Restaurant in Islamabad comes under fire for sexist ads

Published: November 11, 2015


Let’s face it, the expression “a woman’s place is in the kitchen” is not only an outright offense to women but also an insult to the intelligence of mankind.

It’s 2015 after all, but a restaurant in Islamabad may have missed the memo. Table No 5 has recently come under fire due to its sexist marketing strategy.

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“If she won’t make you a sandwich, we will” and “I don’t hate women, they just refuse to make me a sandwich,” are some of the catch lines the restaurant is using, which have irked many social media users as well as some feminist and non-profit organisations.

The restaurant even made a chart comparing women to a sandwich and concluded, “Choose happiness, choose a sandwich.”

Girls at Dhabas, a site which now has presence on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and seeks to create public space for women, has criticised the restaurant’s marketing, saying, “What Table No 5 thinks is a quick and smart strategy to get attention by gas lighting women and feminists is deeply problematic… humour at the expense of an identity that is historically subjugated, is not humour – it is another form of oppression.”

Non-profit organistaion Payaam Trust also criticised the restaurant’s advertisements.

While some cracked jokes and laughed it off, many Facebook users reacted seriously to the advertisements, vowing to boycott the restaurant altogether.


However, the restaurant seems to have taken the criticism in its stride by “thanking ladies” instead of apologising.

“A lot of people have been calling us misogynists over the past few days. I guess we started off on the wrong foot. We don’t have anything against the ladies; in fact we’re grateful to them. It’s because they stopped making sandwiches that we got the opportunity to open up a sandwich joint in town. So, thanks ladies!” the restaurant wrote in a Facebook post.

But it got worse, as they went on to defend themselves, saying, “Ladies can compare men with dogs anytime they like but we can’t compare a lady to a sandwich? PS check out the comments section if you want to experience the height of overreaction.”

An argument worthy of a slow clap.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (33)

  • Mbq
    Nov 11, 2015 - 3:59PM

    blogger must be a female though !!Recommend

  • Alamdar
    Nov 11, 2015 - 4:35PM

    The owner needs to get a life !!! They should stop objectifying women to sell their sandwiches .. They aren’t even worth it anyways Recommend

  • Marl Brando
    Nov 11, 2015 - 5:01PM

    Wow…lol, who are these guys?Recommend

  • SS
    Nov 11, 2015 - 5:11PM

    This is exactly what is wrong in our society!Recommend

  • Taby
    Nov 11, 2015 - 5:16PM

    I don’t see any discrimination that is being taken as a point of offence. Girls should take things on a lighter note. Recommend

  • abc
    Nov 11, 2015 - 5:35PM

    Come on girls – don’t take everything sexist. Take it as a humour :d Recommend

  • Khan Gul
    Nov 11, 2015 - 6:18PM

    me (man): This is shamefulRecommend

  • SHAH
    Nov 11, 2015 - 7:50PM

    @Khan Gul:
    Sandwich or the woman ??? Recommend

  • Sagheer
    Nov 11, 2015 - 8:44PM

    Man, its owsum. What an idea. Come on nothing wrong with this add. Recommend

  • mjk
    Nov 11, 2015 - 9:15PM

    I’m a woman AND a housewife(homemaker) and this ad does not bother me one bit. To me, it seems more like a slap on man’s face for not being able to fix himself even a sandwich. Recommend

  • ih
    Nov 11, 2015 - 9:18PM

    One does not need to get offended on this very light hearted ad. Next time I visit islamabad sure to seek table five. Recommend

  • echoboom
    Nov 11, 2015 - 9:44PM

    sandwiches? is this Pakistan? where is aloo Prathha, Qeema prathaa, kabaab roti….and since when did we become westoxicated scum to impose upon our society…only when the masters start going back to old values will our liberal/secular will suddenly wake up to extoll the virtues of “our” traditions…Recommend

  • Israr Baig
    Nov 11, 2015 - 9:55PM

    Pathetic..khwaateen tou sirf bawarchi-khaanon tak mehdood hony chahiyein, per these cavemen..should change their restaurant’s name to Taliban No. 5..Recommend

  • Akbar
    Nov 11, 2015 - 10:17PM

    Ha ha..
    Nice one.
    I think its pretty innovative and fun. There`s lot of stuff which are really misogynistic passed as perfect in the name of religion. For Example: Burka, or the dowry system or allowing 4 wives which are all demeaning women in the name of religious righteousness.Recommend

  • Don't Play Leapfrog with Unicorns
    Nov 11, 2015 - 11:36PM

    I don’t think it’s sexist at all. I think it’s funny. God!! Some ppl!Recommend

  • Hamad
    Nov 12, 2015 - 5:01AM

    I dont see the problem. Don’t like their marketing? Dont eat there…Recommend

  • ارشد حسین
    Nov 12, 2015 - 9:21AM

    I hide this article from my wife,otherwise I’ve to pay for it. SandwichRecommend

  • Waqar
    Nov 12, 2015 - 10:27AM

    Lol good one Restaurant 5! :D
    Women, please take humor as humor and don’t go Gaga over everything. Recommend

  • Ali Kazmi
    Nov 12, 2015 - 10:59AM

    Hahahahahaha it’s hilarious! Oh common ladies don’t be so insecure, take some humor lightly. As far as the kitchen is concerned only the males are the best chefs and they don’t feel insulted neither it’s a sign of their low intellect hahahaRecommend

  • sardarzaheer
    Nov 12, 2015 - 12:11PM

    Advertising gets more eye ball if its a little controversial…so did this one hits into bulls eye and i sure everyone would wish to visit it..but restaurant menu and ambiance wont support the image its trying to reflect Recommend

  • Logitech
    Nov 12, 2015 - 1:02PM

    People here are missing the point.

    The restaurant is doing this in a sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek fashion. The restaurant does this because it knows how ridiculous it is to hold these beliefs today. If you can’t detect the obvious sarcasm is the deliberately-exaggerated sexism, you won’t get anything.

    Having said all that, I hope this starts a debate about victimisation in our society. We often hear about the women being at the pointy end of the stick but what we never hear about is how often teenage boys suffer abuse at the hands of abusive girlfriends and how husbands suffer abuse at the hands of their wives. Recommend

  • Bismah
    Nov 12, 2015 - 1:11PM

    Being a girl, I dont feel offensive… Its just the interpretation of “each” mind. Narrow minded people will take it as negative and open minded will as gig… :DRecommend

  • Sara
    Nov 12, 2015 - 3:18PM

    Well it denifitely bothere those women who clearly arent just homemakers and like to be reminded of the 1960s sexist notion that a woman’s true place is in the kitchen/home. @mjk: Recommend

  • Farah Samuel
    Nov 12, 2015 - 3:24PM

    “If only women were just capable of fixing you a sandwich.” Huh!
    I’d have taken this advertisement with a grain of salt had you not thanked the women for stopping sandwich making which gave you a chance to open up a sandwich restaurant that I heard of the very first time. Women stopped making sandwiched because they are up to some really great ventures in life. You guys went way too far on taking the feed back personal and instead of calming the waves, you blew everything up by further objectifying women. Recommend

  • Xnain
    Nov 12, 2015 - 4:23PM

    Women’s failure in striking balance between homemaking and career/moneymaking has led us to a society where we stand today. Where the training is outsourced to a school, a maid and mothers are busy in looking after themselves only to wonder in old age that what have they done to deserve mistreatment/resentment from their offspring. So those women who don’t wana be a 1960ish kind of ladies, please spend some money on booking a place in old age home alongside gym/clothes etc. Recommend

  • ABC
    Nov 12, 2015 - 4:26PM

    Women in Pakistan have no sense of humor. If these were the jokes on males made by any women, we would have been laughing ourselves Recommend

  • Axcalibur
    Nov 12, 2015 - 6:03PM

    is it Sexist? may be it is or may be not.

    but the sad fact of matter is that “table no 5” get million dollar worth of publicity after this incident and that is what wrong with our media.Recommend

  • Tayyab
    Nov 13, 2015 - 10:36AM

    This is stupid!Recommend

  • Don't Play Leapfrog with Unicorns
    Nov 13, 2015 - 6:00PM

    I would like to meet the marketer of Table No. 5. Great mind at work. Any way I can get in touch with him/her?Recommend

  • ishtiaq
    Nov 13, 2015 - 8:24PM

    are wee a muslim state?Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Nov 14, 2015 - 4:01AM

    Why is asking women to make roti normal but asking them to make sandwhich’s unsexy.Recommend

  • Hamza Bin Mazhar
    Dec 16, 2015 - 12:54AM

    I am offended by how deeply and unmistakably stupid this restaurant and its owners are. Recommend

  • Akbar
    Dec 31, 2015 - 3:41PM

    So much hurt over a silly Facebook page…sure it’s 2015 but whatever happened to tolerance? If you don’t like the restaurant or its message, dont go there. Recommend

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