I had a whole extreme food blog post planned out and ready to write, but then I saw this article about Hooters celebrating its 30th anniversary. I don't know why I find this fascinating, but I do. I mean, I guess its a restaurant institution or something like that, but mostly, I just find the ridiculous rules the Hooters girls must follow to be hilarious. Is that mean spirited of me? I have to post this whole article, because it pretty much proves my point:
Today, we celebrate the 30th birthday of a national treasure, a beacon of light amid the ever-darkening times, a place to rest your weary bones and eat chicken wings, a place with boobs: Hooters.
The first Hooters opened in Clearwater, Fla. and, as legend has it, one co-founder convinced that year's Jose Cuervo bikini contest winner into becoming their first employee. Thus was born the Hooters Girl.
Tonight, Hooters is hosting a nation-wide Hooters Girl Reunion to celebrate. In a video on their site, one Hooters Girl gushes, "Working at the store is awesome. It's like being a rock star in my own little town."
But what does it really take to work at the restaurant? We asked a few former Hooters Girls. Here's everything they had to say:
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1. It doesn't really matter if you have any serving experience. Hooters cares more about your personality.
2. More importantly, Hooters found a loophole to hire their girls based on looks: They get away with hiring "thin" and "pretty" girls because they are hired as entertainers, not servers.
3. You don't have to have double D's to work there though. All sizes of boobs are welcome, from A to F! But some girls will wear two or three bras or bras that are too small, to amp their cleavage up.
4. During training, they take the time to teach new hires how to draw an owl in ketchup.
5. Hooters Girls must wear sneakers and socks. And there is a correct way to scrunch the sock. If done properly, it can actually make your legs look leaner.
6. And pantyhose, which the girls have to buy themselves. The official coloring is "suntan."
7. Hair must be down at all times. No ponytails allowed, ever.
8. You have to wear makeup every day. It's in the handbook. (Their website says makeup "should appear natural to best accentuate your features" and that mascara and lipstick are required.)
9. Hooters Girls only wear black on Friday.
10. Once a month is special costume day and Hooters Girls must supply their own costumes. November might be military themed, December is Christmas or winter themed. There's firefighter night, police night, country night, animals night, etc.
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11. Hooters Girls can trade tank tops with other stores. So if you ever see a girl at, say, the Hollywood location in a Boston tank top, she went there and traded a top with another Hooters Girl. The only location that won't trade is Vegas. They make you buy the tank top and show a pay stub for proof you work there.
12. You have to get approval to wear the Hooters crop top. "Basically your stomach has to be flat and you can't have any muffin top," one former Hooters Girl told us. "Which is basically impossible in those shorts."
13. It varies by location, but some stores have "seasonal" attire (i.e. Hooters Girls in some cold weather climates get to wear long sleeves).
14. Hooters Girls cannot come to or leave work with their uniform showing, other than the shoes (for safety reasons). If a girl wears her uniform outside of work she is supposed to be fired immediately.
15. That said, former Hooters Girls do get to keep the uniforms, so you can wear it for Halloween after you quit or get fired!
16. Shifts are assigned based on sales. "Hooters Girls hustle the merchandise to try and get better shifts."
17. There are 16 steps to Hooters Girls customer service and, technically, a minimum of three Hooters Girls are supposed to stop by your table during your meal. It's called the E3 system: Every Hooters Girl, Every Guest, Every Day.
18. If a couple comes in, Hooters Girls are supposed to sit next to the girl—never the guy—to appear less threatening.
19. "College guys make the best customers," our former Hooters Girl revealed. "The ones that go to Hooters tend to be shy but far more respectful. Drunk 40-year-old-men are the worst."
20. Hugs are discouraged between Hooters Girls and customers. Sometimes forbidden.
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21. When it's slow, it's not uncommon to find Hooters Girls playing board games with the customers. "I've had a blast playing Connect Four with some Marines," one Girl told us.
22. You learn choreographed dances during training and if you hear a particular song start playing when you're on the clock, you're supposed to stop every and dance.
23. There are songs and chants for birthdays and "Hooter's virgins." Our former Hooters Girl says, "They pretty much exist to make the girls look dumb and embarrass the guests."
24. Cell phones are forbidden on the floor. The Hooters Girls we spoke to had never seen it happen, but had heard stories about managers taking girls' pouches and slamming them on the ground if they think she has her cell phone on her.
25. Hooters Girls get free meals every shift...if they choose to order the Hooters approved "healthy" options, which don't appear on the menu. Otherwise, there's a sliding scale on meal discounts (usually 50 percent off for wings, etc.)
26. Fries are full price.
27. Some restaurants offer discounts on tanning and gym memberships for Hooters Girls.
28. Hooters Girls are supposed to yell "Hi! Welcome to Hooters!" every time someone walks in the restaurant. ("It dies quick.")
29. Come for the wings, stay for the curly fries. "Hooters has the best curly fries."
30. Yes, your Hooter Girl is making minimum wage. Please tip accordingly.
I should probably go ahead and disclose that I've never actually been to a Hooters. Not for any political or feminist reasons, I just have never wanted to go to one when I've been in a town that has one. Though now that I know they have curly fries, I may have to make a special trip to one. Are there any Hooters around here? And how does one scrunch their socks to make their legs look leaner? Does it also make them look longer? If so, I need to learn this mysterious sock scrunching technique. And start wearing socks more. So much to ponder. How are you celebrating Hooters anniversary?