I’ve been working too much. And the worst part is I feel like I’m running in place, in wet sand, with those gorilla-toed shoes (so I want to stop every few minutes and shoot myself out of disgust). But anyway. God gave us a gift today.
What you got for me Duane and Leslie?
Hooters, the chicken-wing chain known for waitresses in tight shirts and orange shorts, wants to make it easier for guys to drop by. That means paying a little more attention to their wives and girlfriends.
Ruuuh? Did NOT see that coming. What a deftly executed turn! You clever scamps. (And they somehow elided over the fact that truly the most memorable thing about the unfortunate souls serving wings at Hooters, are the flesh colored L’eggs pantyhose they have to wear. Eww right?)
(And I should say before going any further, that this is going to be unfair and unbalanced. D&L are working a copy desk for Bloomberg. They can’t even get their own byline on this, and the point isn’t to rebrand Hooters to you, dear eater, dripping wing sauce on his mouse. No. This is for the investor class. Rich people who don’t go near a hooters except for maybe once a year on Chad’s birthday to CRUSH wings and drink beer at lunch – ironically oh they think they’re being ironic – before heading back Goldman. Which is to say, this article is actually fine when judged on its own terms. But we’re in the no-spin zone (or whatever).)
Walk into almost any Hooters and it’s easy to see why some women might be creeped out. Wall-to-wall dark wood. Posters of bikinied Hooters girls. Titillated guys downing pitchers of beer and making cracks like: “They have great wings.”
Yeah. But why ‘almost’ any. Are there some awesome ones to be in? With non-creepy dudes? Are the jokes better is that what it is? And for godsakes why do you have poster of Hooters girls when there actual live ones working up a sweat in front of you? Put on the fucking game.
When Chief Executive Officer Terry Marks was hired last year to make over the chain, he found women also were steering clear because the menu was stale, the restaurants were dated and the food was overpriced. Marks wants to remove the Hooters stigma so men aren’t embarrassed to put the chain on an expense account and women aren’t as quick to veto a meal there.
Honestly? Before reading this article, and even with my preamble up there, did you expect to ever see the words “expense account” and Hooters in the same sentence? The job market must be better than I thought if truckers are getting company cards.
John Gordon tells people what to do. Like you know when he gets to the office he expects that report on his desk five minutes ago. He got to where he is in life through his sweat, brains, and pluck. And he’s got a message for Mr.Marks (but really it’s for any investors out there reading this): Women might want to do more than be props. He’s not trying to pass the E.R.A, he’s just saying that there are an awful lot bitches out there (that don’t have the body to cut it as a server)…game respect game?
Make no mistake. Hooters is still mostly for guys, who make up two-thirds of the chain’s customers. Marks insists Hooters will be every bit as sexy as always and that the iconic uniforms are there to stay. Instead, he’s freshening up the menu, creating a night scene and bringing more light into the restaurants to make it clear there is nothing to be ashamed of.
Okay. (Mostly.) Sexy!?! Okay. Fine. Moving on.
The next section is truly sad and depressing and reveals too much about gender, economics, and America. For instance, Hooters saw their revenue peak in 2007. What else peaked then? That was when money was flowing like cheerwine, and people were refinancing left and right, and…well you know the story of the housing crisis. But even worse for Hooters, is that in that same timeframe other “breastrepreneurs” saw that there was another way. And breastaurants became a portmanteau we’ll be dealing with for the next 50 years. Lah-di-dah. But now the glory:
Hooters now touts fresh-not-frozen wings and hamburger patties. The chain doubled its salads to six, replacing iceberg lettuce with mixed greens and adding shrimp, spinach and fresh herbs to give women and health-conscious men more choices. In company-owned locations, burgers now come with fries, and wings are served with blue cheese after research revealed customers felt “nickeled and dimed” buying them separately, Marks said.
Where to begin? Let’s take it from the top.
Now, you serve fresh, not frozen(!) wings– the food item you were known for? Only now? That second sentence is a beaut. That construction. Bitches (and health-conscious men) be eating salad! Thing is Mr. Marks. Women eat salad alone. You charged for blue cheese? The food item that mostly closely accompanies the food item you’re known for serving? (That line is probably controversial though. Because from my seat up here on the 75th floor overlooking the Hudson and beyond that, millions of poor Hooters-eating unwashed slobbos, it means their food costs just went up. And for what? So Jim Bob doesn’t feel nickled and dimed? You’re leaving money on the table. And for what?)
The changes come as Hooters scored below Chili’s Grill & Bar…and Applebee’s for value, food quality and menu variety….
Oh. But this article insists that I change them from a Hold to a Buy, because these changes are gaining traction. And to prove it. Either Duane or Leslie (or more depressingly, both of them) had to go into a Hooters and talk to people. People spitting chicken bones out of their mouths and masticating while grunting. Or whatever. Also one of them saw this as they were rolling by on the El.
On a recent weekday, a Hooters in Chicago’s Near North neighborhood was advertising “Buncha Lunches” for $5.99. A sign above the entrance said, “U Have The Draft, We Have The Fantasy.”
My ex-girlfriend loved fantasy football. So this is all making perfect sense to me. The article then blah blah blahs on to talk about how they are like the bar Twin Peaks in the 70s and that’s why they are adding larger windows because “they have nothing to hide”. The one in the Castro not …sigh… Twin Peaks the competing breasturant that is eating Hooters’ lunch.
Laura Palmer serving a burger.
Notice the lack of stockings and how her uniform covers her armpits Hooters? Start there. Make that step one. Step two….uh, bigger breasts? I don’t know what will save your business but it ain’t “fresh herbs” in the salads. (By the way, Twin Peaks is not fucking around. They aren’t doing some sissyfied bring the women in rebranding routine. They are doubling down on the Men + Tits + angioplasty format = a yacht named Breasticles of the Carribean. Check out the website. All you people (men) who think talking like a pirate is cool? So do they! Have fun! )
But wait, there’s more.
While the uniforms will stay skimpy, more contemporary fits and fabric may be in the works, said CMO Henninger, who predicts any changes will spark a “world debate.”
When Hooters first opened people clutched their pearls, epater les bourgeois, and all that. But things done changed son. W won twice*. The Tea Party is a treated as a respected voice in the political process. Adam Sandler has not been beaten to death. You gotta go hard or go home.
*Let’s not get into it.