Ladies Who Lunch (at Hooters): The "Breastaurant" Chain Targets Women

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.

a hooters employee carrying a tray of food and wearing a skimpy uniform
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.

by Kelsey Wallace
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8 Comments Have Been Posted

“Everything we do should

“Everything we do should appeal more to women, but nothing we will do will turn men off.” Pretty much sums it up. It's a restaurant for men, with salad.

a little reminder

Andrea Dworkin passed on some years back. That said, her writings do live on and I disagree with her and Catharine MacKinnon's anti-pornography and anti-sex-work stances, because not all pornography is bad, violent, and/or misogynist, and there are many sex workers that choose to do sex work that staunchly defend their choices of doing so (I so miss <i>$pread</i> magazine). These are the kinds of people that would not want to be seen working at a Hooters restaurant. That also said, it does not mean that I plan to eat at a Hooters anytime soon. Their food is indeed unhealthy, and their proposed salad offerings, which, in actuality, may be even more unhealthy than their already unhealthy offerings, are not convincing me at all to change my mind about them.



I know Dworkin passed away, but I was making a reference to the video embedded in the post, where the Bloomberg commentator mentions Dworkin and MacKinnon. (Well, trying to at least.) I thought what he said about Dworkin and MacKinnon and how good the food would have to be for them to go to a steakhouse in a strip club was totally out of the blue and kinda hilarious, at least in its unexpectedness.

Sorry if that wasn't clear. Thanks for your comment!

"We'll feed them bitches

"We'll feed them bitches salad. Bitches love salads." - Hooters' CEO

The simple fact that they

The simple fact that they believe if they include salad in the menu that it will draw women is extremely sexist. It implies that women will only eat somewhere that provides low calorie meals. Which in turn makes Hooters even more sexist because they believe that the only thing that women care about is losing weight.

This is a little off-topic,

This is a little off-topic, but in Japan there are maid cafes and butler cafes (think of Hooters but with less skin and more cosplay). The restaurant managers didn't get very far attracting straight women to maid cafes, so butler cafes were opened. It's still kind of creepy, though.

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