Cape Town restaurant Zenzero has apologised after Nigerian model and television host Adeola Ariyo accused the Italian restaurant of discrimination after she was told by the manager she was wearing an “inappropriate” top.
In a video posted on her Twitter page, Ariyo said the restaurant manager told her she was not dressed accordingly, that what she was wearing was not smart casual but a bra.
“Zenzero Restaurant, your discrimination today was unnecessary. This is smart casual! Your manager from Macedonia was very unnecessary and rude. And his apology was also very lacklustre,” she wrote.
In a follow-up post, Ariyo wrote it was a shame she was discriminated against by her favourite restaurant.
“It’s a shame that one of my favourite restaurants in Cape Town had to literally discriminate, sexualise and profile me in such a way. According to the manager, what I was wearing was too revealing.
“We left the restaurant because there’s no way we will spend a dime in such an establishment. Zenzero is located literally in front of the beach. And I can’t wear this? So, what’s going to happen in summer?” she wrote.
Lol I can’t wait for summer pic.twitter.com/ApeHQLpsuA— Adeola Ariyo (@AdeolaAriyo) September 11, 2021
More users came out about experiencing the same thing at the same restaurant, and at other restaurants.
@Mazikhali_Veto commented: “Cape Town restaurants do that all the time, two weeks back, I was turned away at Bungalow Clifton by the bouncer saying my dress code wasn’t meeting their standards. I respectfully left because I just couldn’t understand.”
@HlumelaFinca wrote: “This happened to me and my friends in a restaurant called Bilboa in Camps Bay. They said that we were dressed provocatively and that their restaurant doesn’t allow that. We were wearing summer dresses.”
Another user, @Acesotshisa said: “This also happens at Bobo’s, and they said that my friend's shoulders were exposed when she was wearing a simple black dress.”
In a statement posted on Instagram, the restaurant said they would like to apologise to anyone affected or offended by this incident and are looking to rectify it immediately.
“The Kove Collection is deeply saddened to have been involved in an incident at Zenzero yesterday, Saturday, 11 September. Our team has made contact with the patrons involved and keeping all parties updated throughout this process. We do not condone any form of discrimination and will be dealing with our management internally. We would like to issue an apology to anyone affected or offended by this incident and are looking to rectify it immediately,” they wrote.