When one thinks of a barista, they often think of some unenthused college-age student who misinterprets your name. (Personally, I believe myself to have a rather simple name—Bobby—yet somehow, I’ve recieved coffee cups that have read everything from “Barbie” to “Baday.”) What you may not envision when you think of a barista is a smoking-hot 20-something who wouldn’t look out of place in one of our pictorials, which is what one Arizona-based coffee shop, aptly named “Bikini Beans Espresso,” is currently making headlines for, hoping their experiement will turn into a commercial success.
As appealing as being served by a hot-bodied, bikini-clad barista may seem, let’s first talk about how ridiculous this is. For starters, the store’s mission statement is baffling: “To empower and inspire everyone to live life to the fullest—one visit at a time.“ The site continues, “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 to 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.”
How a woman serving coffee nearly nude has anything to do with her right to vote, to love another woman or to own a business for that matter is lost on me. The truth of the matter is, it doesn’t. It is just the business’s way of covering their ass from the inevitable backlash they receive for requiring women to wear bikinis to sell beverages. That idea in itself doesn’t even make much sense. I mean, think about it: hot coffee plus exposed skin equals severe burns. Y'ouch.
Not to mention, this restaurant comes at a time when sales at so-called “breastaurants” like Hooters have remained stagnant. That boobs-over-quality approach has caused a steady decline in sales over the past few years, with the total number of Hooters’s U.S. locations dropping nearly seven percent from 2012 to 2015.
But surprisingly enough, the shop has good customer ratings, averaging 4.5 stars. Menu items are more or less what’s become expected of standard coffee shop fare, though some items have been sprinkled with flirty terminology like “Strawberry Kiss” and “Naughty Chai Latte.” Oh, and their cup sizes are referenced in the same vein as bras: A-cups, B-cups, you get the idea.
According to Bikini Beans’s website, the company promises “competitive wages” and says you’ll learn “useful interpersonal skills.” Bikini Beans Espresso takes pride “in having self-integrity, a passion for our job, and a commitment to encourage and inspire women everywhere!” (Prospective employees are encouraged to apply through Instagram and Facebook—an obvious effort to first establish if one’s appearance is passable prior to an interview.)
Here are some examples of Bikini Beans’ vision of female empowerment, as displayed on their Instagram page, which boasts almost 75,000 followers.
A smile is the most beautiful curve on a women’s body 😁💕💖 Lexi, Val and Rae here in Phoenix ready to serve you up some protein shakes ! We have the Bikini Buzz, PB&J, Vanilla or Chocolate ! So many delicious options 😍😋 Come see for yourself ! Don’t forget our protein cookies to go with it ! Our favorite is the double chocolate chip ❤️😍 #BeanGang #Protein #Cookies #GirlPower #Cookies #Bikinis #BikiniBeans #DoubleChocolateChip #BikiniBuzz #Pb&j
In this world, there is no force equal to the strength of a woman determined to rise💪🏼💯✨ It’s Friday friends!🌟 Stop by the Bean, say hi, and grab a yummy Iced Toasted Coconut🌴It has ✌🏼shots of our delicious espresso, with heavenly swirls of toasted marshmallow and coconut👅💓 Xoxo, the Bean Gang👙☕️ #bikinibeansespresso #bikinibeans #coffeetime #espresso #comethrough #happyfriday #empower #inspire
On second thought, these girls do look like they’re having a good time. And if they enjoy their job, then who the hell is anybody to judge? Obviously, this business model, like their tea, is steeped in sexism, but then again, this isn’t a place for the easily offended. Like the promotional video below suggests, this is the kind of place reserved for dudes on hoverboards or men who may be compensating for something with expensive cars.