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Hanoi restaurant sparks debate over bikini-clad waitresses

Thursday, May 12, 2016, 10:00 GMT+7

Social media was abuzz after a Hanoi restaurant caused a stir with what seemed to be a new uniform for its female waitstaff.

On May 8, photos and videos surfaced on social media that appeared to show waitresses at a restaurant in Cau Giay District wearing bikinis while serving drinks and food to diners.

A staff member from the restaurant spoke with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on the phone and confirmed the incident, but added that the girls were promotion models sent to the eatery to promote a beer brand.

Some newswires reported that the restaurant’s manager was unaware of the promotion and called a stop to it immediately after being notified.

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In this photo shared on Facebook, a girl is seen wearing bikinis and walking at the restaurant in Hanoi.

Since the stir, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has expressed its dismay at the incident, saying it has sent a delegation to work with the restaurant and impose appropriate penalties on the owner, Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper reported.

The incident is the second of its kind in just a matter of days. Last week a staff member at an electronics store, also in Hanoi, was fined 40 million (US$1,786) by the department for running an advertising campaign which flouted Vietnamese cultural customs.

Le Viet Chung, a marketing associate at the Tran Anh electronics store, received the fine on May 6 over promotional activities involving young women hired by the store to wear bikinis while welcoming visitors and introducing air-conditioning products.

On April 28, the store sparked fury over social media after its customers shared a number of photos and videos showing promotion girls in two-piece swimwear helping customers park their motorbike and leading them into the facility before introducing the products.

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