Bulldog Pizza is opening soon in Nyon, a town between Geneva and Lausanne, promising to deliver pizzas and sandwiches to businesses and homes.
But its plan to hire solely young women for deliveries has provoked the ire of Magaly Hanselmann, an official with the canton of Vaud responsible for gender equality, 20 Minutes reported online on Tuesday.
“It is shocking: we are confronted here with a case that could be one of direct discrimination,” Hanselmann is quoted by the newspaper as saying.
The pizza company has advertised in French for “female delivery people, women only . . . of excellent appearance, young and go-getting”.
Hanselmann said the text poses not only a problem with the law on equality but it puts potential employees in a dangerous situation.
“To have sexy women making deliveries alone makes no sense,” she told 20 Minutes.
“It’s putting them in a delicate situation,” Hanselmann said.
“In case of harassment, this employer is not protected from the filing of a complaint.”
Peter Zehetbauer, owner of Bulldog Pizza, said he expected criticism when he launched his business, 20 Minutes reported.
“When I spoke to my sister about it, she wanted to strangle me,” Zehetbauer is quoted as saying.
“But our concept is innovative,” he said.
“I am convinced that it responds to a demand.”
In its advertising flyer and on its Facebook page the company shows a couple of young women, wearing low-cut white polo shirts and caps with pizza boxes in their hands.
Zehetbauer brushed aside accusations of sexism, 20 Minutes reported.
“I am transparent with my employees,” he said.
“And all the same, they do not work scantily clad,” the entrepreneur insisted.
“If they attack me, I know how to defend myself.”
Zehetbauer said that all the delivery women are equipped with tear gas cannisters “just in case”.
He said four women have already been hired, “including a model”.
Several men have applied for jobs without success, 20 Minutes said.
Zehetbauer said once the “business concept” is explained to them they understand why they have been turned down.
By contrast, all the pizza makers are men, he added.