As a regular customer of Hooters in Chinatown, I always find it odd that it’s sort of a family restaurant. On the Saturday or Sunday afternoons I go to watch football and slug their “big daddy” beers, there is usually a strange amount of children in the bar. It’s strange because the restaurant is also filled with female servers with breasts and thighs on radiant display. (When Michael Scott and Jim go to Hooters for lunch, Michael can’t help himself and asks the buxom server about the quality of the breasts… he then orders a grilled cheese.)
The waitresses are incredibly friendly and are encouraged to sit at the table with you and chit chat (a practice known affectionately as “table time.” eg: “Wow dude, I think Tasha likes you, she was giving you mad table time.”) Hooters allows their customers to think of themselves as total bros and enables blatant, shameless ogling.
But the total-bro bar makes for shitty business. The company has seen 4 years of sliding revenue. So what if Hooters catered to more than just men?
…CEO Terry Marks believes that by tweaking the menu with more salads and fresher ingredients, lightening up the beach shack decor, and adding space for a bit of nightlife, the company can at least make its franchises an acceptable destination for more wives and girlfriends. As of now, about two-thirds of their patrons are guys.
So it seems that my being weirded out by children at Hooters is actually a corporate business decision manifesting itself through a more diverse clientele.
For families and couples who want to watch the game, Hooters’ new menu and vibe makes perfect sense. And without alienating the total-bros who make up the bulk of their user-base, the new business strategy seems spot on.
Compared to the average sports bar or bland American restaurant (Applebee’s, Chili’s, or any other shit establishment with barf listed as the main ingredient) Hooters is pretty fucking fun.
It’s the uniforms.