Park Slope Moms to Fight Hooters

I often use Hooters as a case study in my Human Resource Management class for its controversial practice of hiring strictly good looking waitresses. I, however, have never expected that there are people who would dislike Hooters so much that they want to fight Hooters for opening a business in their neighborhood.

Hooters’ concept relies on “natural female sex appeal.” The first Hooters restaurant was opened in Florida in 1983. By 1993, Hooters had become a popular national restaurant chain, with 100 locations and 200 million in revenue. Hooters restaurants refuse hiring male servers and expect that Hooters’ Girls “should project a positive attitude with a bubbling personality and the prettiest smile in the world.”

Between 1991 and 1994, EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) launched an investigation into alleged discrimination because of Hooters’ hiring practices. In 1994, EEOC reached a conclusion that “no physical trait unique to women is required to service food and drink to customers in a restaurant.” Hooters’ defended its concept under “Bona Fide Occupational Qualification” and claimed that “Hooters Girls” are providing “foodservice” plus “entertainment.” In the end, EEOC dropped its demands and investigation.

I ate in a Hooters restaurant before. It was just like any other sports bar except that I was served by some young and good looking waitresses. Interestingly, a group of Park Slope moms in Brooklyn are “ready to fight Hooters on all fronts from opening a restaurant in the area” (per this CNN news video), the same group of moms who wanted to ban ice cream trucks in April.

I can see how Hooters’ concept could be controversial. I am trying to understand here, the rationale of the claims --- ice cream is tempting for kids, so ice cream trucks should not be allowed in the neighborhood. Hooters’ concept is appealing to _______ (please help me fill in the blank), so it should be banned.

I wonder what will become the next item on the Park Slope moms’ ban list. Any predictions?


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