The founder of the Austin-based Bikinis Sports Bar and Grill is catching all kinds of heat on social media after an appearance last night on the CBS network’s “Undercover Boss.”
In the episode, Doug Guller posed as an entry-level employee, working at five Bikinis locations scattered across Texas — three in the Dallas area, one in San Antonio and the original location near Highland Mall in North Austin.
At the end of the episode, he revealed his true identity to workers at the restaurants — and that’s when the drama started.
Guller, who started Bikinis about nine years ago, is being criticized by viewers for firing an employee who refused to wear a bikini top and for offering to pay for breast augmentation surgery for a different worker, among other things.
(To be fair, the “breastaurant” owner — Guller trademarked the term in 2013 — also gave one employee a 30 percent raise and $10,000 for a family vacation and offered to help another worker with housing and medical expenses for her ill child.)
But the firing and the offer of free breast enhancement surgery, in particular, rubbed many the wrong the way. Jezebel, for instance, said “Undercover Boss” had “stooped to depressing new lows.”
“This was a bad episode unleashing a bunch of unchecked (expletive) on a viewing audience that (judging by fans’ reactions on Twitter) didn’t want it. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that this level of blatant sexism no longer seems widely appreciated,” the Jezebel piece said, in part.
Guller hasn’t responded to the criticism yet. In a Tweet shortly after the show aired, he thanked the show and told his employees, “Y’all rock.”
Thank you very much #undercoverboss. Many thanks to Chris George & the Bikinis team, ya'll rock! #BikinisSportsBarAndGrill#eatwithyoureyes
— Doug Guller (@DougGuller) December 29, 2014