Search for bathrooms
You can now search for businesses with gender neutral bathrooms via Yelp. This week the company added gender neutral bathrooms to its already numerous search attributes.
On Thursday, Luther Lowe, Yelp’s VP of Public Policy announced on the company’s blog, “we believe it is paramount for the business community to speak up in support of equality and dignity.” As he aptly notes, “The need to speak up on these issues has become depressingly more frequent.”
Yelp is certainly speaking up
This is an important feature in direct response to problems the LGBTQ community is currently facing.
Yelp joined the Human Rights Campaign supporting Gavin Grimm, a transgender high school student whose struggle with bathroom rights is now being taken to the Supreme Court.
Grimm’s case gained national attention, adding to the ever-growing discourse on bathroom rights for transgender and nonbinary individuals.
Not a one time thing
Yelp has been active in fighting discrimination prior to Grimm’s case as well, pledging against North Carolina’s similar bathroom bill last year.
Yelp’s combination of talk and action is a good look.
They are actively supporting the LGBTQ community, which is a huge step towards inclusivity of a historically stigmatized group. Yelp also is providing a script for other businesses to follow suit as change makers and allies.
Lookin’ at you
Yelp will utilize customer feedback and business self-reporting to track which places feature gender neutral bathrooms.
They define neutral bathrooms as single stall, locking restrooms, which means standard men’s and women’s restrooms are still available as well.
This feature is just as important as knowing whether a business has parking, is ADA accessible, or offers military discounts. Information about what kinds of bathrooms are available is part of the planning process for many people.
I am infinitely likelier to spend more time (and therefore money) in places with gender neutral bathrooms.
Otherwise, I have to plan around public bathroom availability.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve ended an outing because gender neutral bathrooms weren’t available. If I don’t look the part for either the men’s or women’s room on a particular day, I worry about making everyone else uncomfortable.
One less thing to worry about
Knowing Yelp added this feature is a huge relief. Now I won’t need to worry as much about something many people don’t consider when they’re planning on leaving the house. This is a win for the LGBTQ community as well as anyone else who is ever in need of a single-stall bathroom.
Not just a win for the LGBTQ community
Those traveling with young kids can benefit from the new offering. Diaper changes are much easier if the whole crew can be wrangled into one place.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Those w/ disabilities or who care for a person w/ disabilities will find Yelp’s new feature helpful” quote=”Additionally, those with disabilities or who are caring for a companion with disabilities often use single stall bathrooms.”]
Yelp’s bathroom search attribute lets people find places that are safer and more convenient for them.
Making customers happy is always a good idea
And hey guess what? As Lowe said, “Inclusivity isn’t just right; it can be good for every business’ online reputation and bottom line.”
You might not agree with or understand all of your patron’s needs, but your success depends on making sure your customers are comfortable.