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Chennai’s LooCafe – a hybrid model where a thriving restaurant funds clean toilets

A LooCafe in Chennai which offers clean, hygienic and free toilet for everyone free of cost while also running a cafe for the upkeep of this utility

Expenses involved in maintaining a clean toilet has always been vital factor in providing a hygienic utility for people. Now that is changing as for example, LooCafe in Chennai is a self-sustaining business model in which a café is built next to the public toilets with the rental revenue from the former used to maintain the latter.

The Greater Chennai Corporation provides the space for this project free of cost for up to 15 years, while Loocafe with its expertise in maintaining public toilets, constructs them and the maintenance of these utilities are done by Thooya Innovations, a partner of Loocafe.

Land is provided by the Corporation on the condition that these toilets will be free for the public and they should be clean and free of odour.

Explaining the concept, Abhishek Nath, LooCafe’s CEO told the media: "LooCafe redefines the entire experience of using public toilets. We are working on a lot more tech enabled toilets as we scale up. We are putting together our experience in different cities and states in a scientific way to take the entire experience to the next level.”

Interestingly, these toilets and cafes are eco-friendly as shipping containers are used to make them. Sharing details, Venkatesh CR, MD, Thooya Innovations said: "We spend ₹ 15-20 lakhs for each toilet complex with the cafe, making arrangements for power, sewage and water. It would take around 15 years for us to recover the cost. It's our way of giving back.”

The utility includes separate urinals for men, western closets for women, differently-abled and transgenders.

Till now the Corporation has earmarked 55 such spots to develop the Loocafes.

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