A coffee shop in Washington has been luring customers with its very controversial unique selling point – a bikini dress code for staff. Bikini Beans Espresso has locations in Arizona and Washington. They employ baristas that make and serve coffee in bikinis or underwear, while some have opted for just strategically-placed stickers. The shop, owned by entrepreneur Carlie Jo, has been a huge success, earning a five-star rating on Yelp and tens of thousands of followers on its social media accounts.
While a bikini dress code may seem like a step backwards for gender equality, the shop’s owners insist it’s to empower women. On its website, the coffee chain proudly proclaims: “As the first bikini barista shop in Arizona, we want to empower women to be, and feel good about, themselves. Women everywhere have the right to vote, to be gay, to be successful community leaders and business owners, or even run for president! We have the right to work with grace, confidence and dignity, regardless if it’s in a business suit, scrubs, or a bikini.” The business model appears to be most appealing to men, with several taking to the Facebook to compliment its beautiful staff. But not everyone is convinced, including city councilor Mike Fagan who unsuccessfully tried to impose limitations on bikini barista stands. According to Fagan, the stand promotes the exploitation of women.
Photo Credits: Bikini Beans Espresso