The common line about Hooters restaurants is that customers “just go there for the wings,” wink, wink. But no one’s unclear about the Hooters business model: sell sub-par food, invite clientele to objectify the female wait staff, tolerate sexual harassment, and present this all as “a family restaurant” where it’s all just fun and games, relax!
At GQ, Jaya Saxena reexamines the boob-branded chain of sexist wing-slingers to see why our modern world, flushed with new life by the #MeToo movement, still has a place for this kind of business. Of course it shouldn’t, Saxena shows. But as long as the business model remains profitable and men dehumanize women, Hooters will continue operating as a place where men can ogle women in low cut shirts and short-shorts.
My recommendation: a complete rebrand, where all Hooters restaurants are converted into owl sanctuaries that house rehabilitated and/or endangered owls that children can learn about, interact with, and help rehabilitate. Fire all the male managers and let any of the cooks and female waitresses stay on as docents and biologists. Then when visitors rehash the old line about just coming for the wings, they’ll mean it. Until then, Saxena shows us how Hooters remains, like one of their lecherous male customers, on the wrong side of history.