Hooters’ first Hong Kong restaurant stirs local controversy ahead of opening

Category: Beer Humor
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Chinese waitresses dance the Hokey-Pokey Friday in front of guests during the pre-opening of Hooters in Shanghai, China. The first Hooters restaurant in Asia opening in Shanghai in 2004. (AP File Photo)

Hooters, the American restaurant chain renowned for its wings, breasts and legs only in alphabetical order is introducing its special mix of burgers, beer, orange hot pants and white tank tops to Hong Kong next month.

Cue the outrage.

When I went for the uniform fitting, they said Im the only girl with boobs. They want to hire locals, but most local girls are really skinny, a wannabe waitress– who used the moniker “Scarlet”– told the South China Morning Post.

She said the shorts and vest they gave her were too small, but when she asked for a larger size, They said, This is the largest size.

I think that was true. But its crazy that the largest size is extra small. My boobs were exploding and my ass was half showing out.

That, of course, is part of the allure of breastaurants in the U.S. Hooters, the granddaddy of them all, opened its first restaurant in Florida in 1983, began franchising in 1986 and now has 420 restaurants in 27 countries, including 339 in the U.S.

It must be the fries, because the focus isnt on pretty women in skimpy outfits, says Hooters Asia general manager Mike Warde.

Were a sports bar, a family-oriented, fun-loving, entertainment outlet, says Warde, who 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, says Warde, who insists breast size is not a factor in recruiting Hooters girls.

Thats a myth. That was 30 years ago, he says before displaying a photo on his phone and pointing out several small-breasted Hooters girls who work at one of the companys three restaurants in Thailand.

The reason they dont look flat-chested is because they are wearing Wonderbras, he says.

Nonsense, says Scarlet, who claims a friend who applied to be a Hooters girl was rejected because Her boobs are smaller, so of course they wont hire her.

Or maybe her friend had a different anatomical shortcoming two left feet. That would be a big problem, because Hooters girls in Hong Kong have to learn a dozen choreographed two-minute dances that theyll perform throughout their shifts.

They stop whatever they are doing, wherever they are, and dance every 45 minutes, says Warde.

Theyll also have to attend kickboxing classes at least three times a week, though at least they wont have to pay for them, since Hooters is giving its servers free gym memberships.

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, managing director of a job search company located upstairs from the soon-to-open restaurant.

Hooters is misogynistic and outdated, said Thompson, whos canceled her lease and is looking for a new office space.

I dont want my brand tarnished or associated with it. When we tell people where we are, we dont want to say we are the headhunters above Hooters, especially as we work with a lot of women.

A representative for Hooters was not able to provide a comment to at the time of publication. 

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