A Costa customer has lambasted the coffee chain for not offering toilets for the exclusive use of women at a new branch in Edinburgh.
Lauren, from Edinburgh, visited the Meadowbank branch of Costa on Saturday when she was faced with an uncomfortable decision on finding there were no ladies-only toilets.
Take from Twitterthe mother and the analyst revealed that of the four toilets customers could use, two were unisex and two were for the exclusive use of men.
Confused about why the women had been left without a safe space – and saying she thought the cafe’s decision was ‘sexist’ and ‘unfair’ – Lauren shared pictures of the toilet gender symbols on the doors , earning over 6,000 likes.
Lauren, a mum from Edinburgh, revealed she was upset that she couldn’t find any single toilets for women at a Costa branch
The facility housed four toilets, two of which were men’s and two unisex toilets.
She said: ‘[email protected] I was in your new cafe Edinburgh Meadowbank yesterday and was surprised to see that out of 4 toilets, 2 were for women + men and 2 were for men.
‘Why do women only get 2/4 with 0 exclusively for women, while men have a choice of 4, with 2 just for them?
“Of the two men’s rooms, one had just a urinal + sink, one had a toilet + sink. Same as the mixed one, so I don’t understand that.
‘Why a whole room for a urinal? Why not just install another toilet that everyone can use?
Lauren shared her displeasure on Twitter and claimed the whole debacle was due to ‘gender injustice’
“I think there are 2 related issues. One is unisex and lockable toilets which, while *not* my preference, are less controversial.
“My main issue here is gender injustice – men have all 4 including 2 for their exclusive use. What was the thinking behind it all?
After viewing the complaint, a Costa spokesperson responded by informing Lauren of the reason for the error, saying, “Hello, thank you for raising this with us.” We have now looked into this and found that after the store opened last week, some of the restroom doors had the wrong signs.
“We asked our contractors to change them and put temporary signs until then. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Costa Coffee informed Lauren that the problem was related to the delivery of wrong panels and assured that its subcontractors would fix the problem quickly.
Glad the issue was resolved but still unhappy that it happened, Lauren tweeted, saying: ‘Thanks for fixing this @costacoffee but would like to know how it went.
“I think it would have stayed that way if I hadn’t raised the issue.
“Why didn’t any member of the management take care of it? And why does one of the four toilets only have one urinal?
To which Costa responded by saying, “The washroom with a urinal is one of two men’s washrooms in the store. Temporary signs have now been installed to show two women’s washrooms, two men’s washrooms and one accessible washroom.
Lauren returned to the scene to confirm the temporary signs had been installed and praised the “lovely staff” at the branch.
“Permanent signs will be put in place as soon as possible as this is pursued with the contractor.”
Some Twitter users were puzzled that Lauren continued the conversation with Costa after promising to fix the issue.
One person said: ‘Calm down Karen, they said it was a mistake and are sorting it out. Try not to let it affect the rest of your day.
While another agreed: ‘FFS it has been reviewed and is being sorted, just say thanks and move on.’
And a third said: “They literally said it was an accident, how many toilets do you have to use at once anyway
However, others saw it differently, praising Lauren for speaking out and saying they thought it was not only inconsiderate towards women, but just plain sexist.
One person argued: ‘Women shouldn’t have to watch companies counting to 2 in 2022 just to get fair housing.’
Another agreed, saying: “I don’t believe it was an accident either.”
Another person said, “Those are the issues. Sexual discrimination. Men have 4 toilets, 2 of which are exclusively male.
“Women have 2 shared mixed toilets, which are not only less safe, but also less hygienic. Women are tired of being treated like second-class citizens.
Costa has been contacted for comment.