Hooters Hong Kong debut nears
Hooters Hong Kong is opening next month, introducing its mix of burgers, beer, orange hot pants and white tank tops.
Known in the US as a “breastaurant”, the chain launched in Florida in 1983 and started franchising three years later. It now has 420 outlets in 27 countries.
Hooters Asia GM Mike Warde describes it as a family-oriented sports bar, “a fun-loving entertainment outlet”, and plans to open as many as four more Hooters in Hong Kong as part of Destinations Resorts’ contract to open 30 of the restaurants in Asia.
“We have standards for our service and food,” he says, insisting that breast size is not a factor in recruiting Hooters girls. “That’s a myth. That was 30 years ago.”
But Hong Kong waitress “Scarlet” disagrees…
“When I went for the uniform fitting, they said I’m the only girl with boobs. They want to hire locals, but most local girls are really skinny,” she says. The shorts and vest she was given were too small, and when she asked was told, “This is the largest size”.
Scarlet says a friend who also applied to be a Hooters girl was rejected “because her boobs are smaller”.
Warde, however, has more expectations of its Hong Kong waitresses, such as the ability to learn a dozen choreographed two-minute dances that need to perform throughout their shifts.
“They stop whatever they are doing, wherever they are, and dance every 45 minutes,” he says.
“We teach the girls to be a lot more respectful of themselves, have more confidence in themselves. They have a fit body and fit mind, and we bring out their characters because we put them all over social media,” says Warde.
None of this sits well with Fran Thompson, MD of a job search company located above the new outlet, who has cancelled her lease.
“Hooters is misogynistic and outdated,” she says. “I don’t want my brand tarnished or associated with it.”
Hooters has four outlets in Thailand (two of them in Bangkok), with three more slated to open soon.