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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?

 

References:
The picture was downloaded from Multivu.prnewswire.com.

Comments

  1. Hey Professor Kwok,
    I think that Hooters does bring up the thought about the EEOC law because they are hiring a very particular group of people to work at the restaurant. I do know that people can not be hired because of their race and ethnicity but can the factor of how you look com into play when hiring. Also if in fact the way that you look becomes a factor on which you are hired on, then Hooters due to the fact that they are a private restaurant/ company can hire whoever they want. The reason i feel this way is that Hooters is putting out a product that needs this particular group of girl.
    Drew Ernst
    HPM 314

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Prof. Kwok,
    If you look at Hooters and how they hire their employees its is not much different from the way employees are hired at Abercrombie or Hollister. Yes, Hooters is only hiring female waitresses but they need to have specific features. Where as The clothing stores will hire males and females but they must be attractive. It is part of their image and it is part of what brings in customers. They have events to meet the models on their posters and bags. I suppose the question is once again can you hire employees based on their looks if you are complying with every other law?
    Jen Kaplan
    HPM 314

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think this how Hooters restaurants hire their waitress can be a good example of Bona Fide Occupational Qualification. It is like choosing actors and actress, good looking is probably considered the priority.

    What makes me interested is the part that Park Slope moms in Brooklyn were willing to fight Hooters and wanted to ban ice cream trucks in the neighborhood. I assume they all have young children, therefore, the reason for fighting hooters should be stop them appealing to their (Park Slope moms) husband.

    I can further assume that this neighborhood have conservative values, and have strict roles for their family members. I would not open a restaurant near this neighborhood if I were the investigator of Hooters, because the certain value of this neighborhood will not promote the business.

    Jie Ren NDS314

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think this how Hooters restaurants hire their waitress can be a good example of Bona Fide Occupational Qualification. It is like choosing actors and actress, good looking is probably considered the priority.

    What makes me interested is the part that Park Slope moms in Brooklyn were willing to fight Hooters and wanted to ban ice cream trucks in the neighborhood. I assume they all have young children, therefore, the reason for fighting hooters should be stop them appealing to their (Park Slope moms) husband.

    I can further assume that this neighborhood have conservative values, and have strict roles for their family members. I would not open a restaurant near this neighborhood if I were the investigator of Hooters, because the certain value of this neighborhood will not promote the business.

    Jie Ren NDS314

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think that Hooters restaurants should be allowed to mark any place their home as long as it's consider commercial real estate and nont residential. The Park Slope Moms may be cooncerned for their young teenagers or maybe even their husbands (or wives). If Hooters is beign fought, so should McDonalds, Wendy's, Burger King, etc because those also pose a threat... but to our health. Just because Hooters is there and presents something that could be threatening, it doesn't mean that it shouldn't be allowed to call Brooklyn its home.
    Fast food chains are allowed to make their business anywhere and those are bad for your health, so why not allow some fun and entertainment be available if someone does want to enjoy it.

    -Shelagh Ramsden
    HPM314 2013

    ReplyDelete
  6. These Brooklyn moms have surely made a reputation for themselves. From banning ice cream trucks in their neighborhood to being outraged at the new Hooters in town, who knows what they will protest next week. What the mothers do not understand is that they can prevent their children from entering a Hooters restaurant or buying an ice cream cone from the truck. These companies are just trying to make a living and these mothers are making it more difficult for them then need be. If the mothers spent their time with their children instead of protesting maybe they could instill values in their children so that these protests could be done with for good. There are things in life that we can’t control such as other people’s business locations, and at one of the future protests these mothers are going to realize how ridiculous they are being.

    -Joanna Weinberg
    HPM 314 Spring 2013

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think the whole idea of banning a Hooters restaurant from opening in an area is just pathetic. I’m not sure how it is going to have an effect on these moms or their children if they do not go to the restaurant. How are the practices at Hooters any different from that of a bartender? They are dressed to flaunt their bodies and make money except Hooters is for women. It is far from a strip club and that idea is all in the minds of the conservative mothers who are trying to stop the Hooters from opening. There are many other issues that these moms can put their energy into; especially because I do not think that what they are asking for will happen. I think that Hooters has the right to open up their restaurant where they want and I think they will have good business wherever they choose to open.

    Bailey Sweeting (NSD 314)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think that Hooters is not necessarily discriminating against workers. It is a similar situation to only having female attendants in a women’s locker room. If someone feels uncomfortable with the idea of Hooters, than that person has the option of not giving them business. Also, people say that Hooters is looking for a specific girl and discriminating. I don’t necessarily agree, and personally, I think the people who apply to Hooters all have the qualities that a “Hooters girl” is supposed to have just to feel comfortable working there. It is someone’s choice whether or not to apply to work there and people know the ramifications. I don’t think it is fair that Park Slope moms do not want the establishment put in to their neighborhood. I think a restaurant should be able to be where it wants if it can get the licenses that are needed. If Park Slope moms don’t like how Hooters does business, they should go somewhere else.

    R. Herbstman

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hooters has been around for years and I am confused as to why this problem is still arising. I do not believe that Hooters is necessarily discriminating. There is no where that says that "Hooter Girls" have to skinny and pretty. The company simply said that their girls have a great smile and a bubbly personality. A good personality is a characteristic every company wants in their employers, especially waitresses. I think these Park Slope moms are being ridiculous. If they don't like Hooters then they have the option of not bringing their families to those places. Also a company also has the right to place their restaurant anywhere they please if they believe that it is a good place for their business. I know many people have heard that Hooter's is mostly a restaurant for men becasue of the gorgeous women that waitress there but that is not true. Hooters has actually advertised themselves as a family bar where they want all ages to come and enjoy their food and they consider the attractive waitresses as an added plus. The whole ordeal over the Hooter's is so outdated by now and I think everyone should stop harassing them, especially these Park Slope moms.

    - Alyssa Resnick

    ReplyDelete

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