Is fitness gear suitable attire for a coffee shop? Costa Coffee don’t think so — as one gym goer found out this week when she popped in for a cup of joe.
London-based personal trainer Davina Ward took to her Facebook page to vent after being asked to leave a Costa branch for wearing leggings and a sports bra.
The 35-year-old personal trainer was sitting in the Sutton coffee shop with a friend when a member of staff asked her to cover up, reported The Mirror.
Ms. Ward had just taken a ninja skills class and had nothing else to wear. She claims she was then asked to leave the premises and, to add insult to injury, the staff initially refused to refund her for the two coffees she had purchased.
“I’ve never been so angry in my life… I’m absolutely fuming,” she said. “Why would they let me sit down and then embarrass me by telling me to leave?
“I spend all my life in my gym kit, that’s how I get most of my business,” she added. “I feel like I’ve been thrown out on the basis of being fit and healthy.”
The Costa Coffee version of events is slightly different but also slightly confusing: the barista who asked Ms. Ward to cover up said she didn’t ask her to leave the shop. However the barista also said: “It’s health and safety, and common sense. We have plenty of people coming in from the gym, [it wasn’t] because it was a bra and because it was a girl. I wouldn’t allow anyone to sit in without a top.”
Kerry Parkin, Costa’s head of communications, said the company was investigating the incident and apologised to Ms. Ward for “any offence caused.”
“We’d like to assure customers that our stores are warm and welcoming environments and we will be looking to reassess our training policy with our teams immediately,” she said.
If Ms. Ward had been sitting in Costa in a lacy bra then I can see why some customers or staff members might have an issue with it. But the only thing a sports bra shows off that a low-cut vest doesn’t is the stomach. (And if I had abs like Davina Ward I’d go everywhere in my sports bra.)
FYI if you happen to be in Sutton in your sports bra any time soon and fancy a coffee head to Starbucks. Apparently Ms. Ward went there after she was “ejected” from Costa and received a much warmer welcome.