A small shawarma chain in Detroit is taking some heat for its “sexually suggestive” uniforms, but the owner claims he never intended for the clothes to be so provocative.
The female employees of Bucharest Grill, which just opened its fourth location in Detroit, had been outfitted in yoga pants leggings with the phrase “We Deliver” written across their backsides. This didn’t sit well local businesswoman Jerroll Sanders during a recent visit, prompting her to take her complaints to the owner.
“I visited the restaurant and I took note that inscribed across the young ladies’ buttocks there was a message that said, ‘We Deliver,’ and that was very sexually suggestive to me,” said Sanders, who was also a one-time mayoral candidate in Detroit, to WWJ News.
“Whenever you inscribe messages across the buttocks, you want people to look at the buttocks.”
Sanders continued to rip into Bucharest Grill on Facebook, claiming that the uniforms were “disrespectful to our girls,” and insisted that several of the employees were pleased that she spoke up about it.
“I doubt the owner, whom I believe is Middle Eastern, would ask his daughter to wear such garb. I WILL NOT do business with an establishment that disrespects our girls,” wrote Sanders.
Since Sanders’ initial post, the owner of Bucharest Grill, Bogdan Tarasov, has told WWJ that he never intended for the message to be interpreted in a sexually suggestive manner, and vowed to remove the pants from the uniform rotation.
In a statement obtained by Fox News, Bucharest Grill also accused Sanders of starting the controversy to push her upcoming book.
"These pants never had a double meaning in 8 years until Jerroll Sanders' publicly trashed our business for personal gain," reads the statement, which also points out that Tarasov is not Middle Eastern, but Romanian.
"When Jerroll M. Sanders posted her angery and wreckless [sic] post saying our female employees had 'sizeable bottoms,' SHE drew attention to them and sexualized them."
"You won't have to dig too deep to find the ulterior motive behind it all [which is that] Jerroll M. Sanders' attack is to push her new book," the restaurateurs later added.
Bucharest Grill's statement also claims that they invited Sanders to discuss the matter after they pulled the offending pants, but she declined to meet.
Sanders, meanwhile, claims she's still unhappy with Tarasov’s efforts. In a subsequent Facebook post, she admitted that Tarasov removed the “We Deliver” leggings from rotation, but has yet to “discontinue the practice of having messages on the buttocks of uniforms altogether.”
She goes on to explain that Tarasov claimed he needed more time to assess the “financial implications” of buying completely new uniforms for his employees.
“OUR GIRL'S BACKSIDES SHOULD NOT SERVE AS AN ADVERTISING BILLBOARD,” wrote Sanders.
Sanders says she isn’t the only one who noticed the sexually suggestive nature of the uniforms, as several “other mothers” took note as well. And as Yahoo points out, the restaurant has earned itself a little bit of a reputation for dressing its female employees in a certain manner.
Sanders was not immediately available for comment.