‘Undercover Boss’ sparks controversy with Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill episode

Typically, “Undercover Boss” on CBS is not the sort of show that really manages to get a whole lot of attention for itself. This is what happens when your episodes are about run-of-the-mill companies, and most of the entire story is about bosses and employees learning something. It’s typical news theory; only when there is controversy, people love to speak out.

This is the case following Sunday night’s episode, which revolved around the Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill. The name here almost says it all; it is a sports bar where your waitresses serve you food in very little clothing. Think of it as a variation of Hooters.

The fact that this chain establishment was the focus in itself probably would have raised a few eyebrows, but then everything else happened. The company’s founder / CEO Doug Guller went undercover at several locations, and eventually ended up rewarding many of his employees. A kitchen supervisor received a trip and a promotion, a manager received more health benefits, and he also gave Grace, one of the servers, money to go towards breast augmentation surgery.

Yep, that happened. Grace seemed to be thrilled with the reward, saying that the surgery would help draw more attention to herself at the restaurant. This is the same restaurant where another employee was fired for supposedly serving too much alcohol, and also not wearing the required bikini top on-camera.

So is all of this worth outrage? Well, the modern age of the internet is where everyone is outraged about anything that does not fit into their box of what is acceptable. We’d say that “frustrating” is probably the right word for it, since the idea of this very establishment in itself seems to be pretty ridiculous, since it is deliberately making its female servers into objects to be ogled.

Yet, at the same time, you can make the argument that women have no obligation to work there, and in the case of Grace, she had no obligation to want plastic surgery. These things were all entirely her choice; the qualms over whether or not this change will help her business should be a qualm with both male customers and society at large.

Our feeling is that the course of the events in the episode felt icky, especially with how the edit framed most of everything to be a positive. With that being said, it didn’t tell us anything new about the state of such skin-baring establishments, and we’re not going to boycott “Undercover Boss” over it. It showed us the reality of one world, even if it is not a world we particularly like; in the next episode, it will show us another. The majority of the stories they present are uplifting without the added discomfort of watching someone getting a reward of new breasts.

Did you watch the episode, and what did you feel about the rewards handed out in the end? Sound off in the comments.

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