to rent for any event is a challenge. Here is a quick and dirty breakdown to help inform your event plans.
Weddings and Private Events
The number of guests and the date are locked down, and you know with certainty you need portable restrooms for the event. But how many should you reserve? For the purposes of this post, we define wedding sizes like this:
- Small Wedding or Event: Up to 50 Guests
- Medium Wedding or Event: 50-150 Guests
- Large Wedding or Event: 150-300 Guests
Note: it’s wise to overestimate how many units you’ll need. That will help your guests avoid long bathroom lines and enjoy your event more. A good rule of thumb: rent at least one portable restroom unit per 50 event guests.
Small Formal Event Estimates– If your guest list is between 30 and 50 guests, we recommend one portable restroom unit. A standard unit is great for casual weddings and receptions, while an ADA-compliant, handicap-accessible unit offers more room for guests to freshen up and adjust their clothing.
Medium Formal Event Estimates – For a guest list of this size, a single portable restroom unit is sufficient. However, we recommend erring on the side of caution and renting two units when your headcount lands around 100 guests. For weddings with a guest headcount between 100-150, we recommend a minimum of two units, but three units would be ideal.
Large Formal Event Estimates – If your guest list is above 150, it would be wise to apply our rule of thumb mentioned above. If you have 300 guests and you rent one unit per 50 guests, that’s a total of six units.
As you know, public events can range wildly in attendance, making estimates for portable restroom rentals tougher to lock down. This is especially true for free public events that can range in size from 100 attendees to thousands! For a paid event, like a large outdoor concert, it’s slightly easier to estimate a headcount because of the ticket sales.
Unlike weddings, which typically have a clear start and end, public events can last hours or days. The length of your event is key here. The longer the event, the more units you will need. Are you serving alcohol to guests? As noted above, alcohol consumption drives greater usage and increases the number of portable toilets needed by 10-to-20%.
Again, we revisit the general rule of thumb: rent at least one portable restroom unit per 50 event guests.
Cheat Sheet for Renting Portable Restrooms
Don’t want to do the math? Check out the handy cheat sheet below to help you create estimates and ensure you’re renting the right number of units for your event. Have questions? We’re always eager to help our customers find the best solution for their events. Contact us to chat!
Which portable toilet units should I rent for my event?
As you know, the type of units you select will be based on the headcount, the formality of your event, and your budget. At Rent-A-John, we offer a range of units to suit your needs, taste and budget. Here are the units that are most popular for events large and small.
While this option is pricier than the standard units, restroom trailers offer a deluxe experience to your guests. These units both look and feel upscale, featuring sinks with running water, lighting, temperature controls, and plenty of space.
Standard Portable Toilet
You know them, you love them. These units offer your guests a place to take care of business and then get right back to the event. Rent-A-John’s units are ultra clean and are serviced regularly to keep them that way.
ADA-Compliant Portable Restrooms
If you know there will be mobility-impaired guests attending your event, these units provide exactly what those guests need. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, you should have one handicap-accessible restroom for every 20, portable restrooms. The path to these units must be accessible and without curbs, steps or other impediments.
Another benefit: these units provide more space for families with small children! They are also handy at formal events because they give your guests a little extra wiggle room for situating their clothing.
Rent Portable Restrooms for Your Event from Rent-A-John
You have put so much time and energy into planning your event; of course, you want it to be a huge success. Ensuring your guests have plenty of places to take care of business ultimately increases their enjoyment.
At Rent-A-John, we work closely with all of our customers to ensure they have the right rental equipment for their needs. If you’re ready to get a quote, have questions or are ready to place an order, contact us today or call (888) 44-POTTY!