VANCOUVER, BC—Cactus Club, one of Canada’s biggest casual-dining chains, are updating what they call their “outdated dress code” for their Vancouver-based restaurants. “From August 24th onwards all female hostesses, waitresses and bartenders are required to wear swimwear for the rest of the summer season,” a statement read.
Staff at locations including Coal Harbour, English Bay and Robson Street will now be expected to wear bikinis, one-pieces or “occasionally short-shorts” according to CEO Larry Brigmore, with a wider rollout expected for the rest of Canada, if successful.
Brigmore claims the move is within the company’s rights as an employer, and insists female staff were consulted at every step of planning. “I can assure you that Cactus Club took complaints about the alleged objectifying and sexualization of our female staff incredibly seriously. But on the other hand, our customers have long complained about our servers’ unflattering clothing. So we feel this is a fair compromise.”
The BC-based restaurant chain claims their new swimwear policy gives female staff “more freedom” by removing restrictive clothing regulations. “The days of Cactus Club hostesses and waitresses being forced to wear black are over. Their bikinis can be leopard print, spotted, see-through, lace, it’s entirely the lady’s choice. We’re all about self-expression.”
Later, he labelled criticism that the company was in danger of becoming the Canadian Hooters, as “wide of the mark”. “That’s ludicrous. Our patrons won’t be seeing our staff mud wrestle or do shot’s from each others cleavage until next summer at the very earliest,” he insisted.
He also claims the move is in keeping with the company’s well-known feminist values. “However it’s not just about removing restrictive clothing regulations, it’s about removing restrictive clothing. We empower our female staff to choose whatever type of garment they want to wear, provided it covers no more than 7% of their body, and their body contains no more than 7% body fat.”
In a further step to enhance Cactus Club’s growing reputation as a staunch defender of equal rights, they have pledged that male staff will also be forced to wear summer attire, should the female trial prove successful:
“Gender equality is the cornerstone of our business. So we feel that in just a few short years our male staff can expect to be wearing shorts, vests, t-shirts and join the girls in showing only the socially acceptable amount of flesh.”
When asked how female employees felt about the new dress code, Brigmore appeared caught of guard. “Ahh, I’m sure they’re cool with it,” he shrugged, before quickly adding, “oh they’ll probably make a lot more money in tips. What better incentive could there be?”