Imagine sliding into a booth at Hooters, skimming the menu, then giving your order to a scantily clad man. No way, said the restaurant chain that built its reputation on its perky Hooters Girls.
The company will ignore an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recommendation that it hire men to work alongside the women. Mostly male customers are taking Hooters’ side.
The draw at Hooters isn’t the burgers or the chicken wings - it’s the lively waitresses in skimpy uniforms. The recommendation from the EEOC isn’t binding, but it allows the agency to file a complaint if ignored.
Hooters of America Inc., based in Atlanta, said Wednesday that’s exactly what it will do.
“A lot of places serve good burgers. The Hooters Girls, with their charm and all-American sex appeal, are what our customers come for,” said Mike McNeil, a Hooters vice president, at a news conference in Washington.
In Atlanta, the mostly male clientele during the busy lunch hour scoffed at the idea of being served by men in bright orange hot pants and tight, white T-shirts or tank tops, the standard uniform for Hooters waitresses.
The company bought full-page ads in USA Today and The Washington Post on Wednesday, featuring a burly man with a mustache, a blond wig and Hooters uniform, holding a plate of chicken wings and exclaiming: “Come on, Washington. Get a grip.”