An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
I REALLY THOUGHT the days were mostly over of restaurants requiring their female servers to wear skimpy attire. I say “mostly,” because you can still find in this town the occasional restaurant where young waitresses must wear tight fitting, extra short skirts.
But that’s more or less the extent of the skin being shown. Apparently, though, not all restaurant owners have gotten the message. A couple of enterprising young women announced this week they’re going to open a restaurant in which the servers will wear bikinis.
I didn’t even know that’s still legal. Mind you, the laws around that sort of thing have always been open to interpretation as to what’s proper and what’s not.
That is, what’s intended to titillate and what’s not. Employers can require dress codes, of course. They can insist on uniforms. In some places, they can prohibit body piercings and even tattoos.
And, they can always just find other reasons not to hire somebody they don’t like the looks of. But requiring somebody to show cleavage is a different story. Of course, a lot of workers probably will just avoid applying to a restaurant that promotes the fact its servers wear boob-popping halter tops or bikinis.
And what about male servers? If a male applies for a job at the bikini restaurant, surely he couldn’t be turned down based on gender.
And then there’s the age thing. Where does this put senior citizens who want to earn a little pocket money? For many young people, waitressing is an important introduction into the workforce.
I would never discourage a new business startup but surely there are better ways to differentiate yourself from the competition. This is 2019. How about this idea — a pleasant, friendly environment and really good food?
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.