Business Insider CEO Does Not Want or Need a Bathroom Attendant

Breakfast at Balthazar led Business Insider editor and CEO Henry Blodget to pen a personal essay when he got back to the office. An essay that has nothing to do with the establishment’s menu items or other media patrons.

Rather, it’s all about the guy Blodget keeps forgetting is standing in the Balthazar men’s room, waiting patiently for him and other patrons by the sink. The BI exec breezily recounts the internal dialogue he had this morning as he once again faced this needless, antiquated custom:

Then I think, “And after that will come the worst part. I will have to walk over to the sink and watch him turn on the water for me before I get there. I will think, ‘Thanks, but I actually don’t need someone to turn on the water for me. First of all, it wastes water. Second, it makes me feel like I’m the kind of guy who dreams of being rich enough to be able to pay someone to turn on the water for me.'”

The poor guy will talk to me while I’m washing my hands, while standing six inches from me. Then, after I wash my hands, he will hand me a paper towel. And then he will expect a tip.

There’s actually a chance Blodget’s piece may lead to Balthazar rethinking its bathroom attendant policies. Although perhaps then, a certain attendant will take to a different website to write an essay titled “Henry Blodget, Thanks for Getting Me Fired.” Read Blodget’s item here.

Update (November 4):
Via email to, Balthazar proprietor Keith McNally has indicated that he plans to phase out the bathroom attendants in the coming weeks, per Blodget’s objections. On Twitter meanwhile, Blodget is fielding a fair amount of angry response and has just indicated that he hopes the affected employees will be reassigned rather than fired.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
New York Times Magazine Showcases ‘Life of a Balthazar Potato’