Nude Noms: Potential Legal Issues With Naked Restaurants

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on June 15, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Tokyo's The Amrita, a nude pop-up restaurant, doesn't even open its doors until next month, and it's already causing quite a controversy. No, not because it purports to offer diners a "naked" eating experience. It's because the restaurant will supposedly ban old, overweight, and inked-up patrons.

A similar prohibition in the U.S. might invite a few discrimination lawsuits. But those could be the least of a nude restaurant's worries. Here are a few other legal concerns for naked dining establishments:

Exposed Heath Code

Hey, we're not saying that nudists are inherently dirty in a sanitation sense, but if you're going to make your kitchen staff wear hairnets, you might also be concerned about what your clientele is, or isn't, wearing. Eminent eating edition Bon Apétit has some etiquette tips:

Towel On: "Naked butts at the table are a big no-no," says travel writer and photographer David Lansing, who likes to take off his press hat (and everything else) at nudist resorts around the world. For reasons of basic health and safety, everyone brings a towel to sit on. More proof that, as fans of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy know all too well, a towel is "the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker" -- or hungry nudist -- "can have."

Open Ordinances

What constitutes lewd behavior can vary from state to state. Most jurisdictions have criminal statutes barring public nudity, so even if an experimental eatery wants to "use only the most natural, home-grown ingredients to envelope its patrons in a Pangea[sic]-like world, free from phones, electric lights and even clothing," guests will most likely need to cover up on their way in and out of the caveman cafeteria.

Revealing the Right of Privacy

Bon Apétit also points out the need to balance diners' social media proclivities with other patrons' privacy interests: "Go ahead and Instagram your dinner if the resort allows it ... but don't shoot other guests unless they sign a photo release form." An amateur Anthony Bourdain could get slapped with an invasion of privacy lawsuit for a public disclosure of private parts facts.

Follow FindLaw for Consumers on Facebook and Twitter (@FindLawConsumer).

Related Resources:

Copied to clipboard