Hanoi authorities have issued a fine against a restaurant for putting women in swimwear to serve beer to customers on May 8.
Phung Van Quang, who owns the restaurant on Tran Thai Tong Street, has been ordered to pay VND40 million (US$1,800), according to a decision announced Thursday by the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The department found that his restaurant promoted its business "in a way that goes against traditional culture, history, ethics and fine customs of Vietnam."
The case caught the attention of officials after photos of women in bikinis serving drinks to customers at the restaurant went viral. The waitresses can be seen serving beer and sitting next to the customers.
A restaurant representative confirmed the authenticity of the photos, but claimed that the scantily-clad women were hired by Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage JSC (Sabeco) to promote and boost sales of its own products.
Sabeco, however, rejected the accusation.
Earlier on May 6, Hanoi cultural inspectors issued a similar fine against an electronics store for using women in swimwear to promote its business. The managers of Tran Anh electronics store claimed that they were only filming "sex education videos."