Urinal blocks and happy staff

Running a popular, sustainable coffee bar in Sydney can hardly be a cause of complaint. The job offers a great variety of work; we meet wonderful and interesting people. We even get to source excellent quality, local and international organic coffee beans. And our pastry chef lets us try delicious, sweet and savoury treats. Yet, not everything is rainbows, butterflies and unicorns.

Admittedly, administration can be a huge pain. Unfortunately, COVID-19 added some dark clouds to our usually sunny landscape. And even in a coffee bar, we experience stress. But what I personally dread the most is keeping our toilets impeccable.

Tackling the lady’s room is ok now; I’ve gotten over the first few scares – don’t ask. Toilet pots have no more secrets to me. I even manage to do some basic plumbing when necessary. But moving to the men’s, until recently, it seems like an impossible task to get close to the urinals. I understand aim can fail, accidents happen, and that’s fine; we can handle it. But people, what is that smell?! I don’t even know how to describe it; it’s just extremely funky. I couldn’t get close to it!

You must understand that our staff is 90% female, but our clients are not. And we seriously lacked confidence in understanding urinal needs. We were so happy when our pastry chef told us about urinal cakes. He assured us they didn’t need an oven and didn’t have a recipe for them. When Fred, the hygiene rep, passed by, we asked him all about the world of urinals and urinal cakes. And, oh boy, was there lots to learn?

Considering we go to great lengths to find organic coffee grain, we also strive to use sustainable and eco-labelled products everywhere around the bar. So when we found out many urinal care products contain benzene and other toxic ingredients, we felt it was crucial the product would care about the environment and its users.

Fred was more than happy to put us in touch with Urinal Cake, a company in Sydney. They are situated close by, so they suggested visiting us to explain all we needed to know and run some maintenance on the urinals. They explained how we could use urinal blocks and urinal mats in the men’s room. We were left with a box of water-soluble, environment-friendly urinal cakes and mats and some urinal cleaner that keeps the urinals free from blockages. They also offered us a service plan that would take care of regular maintenance, and we could order their products online.

Clients and staff are now happy to visit our bathrooms, and we can focus on serving possibly the best ristrettos, expressos, cappuccinos and lattes in Sydney.