Raise your hand if you love Hooters! If you have reached this article and don’t love Hooters, you’re at least intrigued by Hooters and wonder what this restaurant chain is all about. Why is it so wildly popular? What makes it different (well, besides the scantily dressed women)? The Hooters girls confess what makes their job and the company they work for so appealing to its patrons.
No Experience Necessary
First, if you want to work at Hooters and you don’t have any server experience, it is totally OK; Hooters doesn’t require its employees to have any prior serving experience. Hooters cares more about your personality and how they think you will connect to the customers before your professional experience.
Actually, Hooters found a loophole to hire their girls based on looks: They get away with hiring women who they deem to be thin and pretty because they are hired as “entertainers,” not servers. So if you wanted to get into the entertainment industry, Hooters could be the open door you are looking for!
The Breast Debate
There must have been a rumor going around that “Hooters” meant “big breasts required” because many people believe that in order to work at Hooters, women had to have a certain breast size (basically, the bigger the better) but that isn’t true. You don’t have to have double Ds to work there.
All sizes of braests are welcome! From A to F, it doesn’t matter to Hooters. But we can’t say that some girls don’t try to enhance their assets; some will wear two or three bras, or bras that are too small, to amp their cleavage up. These girls know that bigger breasts usually translate to the size of their tips.
During training, Hooters takes the time to teach new hires a very important tool they need to be successful at Hooters. This trademark trick is a requirement for each Hooters waitress. They must know how to draw an owl in ketchup. Apparently you have to be able to have some drawing skills to work at Hooters.
The owl has been the Hooters mascot since the beginning but he got a recent revamping in 2013 from his more traditional look to a sleeker, leaner owl. Most people feel like the “OO” in “Hooters” looks like breasts (though they do double as the owl’s eyes, too) and they may be right; the restaurant is known for playing up that sex appeal.
The Dress Code
The signature employee uniform is very specific. Hooters Girls must wear sneakers and socks and the socks have to be worn correctly. Yes, there is a particular scrunch to the sock. If done properly, it can actually make your legs look leaner. Who would have thought scrunching socks would be a big deal?
And the pantyhose, which the girls have to buy themselves, must also be the exact right type. The official coloring is “suntan” and you can’t stray from that color. You always have to wear these pantyhose; no exceptions. And hopefully they don’t keep the restaurants too hot because servers’ hair must be down at all times. No ponytails allowed.
Don’t like makeup? Then Hooters isn’t the tight place for you. Youhave to wear makeup every day. It’s in the handbook. Theirwebsite also details how the makeup should be worn as well. All makeup “should appear natural to best accentuate your features” and that mascara and lipstick are required.
Another fun fact is that Hooters Girls can only wear black on Friday. And once a month, they have a special costume day but the Hooters Girls must supply their own costumes. There’s firefighter night, police night, country night, animals night, and so on. It really depends on the month. November might be military themed; December is Christmas or winter themed. Having to buy all those costumes sounds a little expensive!
Hooters Girls Swap Tops
Hooters Girls can trade tank tops with other stores. So if you ever see a girl at a Hollywood location and she is wearing a Boston tank top, she went to Boston and traded a top with another Hooters Girl. The only location that won’t trade is Vegas because they have to abide by a specific rule.
They make you buy the tank top and show a pay stub for proof you work there. If you work at Hooters, you also have to get specific approval to wear the Hooters crop top. They want to make sure your stomach is flat and you can’t have any muffin top, which is basically impossible in the required shorts.
Some stores have “seasonal” attire but it varies by location. So Hooters Girls in some cold weather climates get to wear long sleeves but this is not true to every location. According to the Hooters rules, Hooters Girls cannot come to or leave work with their uniform showing, other than the shoes.
They site that this is for safety reasons. If a girl wears her uniform outside of work she is supposed to be fired immediately. Although that is a pretty harsh rule, former Hooters Girls do get to keep the uniforms, so you can choose to wear the uniform for Halloween as long as you no longer work for Hooters.
Interestingly, Hooters Girls’ responsibilities don’t end at serving drinks and food – they are trained to sling merchandise. If they have excellent sales abilities, they have more job benefits, like better shifts. Shifts are assigned based on sales. Hooters Girls regularly hustle the merchandise to try and get better shifts.
This type of sales tactic is part of a 16 step plan to Hooters Girls customer service. Did you know that technically, a minimum of three Hooters Girls are supposed to stop by your table during your meal? So if you thought you were very popular with the girls, it is part of their tactics. It’s called the E3 system: Every Hooters Girl, Every Guest, Every Day.
Behavior is Key
While Hooters seems like a place that caters to men (it is) sometimes a couple comes in, and there is a protocol for that, too. When men come in alone, or with their buddies, it all about attention but when a couple comes in, Hooters Girls are supposed to sit next to the girl—never the guy. This helps them to appear less threatening.
And can you guess who their best customers are? College guys, of course. The ones that go to Hooters tend to be shy but far more respectful than the drunk 40-year-old-men. Hooters Girls dread dealing with the older men. They are the worst and act entitled to the Girls’ attention. Also, hugs are discouraged between Hooters Girls and customers (they’re even sometimes forbidden via the employee handbook).
Time to Play a Game
When it’s slow at Hooters, it’s not uncommon to find Hooters Girls playing board games with the customers. Not only do board games pass the time, but it becomes very fun for both Hooters Girls and customers, making them want to return. One Girl recalls having a blast playing Connect Four with some Marines.
Another time-passing tactic? Dancing. But if this reminds you of the movie Coyote Ugly, it isn’t quite like that. The Hooters Girls learn choreographed dances during training and if they hear a particular song start playing when they’re on the clock, they are supposed to stop everything and dance.
Sing a Song
Are you a singer? Are you a horrible singer? Well at Hooters, it doesn’t matter. They have songs and chants for birthdays and “Hooter’s virgins.” A Hooters Virgin is someone who has never been to Hooters before, and lets their waitress know (so here’s a pro-tip: if you don’t want them to sing, don’t share it’s your first time visiting a Hooters).
A former Hooters Girl recalls the whole song and chant thing as basically existing to make the girls look dumb and embarrass the guests. It’s safe to say that some guests probably like it, but most aren’t fans of being sung to in a restaurant. Even if it is being done by a scantily clad, attractive woman.
No Cell Phones Allowed
Cell phones are forbidden while Girls are on the floor. Several Hooters Girls claim to have never seen a Girl bring a cell phone with her to serve tables, but there are stories out there. Maybe it is a scare tactic but there are several stories about managers taking things too far.
Some Girls say they heard about managers taking Girls’ pouches and slamming them on the ground if they think she has her cell phone on her. Work rule or not, it seems like potentially destroying someone’s personal property is too far. Maybe a write-up would be more efficient?
Free Meals (While You Work)
Many restaurants have meal perks for their employees but some don’t. At Hooters, the Hooters Girls get free meals every shift but only if they choose to order the Hooters approved “healthy” options. If you don’t know of the healthy options, it’s because they don’t appear on the menu.
The “healthy menu” that is for the Girls seems to support their need to control their employees’ weights. Otherwise, if any of the Girls want something on the regular menu, there’s a sliding scale on meal discounts. Usually, it is about 50 percent off for wings, and other popular menu items. But fries are full price.
So back to the “look” Hooters wants for their employees aka “Hooters Girls.” Along with a particular dress code, sock scrunch, and bodily figure, some restaurants offer discounts to their employees for tanning and gym memberships. So sure, they can say they don’t require the Girls to look a certain way when they are hired. But they also do a lot to maintain the looks of the women who work there.
If you are hired as a Hooters Girl, you definitely receive some sense of pressure to have to maintain your looks. If you are someone who is into tanning booths and gym memberships, this may not bother you much. But to be receive a lot of “subtle” perks seems to be a bit much, even for the most confident Girl.
A Hooters Welcome
When you enter a Hooters, is there anything you notice? Well, anything you notice that occurs every time you go into a Hooters? If nothing comes to mind, the Hooters Girls may not be doing their job! You are supposed to get the same greeting whenever you walk through the door.
Hooters Girls are supposed to yell “Hi! Welcome to Hooters!” every time someone walks in the restaurant but former Hooters Girls say it doesn’t last. They seem to lose their stamina for the required perky greeting. But the Girls have a message: You may come for the wings, but you will stay for the curly fries. Hooters has the best curly fries.
The Pay Is Relatively the Same As a Regular Server
If you have ever been a server, or know a server, you know they make minimum wage plus tips. Although working at Hooters with the notoriety, you may think they make more than any other server but that’s usually not the case. They can tend to make more when they hustle sales and tables.
So yes, when you are dining at Hooters, you can assume your Hooter Girl is making minimum wage plus tips. Some Girls may make a bit more, but not much, so please tip accordingly. And yes, they are flirting with you to try to get a bigger tip. The hustle is real, guys!
Pros and Cons
When you work at any company, there are definite pros and cons, and the same goes for Hooters. The Pros of working at Hooters can include better tips than the average restaurant (tips can be pretty phenomenal), a very flexible schedule (especially if you can kill at sales), and it is more laid back and fun than your average family restaurant.
Some of the cons of working at Hooters include the stereotype that comes along with it and inappropriate attention from customers. Hooters Girls don’t like being treated like a piece of meat because of where they choose to work. They also are not allowed to wear nail polish. And the sneakers are a pain in the ass to clean and are relatively expensive to replace.
Technically, if you apply at Hooters, they cannot discriminate against you for your appearance, age, race or disability. But there is an underlying discriminatory factor. Just like the previous things we listed, the girls are expected to look a certain way and maintain their look.
So when a Hooters Girl is hired and they order their uniform, there is a catch. While there is no specific weight requirement, Hooters only carries uniforms in sizes xxs, xs and s. So what if you need a medium? Tough. You don’t have that option. And it’s safe to say girls aren’t hired if they need any other size.
If you apply to Hooters, you should be prepared for your close-up! The managers take a picture of you when you get hired but there’s a catch. You’re told that if you vary too far from their ideal candidate (weight, hair color/length) they reserve the right to fire you. This pressure sounds pretty horrible.
Depending on the location, the Girls are typically given free gym memberships and discounts at tanning/hair salons so they can keep up the appearance they were basically hired for. While the “look” of a Hooters Girl is a signature look, you have to wonder what kind of pressure they are under.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting at Hooters
Have you ever seen a pregnant Girl working at Hooters? Maybe, but it is probably not very likely. In fact, it’s probably close to as common as spooting a unicorn. It is against the law to fire someone for being pregnant but there is a different uniform for Hooters Girls who are expecting.
Obviously, Hooters doesn’t think the pregnant workers will make them as much money as the girls who maintain their standards for appearance but they can’t be fired so they just dress them more appropriately. This makes you wonder if a Hooters Girl would rather quit when they get pregnant rather than continue in such a pressured environment.