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Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Watch: The Daily Loo, an Instagram page that scouts the best toilets in Bengaluru

Run by Russell Yusuf, a student of visual communication in St Joseph's College, 'The Daily Loo' page rates restrooms based on cleanliness, design, among other things.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | Updated: February 18, 2020 2:11:56 pm
The availability of paper towels/toilet tissues, handwash, and how the restroom is maintained overall will be reviewed.

“Finding the best loo for the best poo” is the driving motto behind an Instagram page that review toilet spaces in cafes and restaurants in Bengaluru. Run by Russell Yusuf, a student of visual communication in St Joseph’s College, ‘The Daily Loo’ page rates restrooms based on cleanliness, design, among other things. Though its focus is primarily on toilets in Bengaluru, it also posts reviews from other ther cities including Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Pondicherry.

Now, Yusuf wants to expand the page to review public toilets.

“Even though many complain about the lack of clean and usable toilets, not many try to do something about it. Unclean toilets have found some acceptance among many as a large share of people try to adjust with the meagre facilities that are available,” Yusuf told Indianexpress.com.

How does The Daily Loo review toilets?

The reviews include indicators such as the overall cleanliness, fragrance, and design among others. In the Daily Loo, I call the commode the ‘throne’ which also makes a major part of the review. The availability of paper towels/toilet tissues, handwash, and how the restroom is maintained overall will be reviewed.

How did the initiative begin?

As I moved to India from Abu Dhabi, where I used to live before, I realised the difference between restrooms there and here. While those in restaurants and cafes are not as bad in comparison to other public toilets. However, I faced a couple of instances where I felt difficult to use public restrooms in unavoidable situations. I will be reviewing the ones which need improvement as well in the upcoming days.

Why did you not start with reviewing public toilets?

I am not averse to reviewing them. I began with those in cafes and restaurants as I spend a good amount of time in such eateries with my friends who encouraged me to begin a social media page to review toilets. Public toilet reviews other than these will be uploaded soon.

What impact has The Daily Loo reviews had so far?

I have not come up with a completely negative review so far as I have not visited anything ‘below average.’ However, a few restaurants have reached out to us in response to the reviews appreciating the fact that their restrooms were reviewed.

‘The Daily Loo’ page rates restrooms based on cleanliness, design, among other things.

Reviewing toilets in trains, or those available in fuel stations and motels adjacent to highways…

There are plans to review train toilets too. Speaking of restrooms that we visit during an overnight bus trip, for example, a series is in the works to help other commuters find good toilets while they travel via those same routes in future.

Have you got any suggestions or requests for toilet reviews from the public?

Yes, many people have sent a direct message on my Instagram page requesting for a review of the restroom in different restaurants, and cafes that they have visited. There have been instances where the page followers have reached out to me to review a bad toilet to send a message to other people to help them stay away from it.

Why is The Daily Loo available only on Instagram?

I chose social media and Instagram specifically to put out my reviews as most youngsters are now on this platform and I try to reach out to them primarily. While users scroll through photos and videos, one can easily access these posts to get an idea of what restrooms around them look like and different utilities available there. Information spreads really fast in ways of sharing on social media thereby contributing to a larger reach. A Twitter page, blog, and a website are certainly in the pipeline.

A screenshot of a review posted on the Instagram Page.

How are ladies toilets reviewed?

Initially, I began the page reviewing only gents toilets but later with the help of a few female friends we have been reviewing ladies toilets and unisex toilets as well. Now we have contributors from Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Pondicherry as well other than Bengaluru. We are open to contributions from others as well.

Have you come across any awkward situations while taking a photo for review in any restroom?

(Chuckles) No problems so far. While some might have given me a weird look, I wait for another person to get done as I do not want to interfere with their personal space while in the restroom.

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