This Bar's A+ Sign Fights Sexual Harassment and Deters Creeps
"We had to toss out a guy who was harassing myself and another female bartender."
Photo via Beer Cellar, illustration by Charlotte Mullin.
One of the great unspoken (and spoken) truths of the restaurant industry is that front-of-house staff is essentially paid to seduce you. But not that kind of seduction—they're incentivized to make you feel good about spending money.
Whether it's an up-sell on a bottle of wine, a nudge to order more appetizers and sides, or just an attempt to get a bigger tip, your server or bartender is friendly because they're paid to be; and in most cases, they're paid even more if they get you to stick around. Depending on the emotional intelligence of patrons, this warm service can be taken for what it is: a system designed to make customers feel special in exchange for their money.
Unfortunately, as most women in hospitality know, the tip dance will all-too-often get processed through the filter of a fragile male ego, which inevitably leads to disastrous misinterpretations of basic politeness, and, ultimately, dudes acting really creepy toward female staff.
In an attempt to cut down on these awkward and disrespectful interactions, one UK bar put up the following sign on their cash register:
A photo of the sign was posted on the Twitter page of The Beer Cellar, a pub in Exeter, England, with the caption, "if dudes could stop trying to kiss our female bartender's hands that would be great." If we're reading this sign correctly, it is essentially saying that there is a 0.0 percent chance that a friendly female employee wants to fuck you just because she is doing her duty of being nice to customers.
"We put it up a few months ago after a pretty rough weekend," Beer Cellar bartender Lauren Dew told MUNCHIES. "We had to toss out a guy who was harassing myself and another female bartender."
READ MORE: Sexual Harassment Made Me Quit Being a Chef
After seeing an illustration by artist Charlotte Mullin on Facebook, Dew printed it out and put it on the front of the bar, where it's been pretty well-received. "Most people find it really funny. We've had a few complaints, but, to be honest, they tend to be from the guys who need the sign most of all."
As funny as the sign is, it's also addressing a very real problem for women in the service industry.
"We've thrown out people for groping staff, and I've had to be walked home because some guy was waiting outside for me one night," Dew says. "Don't get me wrong, 98 percent of people are lovely, but it is more common than it ought to be."