While Don's Johns was glad to land a contract to provide the presidential inauguration ceremony with portable restrooms, the company didn't expect to be the center of controversy.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to provide portable restroom service for a large, high-profile event like last week’s U.S. presidential inauguration? Maybe you’ve seen the recent headlines. Sometimes you take the good with the bad.
During preparation for last week’s U.S. presidential inauguration, event staff reportedly concealed the company logo on the portable restrooms provided by Don’s Johns. The prevailing theory is that organizers thought the name too closely resembled that of President Donald John Trump.
Rob Weghorst, the chief operating officer of Don’s Johns, didn’t know the logos were being covered up until the AP reported on it, bringing in numerous phone calls and comments on the company’s social media accounts.
“We are disappointed our logo is being taped over, as we are very proud of the Don’s Johns name,” says Weghorst, whose company has provided portable restrooms for many large events in Washington, D.C., including the 2009 and 2013 inauguration ceremonies for President Barack Obama.
Other than the media attention surrounding the logo cover-up, this event isn’t all that unique for a company that’s served the D.C. metro area for more than 50 years.
“We participated in many large-scale events on the National Mall over the years, to include the past two inaugurations, Fourth of July celebrations, the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, as well as major golf tournaments and large music festivals in the area. So, we are familiar with these larger events as we participate in most in this area.”
The main difference, he says, is the amount of security Don’s Johns must adhere to while delivering its units to the site of the inauguration.
“We participated in the past two inaugurations, so this will be the third consecutive inauguration for us,” says Weghorst. “President Obama’s first inauguration was a huge event. At the time, it was the largest single-day event with over 6,000 units. His second one was not as large. We don’t have the final numbers for this event, but it promises to be very big. We are providing over 2,000 units for this event.”
In addition to being one of the oldest portable restroom providers in the mid-Atlantic region, Don’s Johns is also the largest, according to Weghorst. So they’re well equipped to deal with large-scale events like the inauguration.
“In addition to our huge fleet of portable restrooms we also have a large fleet of restroom trailers as well,” he says. “We have been working large events in the D.C. area and beyond for many years.”