Last month, Hooters launched a creepy ad campaign with the hopes of attracting women to its "delightfully tacky yet unrefined" chain of restaurants. Wondering how a "breastaurant" with a boob euphemism for a name plans on making women feel right at home? Yeah, same here.
Wings for everyone! (Image: Reuters)
"There's an opportunity to broaden the net without putting wool sweaters on the Hooters girls," CEO Terry Marks told Bloomberg Businessweek. "Everything we do should appeal more to women, but nothing we will do will turn men off."
Hooters plans to broaden said net by adding more salads to its menu and more lighting to its dining rooms (we lady customers like to see our salads, thanks). However, the plan is to keep its trademark "sexiness" intact, which in this case means the booty shorts, tank tops, and blatant objectification are likely to remain.
This video from the Bloomberg report doesn't contain much information about the revamping efforts, but it does contain some visuals of the inside of a Hooters, as well as a bizarre and somewhat hilarious reference to Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon eating steak at a strip club:
Two thirds of Hooters customers are men, but sales have been steadily declining since 2007. By removing "the Hooters stigma" and appealing to women, Marks thinks he can turn that revenue frown upside down. As Jordan Weissman reminds us over at The Atlantic, women continue to make up 51% of the US population and it just might be a smart financial move to not completely alienate them with your business model. Yes, many restaurants have been operating under the "women are people too" philosophy for decades now, but hey, if Hooters wants to acknowledge women in a non-cleavage capacity, better late than never.
But how, exactly, will more salads and brighter lights do the trick? I like salad as much as the next lonely, laughing woman, but I'd prefer to eat it at a restaurant that doesn't treat women like pieces of meat. If Hooters really wants to lose its sexist, frat guy reputation, it also needs to lose the skimpy uniforms and bros-before-hos attitude. Since that isn't likely to happen, I, along with Andrea Dworkin, Catherine MacKinnon, and everyone else who is kinda grossed out by the idea of chowing down on wings while ogling restaurant employees, will order my salad elsewhere.
Sorry Hooters, but you can't have your cheesecake and convince women to eat it too.