There are some bars and restaurants that are just classics for tourists. Hard Rock Cafe. Trader Vic’s. Margaritaville. Shake Shack. Bubba Gump’s. Cheesecake Factory.
And, for some, Hooters.
As they say on the Hooters website, Hooters was appropriately incorporated on April Fool’s Day, 1983, when six businessmen with absolutely no previous restaurant experience got together and decided to open a place they couldn’t get kicked out of. Soon after, on October 4th of that year, the doors to the first Hooters Restaurant opened in Clearwater, Florida. It’s since expanded to over 300 restaurants in the U.S. and over 100 in other countries.
At Hooters, you’ll find, “craveable [sic] food and wings, cold beer, sports, and of course, Hooters Girls.” Hooters Girls are what the waitresses at Hooters are called and their appearance is a main selling feature of the restaurant. Their uniform includes a white tank top with the “Hootie the Owl” logo and the location name on the front, along with short nylon orange runner’s shorts. The uniforms are specifically made to show off the Hooters Girls’, ummmm, assets.
Yeah, the Hooters concept is based on female sex appeal.
Like it or not, the concept has worked for the various owners of Hooters, Inc. (the brand has been sold 5 times) for almost 40 years. It is what it is.
Anyway, the Hooters Girls’ uniforms just got an update, in that their shorts, as if they weren’t short enough, were going to be made even shorter. Yes, really.
As per to The New York Post, servers were told via a policy notice: “Starting Oct. 4, all Hooters girls should wear the new shorts when working once they arrive to stores.” It also said, “The old shorts should not be worn.”
Some of the Hooters girls were not pleased, because the new uniform doesn’t really include shorts anymore. The bottoms are cut way, WAY higher, and have been described as “underwear,” “crotch string,” “gives me a wedgie” among other things that were not worded as nicely. Here’s a comparison of the two costumes:
Hooters made it clear that employees could consider leaving if they didn’t like the new uniform.
“[We] hope this change would create excitement with all of our current Hooters Girls. We understand that this may be a change that may not suit your personal preference,” the memo reads. “We would ask that you try them out and, if after two weeks, you are still hesitant to wear the new shorts you may transfer to a non-image based position or resign your position as a Hooters Girl,” the company continued. “If you choose to resign you will be eligible for rehire.”
“The new uniforms were the result of a collaboration with Hooters Girls,” Hooters of America said in its email statement. “These uniforms have been worn for months in several Texas markets and have received overwhelmingly favorable reviews from both Hooters Girls and customers.”
However, with several Hooters Girls racking up a total of millions of views of their TikTok accounts that say how awful the new bottoms are, the company finally relented a few days after the new uniform was released. Hooters servers would be allowed to choose to wear either their classic uniforms or the new ones.
“They can determine which style of shorts best fits their body style and personal image,” said Hooters corporate in a statement.
The statement continued, saying that the “Hooters Girls” are the company’s “most valuable asset” and that they remain committed to empowering the women who work for them.
“We’re excited to see a national trend toward self-expression and inclusivity that bodes well for our marketplace. We work continuously with our Hooters Girls to refresh and update the image of our brand ambassadors and to empower them to feel their best while at work.”
But anyway, next time you’re traveling and visiting a Hooters (because “you can”…I hear they have great wings), some might be wearing traditional short shorts and others might almost be showing off what they had for breakfast.
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