At Hooters, men are men and women are girls. Does anyone have a problem with this? (2023)

The transformation from woman to girl and from breast to mermaid takes place in the privacy of the morning when the restaurant is not open and all is quiet. The hula hoops are still hanging on hooks at this point. The air smells only faintly of frying oil. The beer is cold but none was served. The televisions are turned off. The music is calm. The parking lot is empty and none of the customers who will soon fill this space have arrived, not the wide-eyed businessmen, not the regulars who bring cameras and take pictures even though they already have hundreds, not the women who always they do it apparently by walking. with a tight smile, neither the occasional families who always seem to get along with Dad, nor the two men who have a brief discussion while standing at the urinals about what they've seen so far:

"Some good ones."

"I would say."

"It's always nice to have someone with good cleavage serve you a good beer."

"And don't be afraid to show it."

All of that is yet to come, but in the morning, when women are still women and their breasts are still breasts, the only activity is getting ready for another day's work.

Jennifer brushes her hair because, as the employee handbook says, "Hair should always be combed." Katrina dusts off Cover Girl because "makeup should always be worn." Denise adjusts the pantyhose under her shorts because "pantyhose is always on." Elizabeth adjusts her bra, who like everyone else is white because "you always have to wear white bras."

The 36-page manual covers everything from an opening tagline "A fun place to work!" to procedures for reporting sexual harassment, but it's the two-page section titled "Image, Grooming and Uniform Standards." what is happening right now. Not only does it define the big picture that women need to achieve, that of "all-American cheerleader, surfer, girl next door," but it describes exactly how to get there.

"Socks must be white . . . Sneakers must be 100 percent white . . . Dolfin orange shorts must be comfortable . or cum, pantyhose must be changed... Tan is the only color allowed... Shirt must be loose fitting... Under no circumstances are bra straps to be seen... Fingernails must be manicured. ...Jewelry to be kept to a minimum...No necklaces...We will also enforce that no body tattoos or body piercings are displayed....”

Fifteen minutes to open.

"Okay, listen up everyone," Darryl Cook, the restaurant's general manager, says as he leaves his office. She's 24 years old, only a few years older than most women, who look up at her voice but don't stop what they're doing. She shares the day's sales targets with them as Rhonda smokes one last cigarette. He tells them about an upcoming inspection by the regional manager as Diane removes her sweatpants. Grab a remote control and turn on the 10 TVs on the ceiling while Cherry ties her shoes and Emily puts on her name tag and Jennifer gobbles down 10 packs of crackers because when things get going, who knows when it's time to take a break and then look around.

"Everyone ready?"

They are, except for one last adjustment.

"Can you tie me up?" Elizabeth asks.

She walks over to Darryl, turning her back on him and lifting his hair, and he grabs the hem of her tank top with both hands, pulls it toward him, and ties it into a tight knot just below the clasp of her bra.

Round is next. "Here, Darryl," she says, offering him the back of her tank top, and when she's done, Joann comes, and then Diane comes, and then Emily comes, and then Jennifer comes, and then the others come, one after the other. other. the other until all the shirts are knotted so that the breasts bulge and the neckline deepens, and thus the metamorphosis is complete.

Also right on time.

The first customers of the day arrive. Her eyes dart down.

"Hey guys," say the Hooters Girls.

The restaurant is called Hooters, of course, and you'll find it in Fairfax City, not on the outskirts like a cheap strip club, but in the heart of the action. It's on Lee Highway, across from the Red Lobster and next to the Blockbuster video, the place with all the cars in the parking lot.

This is your physical location. Its cultural location, somewhere between old playboy clubs and a beach hangout, is more complicated, particularly in the reactions it elicits. Tell your male friends you'll be spending time at Hooters, and they'll invariably ask if you'd like some company. Tell your wife, and she laughs a little and says, "Your dream is coming true." Then tell your 13-year-old daughter about it, and the slightly confused way she says, "This is where all the waitresses are great." boobs, right?" she makes it clear that in this age, so advanced, so advanced, so evolved, she is curious as to why grown men would go there. And that's the thing. Today they do, en masse. The $2 million annual Hooters in Fairfax is part of a sprawling chain that currently has 183 restaurants in 37 states and Canada and has $300 million in annual sales. Most of it is for groceries, part for beer, and part for merchandise like T-shirts with tongue-in-cheek slogans like "Hooters: More Than a Bite." But what's really for sale, as Hooters execs are happy to admit, is exactly what the name suggests. "Tasty, socially acceptable, feminine sex appeal," says Mike McNeil, vice president of marketing for Hooters. Or as the last page of the employee handbook, the page employees must sign in front of a witness before they can begin work, says: “I hereby certify and certify that the concept of Hooters is based on female sexual attractiveness and that work is an environment where jokes and innuendo based on female sexual attractiveness are the order of the day.”

A Hooters joke: "Men: no shirt, no service. Women: no shirt, free food," reads a sign on the door.

Some Hooters references: The company logo used in the US Patent and Trademark Office is a drawing of an owl with the word 'Hooters' written on it, so the two holes are large, rounded, full and lush. . . Eyes.

Also Hooters.

Not that this is anything new conceptually. There's a long and successful relationship between breasts and the trade, and in the case of Hooters, the formula hasn't changed much since it first opened 13 years ago in Clearwater, Florida. In those same 13 years, however, the social changes outside of Hooters' doors have been significant, particularly when it comes to what constitutes appropriate behavior between women and men, and that's what's worth paying attention to. what's going on inside Hooters. For example, in 1983, 4,476 complaints of sexual harassment were filed in the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; last year there were 15,549. In 1983, the corporate policies that defined appropriate behavior were still being refined; now they're so ingrained, with so many harsh penalties, that some men wonder if it's okay to even look at a woman.

And then it's lunchtime or after work or on the weekend, and here come the guys from the AT&T complex on the Vienna road, and the car dealerships on Lee Highway and the government buildings in the nearby corporate parks, all headed for a place where it's okay to not just look, but say things, as a customer named Wilson once said to a Hooters girl named Candy, "Candy, if I ever say something that offends you, wrap your arms around me." and take me to the ground." And Candy laughs, maybe because she thinks Wilson is funny, or maybe because another sign by the door says, "Even if you're not funny, we'll laugh."

This is Hooters. day after day after day.

A customer enters. He buys a shirt that he wants to autograph. "My Hooters to you," the Hooters Girl writes of her.

Another customer arrives. He sees his Hooters Girl lean towards him. She feels that she slaps her on the back. She is unaware of the signal that she just hit him that she will still be there when she leaves. "Sex machine", they say.

In every culture, somewhere beyond the clear and enduring line that separates good from evil, there is a second, less clear and always in transition line that separates what is acceptable from what is unacceptable. "I think one of the things we do is walk to the line and rarely, if ever, cross it," says Hooters Formula's Mike McNeil, and maybe we do. Or maybe not.

Regardless, spending time at Hooters means reflecting on where the line is right now.

the girls:

There are 10,000 across the country, 40 in Fairfax. Most are young, many are studying, some are married, some are mothers, and all can remember their first day at work. "The uniform was a little, I won't say annoying, but a little uncomfortable," says Katrina. "It was awkward," says Margie. "I was uncomfortable for about a month," Kristi says. "Oh, gosh. Heartbreaking. Very self-conscious at first," Jen says, "but after a while I didn't think about it." Some of the girls put their real names on their name tags, others use nicknames. Some don't care, the customers who call her by her last name and others don't because from time to time something happens, like the customer who started calling a girl at home and wouldn't stop, and the man who called the restaurant multiple times. nights in a row. row, always the same series of Ask the guy who answers the phone: "What shoes do you wear? Do you wear thin socks or thick socks? Do you sometimes go barefoot? Would you take me Hush Puppies?"

Julie, simply Julie, describes herself as a 24-year-old college student two degrees shy of a psychology degree and a feminist. “I know it's a contradiction in terms,” she says, “but when the men want to pay me more to wear this uniform, I'll take it and use it to pay my tuition and laugh at the bank.”

Meanwhile, Rhonda, who goes by Bubbles, says to a customer, "You know, I must have had something to eat the other night," and he hangs on to every word as she continues. "I've got a rash here," she says, stroking her left arm. "And here," she says, stroking her waist. "And here," she says, stroking the back of her thigh. "Anything I can do?" asks the customer. "You can kiss him and make it better," she says.

Meanwhile, Diane, sometimes known as Shakemaster, lights some candles on a cake for a 14-year-old boy named Jeff Brown. "Today is my birthday and I decided that one of my birthday presents would be to come to Hooters," she says as she sits at a table with some friends while her parents sit a few tables away. the cake comes out He is standing. Diane holds it out in front of her. She starts to blow out the candles. First her breath hits her face, and then an astonishing amount of smoke comes out. She shudders. He keeps blowing. She closes her eyes. And blows. She turns her head and only when she hears applause does she open her eyes and turn around. "Happy birthday," she says.

Meanwhile, Jennifer, who routinely gets the biggest tips of any girl no matter what department she works in, even at the dreaded "Holiday Station," which consists of four non-smoking tables in a far corner, explains some of the techniques she she and some of the other girls wear. "I joke around with people a lot," she says. “Many people are regulars and we just talk. Or we tie shrimp to people, to their belt loops. Either we tie their shoes, or the shoes to the legs of chairs, mostly drunk people, or we take a plastic cup and poke holes in it and cover the holes and carefully walk on it and the guy gets wet. Or we take notes on people, from Kick me' to . . . anything, anything to make everyone laugh, anything to embarrass people. You embarrass a guy and his friends love you for life." Then? "You get bigger tips."

Meanwhile, Angie, who used to be a Hooters Girl and is now the restaurant's publicity manager, tries to explain why every day she gets letters and calls from people who support the Hooters Girls at their charity golf tournaments, at their walks, in her shows. It's all about "attitude," she says, and "personality," and the fundamental difference between a Hooters girl and a waitress. "I know it sounds trivial, but Hooters Girls does a lot more than just serve food," she says. For example? “They sit with the customers. They will peel your shrimp. They will bone your chicken wings.”

A letter postmarked from France is now in the post. "Here, Jennifer," Darryl says, tossing it to her. she looks at him she has received several letters since a photo of her appeared in a recent issue of Hooters magazine, but France? Really? “Dear Jennifer,” she begins to read herself, “I've seen your photos. . .” while Caren, another Hooters girl, studies the return address. "Look where he's from, Jennifer," she says, pointing excitedly. "Brest." Which, of course, makes Jennifer laugh, and then she finishes the letter and goes to check her tables, and the day continues from there. At one point, looking out the front window, she sees two people she doesn't know, both grotesquely overweight and poorly dressed, in an awkward embrace. "Darryl," she yells, "your parents are here."

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They eat big hamburgers and buckets of oysters and mountains of greasy fries; and they cheer and clap when Katrina tries to do five hula hoops at once; and they are not ashamed to serve hot sauce and mayonnaise; and there's a guy happily sawing up his cheesesteak; and there's a guy eating a shiny batch of chicken wings; and there's a guy ripping off a piece of his sandwich and dunking it in a puddle of ketchup; and there's a guy who uses his fifth lunch napkin, this time to clean a stain that's making his chin shine; and there's a guy who sits by himself making smoke rings while he watches the girls go by; and there's a guy on a wobbly way to the bathroom, unaware that she has about 10 feet of rope tied to his belt with a raw shrimp on the end; and there's a guy celebrating his birthday, which means his Hooters Girl ties a coffee filter to his head with two balloons attached; and here come a couple of guys coming out, passing food around, guts bloated, tongues grinding their teeth, leaving a trail of onion smoke as they sneak past Janet, who's standing by the door smelling of perfume. She is the host on this turn. She loves to host. "When I'm hosting," she says, watching Katrina walk past a table and the guys looking at her butt, "I can see everything."

A table full of State Department people walk in to say goodbye to Steve Curry, who is posted to Austria. This is the unofficial farewell, they emphasize. The official with secretaries and speeches takes place in a Mexican restaurant. "It's politically incorrect to have this party at Hooters," explains Dave Kirby.

There's also Andy Zino and Bill Bussman, who have been visiting Hooters all over the East Coast, traveling with ceramic mugs from Germany that look eerily like Hooters' owl, and also Bussman's 3-year-old daughter, Katie. "In Connecticut, they gave him a Baby Hooters T-shirt," says Andy. He turns to Bill. "What do you say?" "Life begins with Hooters," says Bill. He now he turns to Katie. "What is your favorite shirt?" "Hooters," she says.

Enter John Morris, one of the regulars, whose nickname is Candyman because he always brings a bag of candy for the girls. He also has a photo album from that day. "This is my life's work," he says. He opens the cover: "Hooters Girls." He starts going through the photos. It should be 300. "This is Isabel . . . This is Juana . They ran and pulled up their shorts... This is Catalina. Doesn't she look like Pocahontas? We sent her picture to Disney and they sent her an outfit... This is Katrina in her Pocahontas outfit..."

In came John Mullen, another regular, whose truck is decorated with Hooters Girls pictures, which he's placed on top of the dash, around the bed, and on a special shelf that runs along the top of the windshield. Haunting? "Yeah, I think you'd say it's me," he says, and yet there's one more decoration he'd like. "I'm going to have four Hooters girls painted on their backs," he says, "and I'll be a ghost in the middle and my arms will ghostly wrap around them and cover their tops."

There's also another regular, Don Howison, a retiree who shows up almost every day for grilled cheese. "I ate a hamburger once and had a heart attack," he says, "right here," explaining that it was last July and he was sitting in Denise's living room and he felt a tingling in his arm and then a tug in his breast, "and the next thing I know, they're taking me out of here in an ambulance."

"And what did I tell you about it?" says Denise, who has heard him.

"If I'm going to have a heart attack, do it sitting down with Jennifer."

"That's right."

Then comes Doug Waltz, a regular, who says his wife, who is seven months pregnant, isn't thrilled that he comes here once in a while.

"She's like, 'How do you think I feel at home while you go to Hooters?'

"I'm saying it has nothing to do with how I feel about you."

“She says, 'Just because you're going out to feel wanted means I'm not doing my job.'

"But to me, love and this place are like apples and oranges."

So here he is among the oranges, having a beer with a colleague named Tony and participating in what he believes to be one of the most basic human needs, one that goes back to the dawn of life, "and it's going to be total "It sounds sexist," he warns, "spreading your seed to as many women as possible. Not that he can really do it. He's a married man. He has his wife's picture in his wallet. He loves her. He has a baby in But he can flirt, he says, he has to, he can't help it, it's innate, and what better way than in a place where there are women who automatically flirt back? "I mean, it's a win-win situation." she says when Tony nods. "The girl will get some advice and the guy will walk away feeling like he still has it."

"It's that feeling of being attractive outside of your main relationship," says Tony. "I mean, I'd be unhappy if I felt like the only woman in the world who's attracted to me is my wife."

"I agree," says Doug.

"I mean miserable," says Tony. “There is a fundamental emotional difference between men and women. I think maybe women don't want a place like this. Men need it.

"Exactly," says Doug.

"The need to conquer," says Tony.

"Even if it's staged," says Doug.

A woman named Lynne Austin enters, taking a seat at a table with five other people. She's not at Fairfax Hooters, she's at the original, in Clearwater. "It's really cold in here," Lynne says, and everyone at the table laughs.

"How are you?" asks a man named Ed Droste.

"Okay," she says, "now that I'm done with my mammogram."

"I wish we could have been there," Ed says.

They all laugh again.

"Something wrong?"

"A lump," she says. "But I think it's a cyst."

"What did the doctor say?"

"I was a little vague," she says. "I think I was happy to play with them," and everyone laughs some more, including Lynne herself, and the conversation continues blithely, as if no one gave the idea of ​​Lynne Austin, the original Hooters girl, a second thought. something could be growing on one of her tits.

Thirteen years earlier, when she was 22, Lynne was on the beach competing in a bikini contest when Ed Droste and five other guys approached her and said they were opening some kind of restaurant. No one can remember if they actually used the term Hooters Girl, but they told her they were looking for a woman who epitomized what they were trying to create, which was a fun place, a sexy place in every way, a chilled out Beer-and -chicken wings kind of place that would be called Hooters by the way. What they didn't tell him was that, to use Ed Droste's description, they were "six guys who didn't know what they were doing" and that one of their motivations for starting Hooters was to have a place to drink and drink couldn't be. expelled. They just said, "We're looking for someone like you," and for Lynne, then working as a switchboard operator, that was enough. They dressed her in an outfit like Ed Droste's secretary playing softball, took a picture of her and put it on a billboard, and opened her business, not expecting it to be that big.

But it did so in steady increments: a single restaurant became two the following year, 30 in five years, more than 100 in 10, and more than 200 are expected to be up and running by the end of this year. The relationship between breasts and commerce may not be new, but Hooters established it in a way that has placed the Baltimore location in the Inner Harbor and the Minneapolis location in the Mall of America, and one of the Atlanta locations alongside to a Toy Rus. "Melons. Knocker. Tweeter fumbles Jugs 'n' Suds," says Ed Droste, trying to remember the names of imitators who have come and gone over the years. "I don't know, there must be a dozen." Meanwhile, Hooters of America, the company that controls the franchise rights, plans to go to Australia, Brazil and the Far East. There are also Hooters sponsored golf tournaments, car races and boat races. There is a non-profit arm called the Hooters Community Endowment Fund. There is a Hooters Girl calendar that is said to bring in around $2 million a year. There are Hooters Girl stickers, clothes and dolls. There's a Hooters call-in radio show that can be heard on the west coast of Florida and an offer for a movie that Ed describes as what you might expect "when you combine Cheers with Friends with Hooters with Baywatch." "And of course there are still franchise opportunities for people with at least $600,000 in seed capital, not including real estate costs, for which they are given certain guidelines to follow that show the maturity of Hooters as the seat of the - pants- Outfit in a formalized and fully marketable concept:

wooden tables because men like wood; The televisions always tuned to ESPN because what else would a man want to see; lower the volume of the televisions so as not to disturb the music; Music that is mostly '50s and '60s rock 'n' roll because anything more current might be too quirky; photo packs of smiling Hooters Girls and celebrities to decorate the walls; and for a particularly conspicuous location, such as directly above pay phones, as they do in Fairfax, a photo of Lynne taken as part of her Playboy centerfold photo, the photo that was instrumental in boosting Hooters' popularity, where she appears to be doing something with her nipples. Not that one can say for sure, because at least in Fairfax, a strip of paper was specifically placed in the center of her breasts, which is also part of the Hooters deal: breasts but no nipples, innuendo instead of lust, flirting. but not. Collecting

All of that has evolved in 13 years, and at the same time Lynne Austin has evolved: married, one child, divorced, as attractive as ever, but not like she was on the beach 13 years ago. The original billboard, still visible in some places, freezes them at a certain moment. Like the Playboy photo. But that was released in July 1986. Things are moving forward, and now, the day after eating at Hooters, she feels cheated, but not in her best time.

It turns out that she has not had a mammogram, only at the first visit with the doctor, who told her that he did not think a biopsy was necessary, but a mammogram was. Then after lunch he went to the dentist, who told him it would be hard to get a crown because his beautiful, white, perfect teeth were so small, and then he went to work trimming down her gum line. She took an hour and a half and a lot of novocaine, and now, the next day, she is at her house, no orange pants, no little shirt, no knot in the back, no makeup, her face is still swollen. , recovering the company of her 6-year-old son sitting on the sofa watching cartoons.

She remembers when Ed Droste first approached her and said he saw her as the incarnation of the American cheerleader, the girl next door, which was news to her. "I never really thought of myself as something," she says.

Remember what came next: money, travel, interesting people, lots of parties. "It opened up a whole new world for me."

He continued: "Being pregnant and gaining 33 pounds changed the way I felt about myself and my body. I had a big belly and all of a sudden I was hunched over and hunched over, and that made me take a step back and think. I didn't like it at all. principle: I'm a Hooters Girl. I'm Playmate, Miss July 1986. What do I do?' And now he's here, and I don't care if I have cellulite on my butt. Now it's not 'If I'm physically sick, what should I do?' It's 'If I'm not healthy, who will raise my child?'"

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So a mammogram. A man relates to one breast, a woman to another.

"Yes, a Hooters Girl grows up," she says. Back in Fairfax:

"Everyone aspires to be like Lynne Austin," Angie says, looking at a photo of her. That's not the one on top of the phone, but another guide, in the back near the locker area, showing what a Hooters Girl should look like. There, under her shirt and bra, are her perfect breasts. There, in a big smile, are the perfect teeth. "She is the epitome," Angie says. "She's the complete package."

It's time for another shift. Darryl ties the final knot. "Ouch!" Kavitha says. "My God! I'm sunburned, you know? Meanwhile, outside in the yard, a couple of girls look over the railing and into the bushes where a mother duck has been sitting on a nest full of eggs. They noticed her for the first time in a few weeks, and they all took turns going out to check on her. "She's hungry. look at her I can tell,” said one of the girls. "I wish I had my 12 gauge with me," said one of the chefs. "You're going to hell for that," said another girl, and ever since they've been feeding the duck raw shrimp and running slow streams of water down its back during the hot part of the day. Now Angie sprays them with some water again, wondering how long it will take for the eggs to hatch. It's a lazy morning. Few customers have arrived so far, so some of the girls climb on the railing in the courtyard, causing some of the Lee Highway drivers to turn their heads and honk.

"I love your mermaids," one of them yells.

"Yes, Hooked on Phonics worked for you," Diane replies.

Everyone laughs. Jennifer, who is dating a Baltimore Orioles baseball player, says that she was at her wife's apartment the other night. "Ee-nor-mous sounds," she says. Caren inspects her nails, extra long and pointy. "I've had them for three years," he says, "and when I don't have them, I hide my fingers from people because they don't look so good." Jennifer mentions that when she posed for Hooters magazine, another girl with thick blonde hair was at the photo shoot, who happened to have some kind of hair extension sewn into the back of her head. However, everyone has things to do. Angie applies Preparation H under her eyes to reduce puffiness. Angel grows her eyebrows. Diane waxes her lips and washes her face with something called a cleansing milk and applies concealer around her eyes, applies liquid foundation all over her face and applies powder for a matte finish and then "to give the illusion of fuller lips" , trace. with lip liner. "Actually I'm damn ugly," she laughs herself. And it's all about looking good. “That's why we're on a diet,” Angie says, not just talking about Hooters Girls, but women in general. "That's why we train. That's why we put on makeup. I want to be appreciated as a woman and part of being a woman is being beautiful."

The morning continues. More customers keep coming and the girls take off one by one until only Diane is left, who, if not a Hooters Girl, is studying criminal justice at the University of Maryland with an A average and went to high school before that. of science and technology. her, where her grades allowed her to skip her senior year and, over the years, she has gotten used to feeling noticed not for her intelligence but for her looks. She is part of her life, she says, that wherever she goes, people look at her, stare at her, observe her. In fact, one day she goes to check her car and when she walks into the waiting room, the mechanic says: "Why don't you come and talk to me? Don't be shy." From there she goes to Tyson's Corner and as she walks she meets a crowd of men staring at her, an old man with his wife, a father carrying his little daughter on his shoulders, and then she enters a store where, as always, the salespeople are especially vigilant. And if that were all, she says, that would be fine. "An approving look is not inappropriate behavior," she says. But there are other times. At school: "My psychology teacher humiliated me in front of everyone." the class. He said I'm a manipulator and I manipulate people by my appearance to get what I want. It made me cry and I ran out of the room." To the gynecologist: "He said in the middle of the pap smear, so are you going to the solarium? You don't have tan lines.' I was like, okay, that's it. Let's get this over with.' He grossed me out." After a car accident: "It was like 10 am and the next thing I know I'm going home and I get a call around 12 am. I was there. Do you remember the other soldier? He needs to talk to you. Can he call you tomorrow?" ?' And he calls me the next day and asks me out-I thought you were so beautiful...why don't we go see a movie?' I couldn't believe it. At the 7-Eleven, just before work this morning: "Some guy follows me around the store and then they hit it off like they're 13-years-old. Have you seen her?'" And then she gets to Hooters, and really What's the difference, she says, except that, oddly enough, the predictability makes her feel more secure. "Let me tell you. We are becoming cynical. All the girls here are cynical,” she says. "But is that from Hooters? No. That's from my life."

she walks in. The place fills up. "Hello, honey," a regular named Chris Miller says to him as he walks by. She smiles and moves on. "She's a great girl," says Kirk Kennedy, sitting with Chris.

Now Candy walks past her table.

"Oh man," Chris says.

"I love this girl," Kirk says.

Now come Janet.

"I love that girl, man," Kirk says.

"He loves them all," Chris says.

"I'm asking her to marry me," Kirk says. "Some of them said yes."

Now Lauren walks by.

"Oh, God," Kirk says. "I love Lauren."

Now comes Rhonda.

"You're killing me," Kirk says.

Now comes Kavitha.

"Oh man. My favorite," Kirk says. "I love you all, but I love her the most. She knows I love her the most. I've told her a hundred times."

Now Janet happens again.

"Janet," he calls to Chris. "Come here, Janet."

"I'm coming," says Janet and continues on her way to another table.

"Bitch," Chris says quietly.

Now Candy comes back and stands by the cash register.

"Come here," Chris calls her.

She ignores him.

"Come here," Chris repeats, snapping his fingers.

"No thanks," she says, turning around.

She won't even look at him.

"I called her Susan," Chris says, explaining what he was doing earlier that day. “I call everyone Susan. But she has a friend named Susan who committed suicide or was murdered or something. I dont know."

He keeps looking at her.

"But she has a nice butt."

A few minutes later:

"Candy", grita.

Anything.

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"I'm trying so hard. Then I'm going on bail. Fuck you, bitch.

Later:

"Sweet sweet . . ."

Meanwhile, a few hundred meters away, through the trees and in a split-level neighborhood, live the Mershons. Sam Mershon is a member of the Fairfax City Council. Hollis Stambaugh Mershon is a consultant to various government agencies on arson and terrorism. They are also the parents of two daughters for whom they have great wishes and dreams, which is why Sam says one afternoon, looking at Hooters: “You see, he sets a bad example for the children. The last thing you want is for a child to think, "If I have a good body and look good, I'll make it." I mean, I have two kids that I think are going to be amazing, and the last thing I want is for you. . .”

I have to work at Hooters, Hollis finishes the thought.

“It has to do with what society values,” Sam continues, “and I don't want its value to be . . .”

"Your bra size," Hollis says.

And it goes without saying that the Mershons won't be finding themselves at Hooters any time soon. In fact, four years ago, just before the grand opening, they were among about 100 people who signed a petition urging Hooters, among other things, to change the restaurant's "nasty" name and give staff the chance to choose others who wear uniforms as those who are "degrading women". They filed the petition and waited for a response.

This was not the first time Hooters had faced a complaint. Over the years, a total of 15 former Hooters girls have filed half a dozen sexual harassment lawsuits, all variations on a Florida case that alleged an atmosphere that "subjected the plaintiff to an endless barrage of comments and complaints." sexually inappropriate." "exposed to unwanted sex and touching that created a situation in which no woman in her right mind would have continued to work." According to Hooters, four of those lawsuits have been settled and two are still pending.

In addition, a class action lawsuit alleging gender discrimination over whether Hooters should hire men as servers is pending. This was Hooters' biggest fight to date, and it also became its most public when it ended the crackdown on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which conducted its own investigation into the theme. When that part ended earlier this year with the EEOC's decision to withdraw, Hooters had spent more than $1 million in legal fees, public relations advice and newspaper ads that featured a hairy man dressed as a Hooters girl underneath. from the "Come on Washington - Get a Grip" Headline and about purchasing thousands of Frisbees that customers wrote notes on and mailed to the EEOC and members of Congress at Hooters' expense. "Gentlemen, what's wrong with a little quintessential American sex appeal?" is one of several dozen the EEOC still has in a plastic trash bag. "If Hooters was just for men, they would have called it Balls," says another, and so on. Some were serious, some were anti-Washington, some were anti-gay, and some were just plain vulgar, prompting EEOC spokeswoman Claire Gonzales to offer a final philosophical analysis. "We're one step above animals and one step below angels," she says, "and there's always going to be that tension."

Compared to that, the resistance of 100 people in Fairfax was nothing. In fact, it was to be expected. As Mike McNeil, Hooters' vice president of marketing, says, when a Hooters opens, there's often a request. Then, he says, comes the same news, which always includes the phrase: “The controversial chain of light waitresses. . .” Followed by the same quotes: “Someone from NOW is always good,” he says, “usually something like, “We don't like this concept because it objectifies women.” And our response is, “You certainly have the right to say so, but we don't agree; We don't objectify women, we hire them.'” He Followed by the restaurant opening on time as planned and customers arriving and the controversy fading.

As it should be, that's what happened in Fairfax. The only opponent to advance was the city's architectural review board, who, after much discussion, asked Hooters to keep their building in a natural wood color instead of painting it blue-gray, and that was it.

Except four years later, the Mershons are as awkward as ever.

"I don't see any reason to change my mind," says Hollis. "I still think it degrades women. I don't like the name of the restaurant, and I don't like the name in such big letters, and I really don't like having it in my backyard."

"How about hanging out outside?" Sam says.

"Yes," Hollis said.

"They hang from the railing in the summer," Sam explains.

"They had three of them hula hooping in the driveway last week," Hollis says, and then imagines how tense that may sound, and then says, "To the people who say, 'Relax,' I wish I could. But I can't relax when it comes to a company whose main method of doing business is based on the anatomy of women. I just can't relax about it. It makes an object out of that person. Maybe you have to be a woman to understand that. I'm 43 years I grew up during the development of the women's movement I know how hard it was to break down barriers I know how hard it was to move on

"It's like winking and blinking when someone uses the word nigger or uses a religious slur," he continues. "Oh, big deal." It's a great thing. All is important. He just continues with an attitude that seems unfortunate to me. I find it very sad."

Mike McNeil: “It doesn't hurt anybody. That doesn't hurt society."

He mentions that he is also a father and yes, he has wishes and dreams like any father and no, he wouldn't mind if his little daughter grew up to be a Hooters Girl. "If that interests you," he says, "I hope she has the grades." He also mentions that the half dozen sexual harassment lawsuits have to be compared to the thousands of women who have not filed lawsuits over the years, and then he mentions all the charities Hooters supports, which he does, aside from How with so many aspects of Hooters, it's the details that are open to interpretation.

"Okay, guys. It's time," Angie says outside a Centerville golf course clubhouse one day. It's the day of the annual Hooters charity golf tournament, which raises more than $6,000 for the Dystrophy Association. Muscular.

On the other hand, much of this money comes from the Hooters Girl auction, where girls are auctioned off as caddies to the highest bidder.

"We've got all the girls here," Angie announces, and starts bidding, and within minutes, all the girls are taken, including Kristi, Janet, and Margie, who were packaged up for a particular foursome.

Total price for all three: $750.

Then again, it's all for charity, and as one of the four, Danny Horton, says, "I think that's the main reason we're here."

Here we go.

The boys are playing golf. The girls look. The boys are thirsty. The girls open their beers. The boys are hungry. The girls receive their food. And walk hanging from the side of the cars. And she dances as the boys swing And sings "Go Sammy" as Sammy sets up a putt and cheers when he putts. And when he notices that she got a splash on her pantyhose and says, "Let me lick that up," they laugh. And when he finally comes out of a port and says, "Whoa! Don't go in there," they laugh, too. And when Phil stands in the tall grass and says, "I'm trying to find my ball," they're like, "We know where are your balls"; and when he says, "Will any of you girls take it from me?" and offers them his half-smoked cigarette, they take it for him, and then comes the moment when Sammy is kicking and Kristi is standing over him as he keeps bringing his putter back until he suddenly picks it up and hits her. on the chest.

"Oh! A horn!", he says laughing.

On the other hand, Kristi also laughs.

So this is the line? Right after the sound of two people laughing at a joke?

Or, as Mike McNeil suggests, is it really about more than everything about Hooters, from the uniforms, to the knots, to the puns, to the look, to what he calls the whole concept of Hooters?

"It's fun," he says of what happens every day. Nothing more and nothing less.

"Playful and fun," Angie says. "It's not trash. It's not dirty. It's not sexual."

"I thought it was fun," Kristi says of the day of golf. "We had a great time. These guys were crazy."

Or as the manual says: “For us it is important to have fun, because fun is contagious and that is exactly what we want to transmit to our clients”.

Very funny. And with that, a final day unfolds.

Time to eat:

(Video) Working at Hooters as a Guy!

Three men enter. Jennifer accompanies her to her apartment. She serves them beers. She smuggles a sign on the back of one of them that reads, "G.W.M. looking for G.W.M." She watches from a discreet distance as the boy gets up to go to the bathroom and her friends see the sign and find that GWM stands for gay white male and clap and double over with laughter, she brings them a copy of the magazine it's in and she shows them her photos, and now she shows them the part where she answered the question "What do you love?" She replied, "The miracle bra," and now she smiles as one of them repeats in a muffled voice: " Oh, God, miraculous bra," and now she lets another put his arm around her for a moment, and now he passes it over her. $77 bill, and now she's counting her tip. "Two hundred dollars," she says.

Afternoon:

Candyman came in with a bag of gum and licorice. Don walks in, his heart is good, with a present for Denise, a T-shirt he bought at a Disney store. John enters, his truck that hasn't been painted yet, also carrying a gift, a $150 ring, which he removes from a black velvet box and slips on Margie's finger. "Oh thank you," she says, hugging him. "You deserve it," he says, and only after she's out of earshot does he say that he considers girls "family, not a sex object" and that he would never ask her out because, "About these." I don't hear no if I don't ask." Chris Miller walks in, sitting at the bar, saying rather sadly that he'll try to be nicer. "Actually, I'm one of the nicest people you'll ever meet," he says. " It's just, I don't know, it's just me. I'm getting stupid."

Early evening:

About 20 regulars are here now, gathered on the patio for an appreciation party Angie is throwing for them. The food is free, the beer is discounted, and the highlight is when Angie announces to the winner of the Stammtisch of the Month contest that she will receive a discount for the next 30 days: "Chris Miller." There's some cheers for him and also a wreath that Angie took at least 20 minutes to create out of cardstock, including a handwritten inscription on the front. "The King of Hooter!" she says. "I don't wear that hat," Chris says. "Oh yes you are," Angie says. "I'm not wearing the hat," she repeats. But of course she does, and it continues into the night.

At 8 the place is full.

At 9, a boy celebrating his birthday puts balloons on his head, and a boy about to get married stands up to everyone in town yelling "Idiot."

At 10, Chris is at the bar and keeps telling Diane, "She loves me."

At 11 years old, Kristi says, “I always thought of men the same way before I started working here and now. They're pigs. Just kidding. They have always been pigs, always will be. It's a joke . . .”

And so on, so on, so on.

Fun? Until now. Except now it's almost midnight and Lauren, who finished her cutting a little earlier, is sitting at a table by the door and doesn't want to leave until someone can take her to her car. She points to three men sitting at another table, one of whom is still looking in her direction. "He keeps calling," she says. "We went to school together. I met him in a bar, chatted with him for a few minutes, he discovered my phone number, he called me seven, eight times a day. My answering machine had my beeper number, it beeped seven, eight times a day .” All because when he asked her out of her, she said no.

And now he is here.

He's been here every night this week.

Diana approaches.

"He's at table 11," Lauren says.

"It looks so American," says Diane. "You'd think these guys would look like perverts or something, but he doesn't."

He sits.

Lauren is sitting.

He looks over.

Lauren is getting more and more nervous. She smokes a cigarette. She talks about the trip home and the rapist who has been terrorizing her community for the past few years. She says, "I love men, I love them," but that her first fiancé was abusive and her second fiancé slept with a friend of hers, and now she's single, in college, pre-med, maybe on her way to college. vet school, or law school, or anything to do with battered women, and that the $110 tip she earned tonight will help her. She keeps talking, trying to ignore the man, not even looking in his direction but everywhere, even once at her own chest. They're implants, she mentions herself. “I did it,” she explains, “for me. . . because before the implants I was flat like this table. . . because I have always put up with it. . . because i was at the beach one summer and one of my towels fell in front of my friends. . .” And why did she feel the need to use sanitary pads? “I don't know,” she says, and now she's quiet for a moment, and now she looks up and sees that the man is on his way to the bathroom, and then she runs off with a friend.

Now the man returns to his table.

Now he looks over and sees that she is gone.

Now he looks around the restaurant frantically.

Now he walks over to the window and looks out over the parking lot.

Now he's looking around the restaurant again and drinking his beer and getting more and more excited as his friends talk to him and now, still excited, still looking around, he leaves, and so another day at Hooters comes to an end.

It's 12:15, 15 minutes after closing. There are still a few customers left, but Diane doesn't want to wait a moment longer. She arrives behind her. "Ahhhh," she sighs as the knot undoes and she turns from a girl to a woman, and similar noises can be heard throughout the restaurant as Tracy unties her knot and Kristi unties hers and everyone else's except Janet, that can't get yours free.

"Will someone untie me?" She asks.

However, the manager stands in the back and counts the daily profit: 558 customers, $2,000 in beer sales, $3,500 in grocery sales, $286 in merchandise sales. . .

"Tracy? can you figure this out? It hurts."

But Tracy can't untie the knot either. "My nails," she says. "I have problems."

"I can feel it loosen up," says Janet.

So Tracy keeps going, pulling and pulling with both hands, but it still won't slacken, and then, not knowing what else to do, she leans forward, bites down on the knot, and starts working with it to get the teeth out.

And maybe the line will eventually appear here:

"I want help?" asks a regular customer. hardens

They always stare.

But this time Janet looks back at him.

"No, thanks."

FAQs

Why can't men work at Hooters? ›

Hooters did not agree to let men work as servers, and it had a legitimate legal argument for refusing to do so. "Hooters argued BFOQ [bona fide occupational qualification] under essence of the business," David Sherwyn, a law professor at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, told Business Insider.

Can a man be a Hooters girl? ›

Hooters dogged adherence to an all-female wait staff model continues even though the Civil Rights Act of 1964 clearly states that discriminatory hiring — or choosing people of one sex over the other for a particular job — is unlawful.

Can a male work at Hooters? ›

As of 2016, Hooters continues to hire only women for the server positions.

Does Hooters discriminate? ›

The restaurant chain known for its scantily clad waitresses agreed to pay $3.75 million to settle a sexual discrimination lawsuit brought by men turned down for jobs because of their gender. The settlement allows Hooters to continue luring customers with an exclusively female staff of Hooters Girls.

Why do girls only work at Hooters? ›

Their findings, though not totally surprising, are still a little disturbing. First of all, the number one reason women chose to work at Hooters was to earn more money. Since many women were either in college or raising children (or both), working at Hooters also allowed the women more schedule flexibility.

Do you have to have a nice body to work at Hooters? ›

Hooters emphasizes that its servers must be "fit," meaning not overweight or obese, or the server could face termination. You will probably have to exercise at least three times a week in order to maintain the body type of a Hooters Girl.

Can a 13 year old boy go to Hooters? ›

Thank you for your question. We welcome guests of all ages in our Hooters restaurant, as well as our other food venues on property.

Do you have to be a certain size to be a Hooters girl? ›

Contrary to popular belief, Hooters (as far as I'm aware of) does not have a weight limit or similar appearance requirements to work there as a bartender or waitress Hooters Girl. However, it's no secret that Hooters does place a lot of importance on the appearance of the girls.

What is the point of Hooters? ›

The Hooters concept is based on female sex appeal and the work environment is one in which joking and entertaining conversations are commonplace.

What would a male Hooters be called? ›

— In a city with tons of breastaurants, Tallywackers is the only male-oriented version: "It has been called a 'chestaurant' in a sea of 'breastaurants' – the city has more than a dozen Hooters, nine Twin Peaks locations, a risqué joint called Redneck Heaven and a sports bar 'with a view' called Bikini's."

What is the male Hooters called? ›

Tallywackers, a 'brief' history: Inside the first year at Dallas' male Hooters.

Do Hooters workers make a lot of money? ›

Oakland, CA beats the national average by $4,803 (18.8%), and San Jose, CA furthers that trend with another $5,112 (20.1%) above the $25,498 average.
...
What are Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Hooters Girl Jobs.
CitySan Jose, CA
Annual Salary$30,610
Monthly Pay$2,550
Weekly Pay$588
Hourly Wage$14.72
9 more columns

What is controversial about Hooters? ›

The deal between Burton Joyce FC and Hooters attracted controversy on Twitter due to the American-owned bar's reputation for giving its female staff revealing uniforms, which has led to some critics labelling the bar 'degrading' to women.

Do you have to wear your hair down to work at Hooters? ›

If it is natural, Hooters is open to working with you. You can wear all hair natural! Hair must be down and a natural color. No braids, dreads, ponytails, or other hairstyles can be worn.

Can you have colored hair as a Hooters girl? ›

Hooters girls cannot change their hair color

This means only waitresses with naturally-colored hair are considered for the position, and they are additionally not permitted to dye their hair while they are still employed—unless approved by a manager.

What is the youngest age to work at Hooters? ›

How old do you have to be to work here? You have to be 18 and older in order to work at hooters. Will they hire you at 40 years old? Are there minimum age requirements for specific roles at Hooters?

Can any girl work at Hooters? ›

To work for Hooters, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and possess a high school diploma or GED. However, bar positions have an age requirement of 21. Most entry-level Hooters jobs only require candidates to meet the age requirement, as the company offers comprehensive training upon hiring.

Can you be plus size and work at Hooters? ›

Hooter Girls must fit the uniform because we are an image based company. All body types are allowed as long as they meet the image we are trying to put forward. As for management, all types are allowed.

Are babies allowed in Hooters? ›

Yes, we saw children there and they were sitting inside, so it is child friendly! over a year ago. Yes we went there as a complete family my wife, my two daughters aged 9 / 12 and my self. And there is a kids menu in this restaurant.

Is there an all male Hooters? ›

Tallywackers opens as a male-version of "Hooters" restaurants – WPXI. Customers get to choose their own waiter as they peruse an suggestive menu.

What is the male version of Karen? ›

According to Wikipedia Numerous names for a male equivalent of Karen have been floated, with little agreement on a single name, although 'Ken' and 'Kevin' are among the most common names used.

Where is there a Tallywackers? ›

TALLYWACKERS original #guycandy is a bar, restaurant and great entertainment venue located at 4218 Lemmon Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75219.

What is the female version of Hooters? ›

A breastaurant is a restaurant that requires female waiting staff to be skimpily-dressed. The term dates from the early 1990s, after restaurant chain Hooters opened in the United States.

How many types of Hooters are there? ›

Six different styles.

The style we invented over 30 years ago; they're breaded by hand, tossed in your choice of wing sauce and served by your favorite Hooters Girl.

Do Hooters girls make a lot of tips? ›

Hooters Waitress Says She Earns As Much As $1,308 in Tips Each Week.

Does Hooters treat their employees well? ›

The managers are very helpful and will work with you with any problems you have and you don't have to worry about not feeling safe here because they take very good care of their employees. They even help you with school and paying you back once you work there for over 6 months.

Do Hooters employees get free food? ›

50% of employee food and merch. You can only get certain food items discounted. 33% off alcohol.

What percentage of Hooters customers are men? ›

The majority (about 75%) of breastaurant customers are men, many of whom are middle-aged. And these restaurants uphold traditional gender roles by employing an exclusively female waitstaff. (Nationwide, 72% of servers are female.)

Is being a Hooters girl a good job? ›

Fun place to work

Really a family oriented store. There's always chances for you to move up. I've been here for almost 2 years and it's great money and you're around girls who become more than coworkers because of the bonds you start to build when working there.

Can a Hooters girl have tattoos? ›

Are waitresses allowed to have visible tattoos? No, they require you to use concealer. Do you have to purchase your uniforms?

How long is a shift at Hooters? ›

Morning shift was 10:30am- 5:00pm every day if the week and night shift was 4:30pm - 12:00am, mon- sat. On Sunday the night... First shift hours in the restaurant are used for prep of the entire days sales goals.

Can you work at Hooters if you have a small chest? ›

YOU don't need to have a naturally-large chest to work at Hooters – but as it turns out, you don't need expensive implants, either. One Hooters server shared the hack she uses to make her small chest look larger before work. At first glance, TikTok user Lila totally fills out her uniform tank top.

Can a 13 year old go to Hooters? ›

Hooters is NOT A SEXUAL RESTAURANT. It is a restaurant with waitresses in small uniforms. It is family-friendly and fine for teens ( male and female).

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