How You Doin’, Sugah?
The one and only time I visited a Hooters, I ordered a burger well-done, and it came to the table red and raw. The waitress apologized and got me a replacement burger, which she accidentally charged me a second time for on the bill despite my not even biting into the original burger. While I was there, I bore witness to a dude hitting on a different waitress so aggressively, a manager had to come by the table and tell him to slow his roll. I still ended up leaving a 25% tip because despite my order and my experience being a total debacle, I felt bad for everyone working there. Also, my waitress was admittedly very pretty and called me “cutie” and I am a complete and total sucker.
In case you are unaware, Hooters is a chain of restaurants wherein the primary novelty is that the waitresses are all conventionally attractive and made to wear semi-revealing uniforms. It is a company in which the employee handbook demands that female staff “acknowledge and affirm […] the Hooters concept is based on female sex appeal and the work environment is one in which joking and entertaining conversations are commonplace.” In other words, employees are basically made to consent to being objectified and hit on by customers if they want to keep their job. Granted, there are hundreds of thousands of other waitress gigs out there where the environment isn’t inherently skeevy by design, and a woman who knows what they’re signing up for should be free to pursue their “Hooters Girl” career as they please. But also, they should totally be allowed to kick shithead customers in the groin if they happen to get handsy.
In 2002, someone decided that what the Hooters brand needed was a tie-in video game for the Sony PlayStation. Not the two-years-young PlayStation 2, mind you, but the original PS1. And what genre did they assume most players would want to see the Hooters brand associate with? No, not a dating sim or food service simulator.** It’s a danged racing game. Because truly, the strength of the Hooters brand doesn’t lie in pretty women or passable food: It’s all about their on-and-off involvement in sponsoring NASCAR racers. And who better to helm development than Hoplite Research — the developers of 1999’s Extreme Paintbrawl 2?***
Gas your cars and get your grub on, folks: It’s time to go on a Hooters Road Trip.