I’ve only been to Bikini Beans once and that’s because I was so uncomfortable, I’ve never had any desire to go back. The location I went to was in the heart of central Phoenix, off 7th street, just south of Indian School. The coffee shop is mostly a drive thru operation, with a few tables on their small outdoor patio. What apparently makes this coffee shop “unique” and apparently an attraction is that their baristas are all young women scantily clad in bikinis. The menu of specialty coffee drinks looks a lot like what you would see at other places.
I ordered a plain cup of joe, so I wasn’t expecting anything extraordinary. Ironically, though I was uncomfortable being the only female patron amidst a long line of guys cruising by to get their morning caffeine fix, I was surprised to find that the barista was the friendliest person behind the counter I’ve so far experienced in my voyage of trying out different cafes. Even though there was a line developing at the drive thru, the woman took the time to say hello and ask me how my day was going. Most of the time when I go to these shops, the baristas are not really present. It doesn’t matter whether there’s a long line of customers or if I’m the only one in the shop. I respect the fact that baristas, or anyone working in a coffee shop, has a tough job. Customers take their coffee very seriously. However, with the number of coffee shops out there, good customer service goes a very long way. It doesn’t take much to make people feel welcomed, but it can truly make a difference in someone’s day. In a world where most of our connections are virtual, something as small as even a smile will make a lasting impression on someone.
Bikini is obviously not the type of coffee shop you go to if you want to meet up with a friend or work on your laptop. It’s mainly for people who need to quickly grab coffee on their way to work, with the perk of seeing an attractive woman in a bikini.
On the company’s website, part of their mission statement reads:
“As the first bikini barista shop in Arizona, we want to positively
inspire our local community by empowering others to do what they
want and love what they do. You [sic] Our brand is founded
upon providing exceptional customer service and delivering a quality
product. We achieve this by creating a personable experience on
every visit by making sure your drink is made just the way you like it.”
First, someone should have proofread their website content. Second, baristas wearing bikinis is a novelty, but there’s nothing about showing skin that empowers a woman. A woman is empowered when she loves herself. How many women do you know dislike their bodies because of the pressure to look a certain way? If Bikini wanted to empower women in addition to appealing to men, they should put a belly dancer behind the counter because they understand and teach the beauty of each woman’s femininity, no matter what size she is.
The customer service was the strongest quality of this coffee stop. I appreciated the barista’s warm personality because I really don’t see that in a lot of places anymore. However, due to my reasons stated above, I probably will not go back anytime soon. But then again, I’m a woman.