Here’s the Real Reason Hooters is Disappearing

When people decide to go out for dinner, they are usually excited because they like the place they have chosen and, since they have chosen they place together, there is some kind of agreement. However, this would not be the case if you tell your family that you would like to go to Hooters. There would be some disapproving scowls and doubts, probably. This is because Hooters is known for their scantily-clad waitresses, looks-based hiring practices and specific client base. Don’t miss our slideshow to find out the real reason Hooters is disappearing across the country.

#12. Fewer Locations

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Hooters restaurants have been doing it for over 30 years but, according to USA Today , they haven’t aged well. They call them “a fading relic of the 1980s,” which have been on a slow downward slide for a long time. It has been reported that between 2008 and 2016 they have closed several locations and lost an annual revenue of more than $100 million.

#11. Women and Men Find It Offensive

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When BrandIndex, in 2013, asked customers to rate Hooters on a scale of 100 to -100, while women rated the chain at a sad -21, men were the real surprise: their average score was an equally sad 2.

#10. Boycotts and Protests

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Between 2008 and 2010, Hooters restaurants have been the target of several protests. For example, protesters campaigned against the opening of a Hooters in Cardiff, UK. During these protests, a spokesperson said to The Guardian that “Everyone should have a job but they should be good jobs with dignity. Not only is it a sexist institution, but it encourages a sexist culture.” The same thing happened in Bristol and in Birmingham.

#9. Awareness of Sexual Harassment

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Hooters has always been known for their tendency to objectify women. However, this message has never been more dated than it is post-2017.  Now, thanks to movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up, the world is finally listening to women who are tired of suffering sexual harassment in silence. Deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Cathy Jamieson, said that “these types of establishments do nothing to promote equality of women in the workplace.” Feminist academic Carol J. Adams added that Hooters “makes the degradation of women appear playful and harmless… thus everyone can enjoy the degradation of women without being honest.”

#8. Lawsuits

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Hooters has been connected with assault and harassment lawsuits several times over the years. Some testimonies include horrifying details, like a manager’s attempt to take a waitress home, and threatening to tie her up, and even forcing the waitresses to participate in bikini contests as a punishment. Recently, controversy arose when a former waitress filed charges against Hooters after she was subjected to sexual harassment which culminated in a physical attack. Men have also had issues with the restaurant chain. In 2016, two men filed charges against their former Hooters managers for sexual harassment.

#7. Hooters Shirts Just Aren’t as Big a Draw Anymore

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Hooters’ original business strategy was to lure in the boys with, well… hooters. However, this has stopped being effective. Nowadays, the younger generation doesn’t seem to be that drawn to women in low-cut shirts. In fact, according to Business Insider, a meta-analysis from PornHub revealed some changing tastes in adult entertainment. As results have shown, people between 18 and 24 years old are the least likely to look for breast-centric entertainment.

#6. Not Racy Enough…

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… for those who are still into that. Hooters took a hit when rival chain Twin Peaks began increasing sales in 2017. The restaurant built their image on being a sort of smutty sports’ place, with waitresses wearing very small plaid shirts and even smaller shorts .This new competitor is one of the many reasons Hooters is not as big as it used to be.

#5. Legal Discrimination

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In world in which women are finally being heard and their rights are being respected, it makes no sense that Hooters is legally allowed to discriminate during the hiring process. Hooters’ reason to do so dates back to 1997, when, after being sued by two men, the restaurant chain argued that they weren’t hiring waitresses, but “entertainers.” They also cited a footnote in the Civil Rights Act to justify their hiring practices, saying that having a smokin’ hot body was a “bona-fide occupational qualification,” so, refusing to hire anyone who doesn’t have those specific qualifications, isn’t actually discriminating.

#4. Millenial’s Choices Change

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Millennials don’t like casual dinning restaurants anymore. According to Business Insider, young people are more focused on convenience, so they are abandoning those restaurants in favor of fast-casual chains, meal delivery services and trendier new chains such as wine bars. Hooters took note, and since 2013 they have made some changes (like new technology and outdoor seating areas) to make their restaurants more appealing to the young. However, it hasn’t had as much of an impact.

#3. Slow Food Updates

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Remember when some people used to say that they liked Hooters because of their menu? While chicken wings were a good menu idea in the ’90s, times change and so do food preferences. It took Hooters 30 years to realize this, though. They have now hired Chef Gregg Brickman to give their menu a needed makeover.

#2. Fast Casual Switching

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Hooters is also disappearing because they are trying something new: Hoots. They are fast-casual versions of the restaurant, with a smaller menu, counter service for take-out and dine-in customers. New changes regarding the uniform and staff have been introduced as well. Now, they are hiring mixed staff and they will be dressed more modestly. According to American Marketing Association CEO and restaurant expert Russ Klein, the decision Hooters took is an “adjacency strategy,” and as a result of it, the two chains may coexist or the entire chain might be rebranded into fast-casual Hoots.

#1. Hooter Takes a Psychological Toll

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Nowadays, we are more aware of the damage that objectifying women causes. In fact, in 2015, faculty from the University of Tennessee’s Psychology Department conducted a research to find what kind of consequences working in certain environments had on waitress’s mental health. It revealed some pretty disturbing facts. All the waitresses that were interviewed suffered from some degree of depression, anxiety, anger, confusion, and feelings of degradation. Results have also shown that employees of restaurants such as Hooters were not only more susceptible to eating disorders, but also at the mercy of a largely male-dominated management team.

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