Hooters: coming to a town near you?
Laura Woodhouse // 4 April 2008
Well, most probably, unless you do something about it! The tacky and sexist US chain is currently on the look out for “high visibility” restaurant locations in (take a deep breath):
Basildon, Birmingham, Blackburn, Bournemouth, Bristol
Cambridge Cardiff, Chelmsford, Cheltenham, Chester, Colchester, Coventry, Crawley, Croyden
Edinburgh, Enfield, Exeter
Glasgow, Gloucester, Guildford
Kingston Upon Hull, Kingston
Leeds, Leicester, Lincoln, Liverpool, London (Central), Luton
Manchester, Middlesborough, Milton Keynes
Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northampton, Norwich
Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston
Reading, Richmond upon Thames, Romford
Sheffield, Southampton, Southend, Staines, Stoke on Trent, Sunderland, Swansea, Swindon
Restaurants in Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle, Bristol and London are set to open this year. One click on that link should also be enough to show anyone that Hooters really isn’t about the BBQ chicken wings…
If you’re not too happy about the prospect of a restaurant based on female sex appeal and sexual innuendo aimed primarily at men opening in your town, then make sure you keep up to date with planning applications (they should be on your City Council website) and get those complaints and petitions flowing. While the feminist perspective is most obviously the greatest issue for F Word readers, for the purposes of blocking the application it’s important to highlight the potential effect such an establishment could have on the local area. In Nottingham, a visit to Hooters forms part of stag night packages ending up in strip clubs: not necessarily the kind of clientele other restaurants and bars may want around. Yes, that sounds stereotypical and snobbish, but this is the kind of approach that needs to be taken if we want to stop Hooters “busting out” all over the UK.
While this may not be the biggest issue facing UK women, and while Hooters is not a strip club, the fact that the chain is not yet established here means we stand a better chance of preventing it opening than we do of tackling existing chains like Spearmint Rhino. Hooters reinforces the damaging and patriarchal view of women as sex objects for male gratification, and a nationwide campaign will enable us to encourage debate on the issue and challenge this view.
So get to it!