ROTHENBURGER – Forget the bikinis, just serve some really good food

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 opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (7210 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on ROTHENBURGER – Forget the bikinis, just serve some really good food

  1. Sean McGuinness // May 17, 2019 at 7:39 AM // Reply

    This is a really lame comment, but is the picture supposed to depict “some really good food”? Not sure.

  2. Jerri-Lynne Cameron // May 16, 2019 at 6:27 PM // Reply

    Absurd in this day and age to exploit young women to try to build your business. Even Victoria’s Secret is going under due to relying too heavily on supermodels over substance. Hopefully the people of Kamloops have the integrity and intelligence not to support a silly, exploitive gimmick just so they can ogle a few sets of young boobies (for god’s sake go look at some porn if you can’t manage your overwhelming “male primordial instinct” 🤨.

  3. The recurring problem is, really good food is more expensive and totally under-appreciated hence difficult to sell successfully. But exploiting the male primordial instinct is an easy selling feature…little “explanation” via advertising needed. Plus who cares about food anyways?
    I do though wonder about the hygiene part…maybe it is just me but that part alone will not make me cross-over for a scantily clad burger.

  4. Glen Cairns // May 16, 2019 at 6:49 AM // Reply

    Good column. I’ve got this friend. He’s just turned sixty and needs to supplement his income. He’s a bit overweight, but he owns a Speedo and has a lot of restaurant experience. Any idea where he should send his resume?

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