Hooters: coming to a town near you?

// 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!

Comments From You

Stephanie // Posted 5 April 2008 at 12:03 am

the idea of this ‘restaurant’ coming here makes me sick, just shows how things are slipping. Will definitely keep an eye out on my council website. I don’t understand how a place like Hooters can reconcile it’s main selling point with the new law that has come into place about employers safe guarding their employees from sexual harrassment from customers.

Cruella // Posted 5 April 2008 at 2:25 am

For me it IS a big issue to have these places springing up all over the place. As many of you are aware – I’m currently fighting the opening of a pole and table dancing (what stupid euphemistic words STRIPPING) bar at the end of my road. One of the things is – and I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way – when I walk past a place like a strip bar, or a porn shop, or hooter, my self-confidence drops about 50%. I just feel miserable that I live in a world where women are viewed that way and that my view (that these places should not exist) has been over-ridden by a bunch of misogynists who want to objectify women. And 50% off my self-confidence every time I leave the house is enough to seriously damage my career, relationships and, err, life.

Steph Jones // Posted 5 April 2008 at 9:52 am

I shall certainly keep an eye on any applications and media coverage of the one due to arrive in my area. The whole ‘Hooters experience’ is just so prehistoric – something I would expect to have been tried in the late 70’s/early 80’s and since abandoned. *Throws hands up in despair*

E-Visible Woman // Posted 5 April 2008 at 2:06 pm

Will they still have to make a planning application if they’re not intending to build a new building?

Will they have to apply for planning permission if they’re just moving into an existing building?

Corrine Edwards // Posted 5 April 2008 at 7:36 pm

Gosh, It is the 21st century, and we seem to be going backwards.

I find the whole belittling and demeaning jobs that are left to women very dispiriting. The hatred from men manifesting itself in so many ways that its almost normal. I wonder if men are even aware of their attitudes, getting their own way all the time.

It is tiring sticking up for equality, now wonder some women just give in.

But then we become complicate in our own oppression. What to do?

Laura // Posted 7 April 2008 at 8:49 am

From Sheffield City Council – I assume this applies elsewhere too:

“If an application is made it must advertised in the press on one occaision within 10 days of making the application and a blue notice must be displayed on the premises on the day of application for 28 days.From the date of application you have 28 days in which to make relevant representations. The representations must relate to one or more of the four licensing objectives which are:- prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance, and the protection of children from harm.”

So a planning application has to be made whether the premises are new or existing.

Qubit // Posted 7 April 2008 at 11:09 am

It seems very hard to protest against a Hooters when on my walk to my boyfriend’s flat, down fairly main streets I pass about 3 unashamed strip clubs. These aren’t places down an alley that try to hide away they have flashy fronts in fairly main areas of the town. These places would be very difficult to miss, they aren’t places I searched out to prove a point.

Strip clubs have become so main stream these days that I don’t actually feel justified protesting against them since all I will get is a mouthful of abuse from both men and women about how I have no sense of fun and these places are harmless to everyone including those who work in them. It is also seen as an innate male right to go to a strip club whether he has a girlfriend or not with any girlfriend who protests being an evil bitch. This opinion annoys me slightly but I can’t find any argument against it so I end up just sitting there feeling guilty for being wrong.

Sophia // Posted 11 April 2008 at 9:41 am

See the Guardian article appearing today, Friday April 11, 2008:

‘It’s more like a strip club than a restaurant’

Hooters, the American restaurant chain that prides itself on its scantily clad waitresses, has ambitious plans to expand in the UK, which are already facing formidable feminist opposition. Julie Bindel reports.


Kat // Posted 13 April 2008 at 9:50 pm

Hooters is seedy if you ask me. How are men supposed to respect women with one of those in each town?

I have just had a baby,I am glad it is a boy! I would hate to be bringing up a girl. How could she be safe now? Hooters bars give men the wrong message.

Sophia // Posted 14 April 2008 at 5:14 pm

Hooters won their licence to trade in Southend-on-Sea today. A very sad day for us all. It has become clear to me that the 2003 Licensing Act cannot protect us from this crap descending on our high streets. I have gained a real insight into how this whole process works, so if anyone is embarking on a campaign to stop Hooters coming to their town, please contact me: notohooters@googlemail.com

Bruno // Posted 18 April 2008 at 6:42 pm

Looking forward to the one in Leeds, I have been to one in the USA for my 21st birthday & really enjoyed it. Great idea.

Sophia // Posted 21 April 2008 at 2:38 pm

Well, as long as you are happy Bruno we won’t worry about employees being harrassed, or local communities being shat on. That is all fine then – the campaign is off ladies!

Lisa // Posted 6 June 2008 at 2:33 pm

I actually disagree with the vast majority of the comments made here. I don’t see that strip clubs are as shameful as many of these comments suggest. I have a friend who works in one, she’s a respectable girl from a good background, and has put herself through university whilst earning the £300 a night fee for dancing. This business, as much as it is part of the sex industry, has nothing to do with prostitution, and often, little to do with drugs, that is why they are licensed and regulated. Personally, I have never been to a strip club, nor would I go, but as long as they abide by the law, which has been set down for just this reason, then I can’t really say that I’m overly bothered. As far as I’m concerned, Hooter’s is of the same vein.

Kay // Posted 1 August 2008 at 12:14 pm

I recently have come back from the US and did visit one in Manhattan, it was interesting to say the least and wasn’t what I thought it to be. Apparently it’s a family place to eat which confusing me as women walking around with not a lot of clothing! although the set up confuses me I would think about getting a job there just so i can say that I have experienced that and I think it would help with my confidence. One thing that does worry me is the security and safety of the employees as some people never know when to stop. So that would defiantly make me think.

In this day and age it is sad to think that our bodies (especially women’s) can do a lot more talking and progress than the actual knowledge that we know, but it is the same for men – both sexes are seen as objects no matter how hard we try thats the way it will always be.

I would like to also remind people there are other reasons that women would enjoy this type of job and not everyone who would work here would be the stereotypical ‘dumb blonde, with big tits’. For example I have just finished my degree for Graphic Design and due to start a new job within that field before my graduation in November.

j // Posted 20 August 2008 at 7:33 pm

i am a women and i think it would be an interesting and exciting restaurant to visit. i don’t think that it exploits women, you’re always seeing girls in vests and shorts – just because they wear it in a restaurant doesn’t make it explicit.

i have heard about the restaurants and families visit also, not just men.

women wouldn’t find it uncomfortable, unless they’re uptight feminist ofcourse.

it’s not like they’re topless or anything.

Mark // Posted 30 August 2008 at 2:51 am

Not allowing a hooters to come to Bristol would be more disciminating against women than allowing it to. Women have as much right to be a hooters girl as they do to be a school teacher. Your discriminating against women more by stopping them from choosing their own career paths. Supermodels, and even the likes of recording artists are allowed to use their body image to get as far as they can in their job, so why can’t hooters waitresses? I mean they arent even naked, they arent even half naked, so whats the problem?

Stephen // Posted 13 October 2008 at 2:01 am

A lot of people will comment for and against Hooters without ever visiting one. I have just returned from Vegas and visited the Hooters Casino and Restaurant.

Now people concentrate too much on the Uniform. To me that is missing the point. Yes I can see it as being offensive, but there are more offensive uniforms in this city. The Venetian Cocktail Waitresses spring to mind.

However what I find offensive about the Hooters concept is the decor. There are signs such as “road humps”, and others that suggest the dumb blonde.

The whole concept is offensive and should not be allowed in the UK

Chelsea // Posted 5 November 2008 at 3:57 pm

I have worked at Hooters for over 2 years now. I love it.I’m a promo girl and trainer for them which has presented me with many ways to network with some amazing people.I have seen girls come out of their shells and raise their self confidance once they start getting the gang of things at Hooters.Hooters also has a program that will pay for your college if you make a high enough GPA..which has helped me a lot through school.Being a Hooters girl is a compliment..your Americas favorite cheerleader and the sweet girl best door..being a Hooter girl is like being in a sorority. You make great friends with the girls and then anywhere you go and run in to another Hooter girl you have this amazing common ground and its fun to be a part of something like that.I was a flight attendant for a year and was treated worse at the airline by men than I ever have been treated at Hooters. If anyone does ever cross the line you simply tell toe mngr and they are kicked out simple as that.I know women in the states that love Hooters just us much as men because its a fun enviroment..hooter girls play games, sing songs, and even hoola hoop to entertain guests! Its a blast to work there and visit! And its true it is a family place..kids eat free on Wednesday :) RELAX!Give it a try ladies!

Stephanie Maggio // Posted 29 November 2008 at 3:21 pm

hooters hooters show me your hooters!

I would like the spicy chicken wings please, oh and a coke thanks. Also i should get some chips, could i have ketchup and mayo with that? cheers love. Hooter hooters show us your hooters ! wa hey boobies WOOOO. nice bum love, nice boobies love.

that is a man ordering in a hooters restaurant. Disgusting.

Bill Bagley // Posted 7 December 2008 at 8:32 pm

Give me a break people… Hooters is a theme restuarant that serves average food and FUN. Brits are known for average food so I guess the FUN is the problem. The girls are not slaves forced to work in these conditions. There is nothing but respect from the male customers for the servers. More often than not the group parties at Hooters are KIDS birthday parties! Just yesterday I witnessed a group of 10 WOMEN aged 45-60 having FUN in the local Hooters. Get over the outfits and the thoughts of something dark and dirty happening in these places.

I don’t work in a Hooters, but I would not stop my daughter from making above average money to work in a FUN and SAFE establishment.

shona // Posted 15 March 2009 at 3:15 pm

im disgusted by places like these, i wish i was born in another century when these places didn t exist. im going to send an email to aberdeen council about the number of strip clubs popping up everywhere,and literally no family entertainment. ive only been here about 6 months for uni and 2 have popped up! very depressing.

Rachel // Posted 15 March 2009 at 8:52 pm

I find so many of these comments really depressing. Sometimes I think that some progress has been made, and that society is a wee bit less sexist and misogynist that it used to be, and then things like this make me think that really not much, if any, progress has been made at all.

And I’m sick to the back teeth of being told to ‘relax’ or ‘chill out’ about these things, and that places like this and strip clubs are ‘just a bit of fun’.

Aimee // Posted 16 March 2009 at 7:29 am

I think the problem is people like Bill who think it’s okay for women to be demeaned like this. It’s all fun and safe, isn’t it? Bolloks.

Lara // Posted 16 March 2009 at 1:35 pm

I love how totally conditioned and brainwashed Chelsea is! “Being a Hooters girl is a compliment..your Americas favorite cheerleader and the sweet girl best door..being a Hooter girl is like being in a sorority.”

I think I was a little bit sick in my mouth! I’m so pleased that some women exist who break this mould… you don’t have to be sweet, or a cheerleader, or any of that shit to be happy. Get real people.

If ‘Hooters’ had some sexy toned males attending to the female tables I would not have a problem with this kind of establishment at all. It’s the fact that it’s one-sided and excludes one whole gender.

Kez // Posted 16 March 2009 at 1:41 pm

I’m astounded at Bill’s statement that Hooters is a popular venue for kids’ birthday parties. My mind boggles at the mentality of any parents who, when deciding where to hold their child’s party, would find Hooters springing to mind….

Sam // Posted 16 March 2009 at 2:15 pm

Lara, you’re being quite patronising. Only you see the true way that women should behave and other women who disagree are ” conditioned and brainwashed”? Puh-lease.

If you think that Hooters is damaging and dangerous, fine. (I think it clearly is, though I don’t think everything which is dangerous should be illegal.) But please don’t pretend you have the only objective outlook on reality, or so arrogantly dismiss the views of others, especially when those others actually have experience of being within the culture that you’re criticising.

Aimee // Posted 16 March 2009 at 4:30 pm

I don’t think Lara’s statement was arrogant at all. I think the kind of attitudes she is criticising stem from a society which perpetuates the myth that women can only be happy and liked and popular when they fulfil outdated requisites like “cute” and “cheerful”… all under the leering gaze of partiarchy of course, preferably whilst not wearing many clothes.

Sam // Posted 16 March 2009 at 5:10 pm

My concern, Aimee, is that Lara was not “criticising” such attitudes, but merely dismissing them.

Amy2 // Posted 16 March 2009 at 5:39 pm

it might be so much fun for Chelsea careerwise – but it can’t form much of a career can it? What’s the shelf- life of the employees – discarded at 25?

I think you’ll still need your perks to see the perks of the job Chelsea.

Lara // Posted 18 March 2009 at 1:55 pm

You can belong to a “sorority” or the UK equivalent in further education and be sweet / belong / hell you can even dress as a schoolgirl and rampage the uni nightclub…

You can experience this culture and enjoy it – I’m 23 and I did similar things not two years ago!

… However I do have a slight problem with being paid to wear revealing clothes and men old enough to be your father perving over you while you do so! Kind of shits all over the cute cheerleader angle and makes a teensy bit sordid don’t you think?

Malissa // Posted 28 March 2009 at 9:24 am

Well for starters I work for Hooters..I enjoy it..It is good money that puts me through school and I work for it! About the uniforms..we have several layers that we wear. Take a look outside during the summer you will see girls wearing much less..we do not get harrassed at the one I work at though I can’t speak for any of the other locations. Our economy is bad enough right now and so many people have lost jobs..why do you people want to take away more? The truth is a lot of people have a problem with hooters and the fact that I am a hooters girl..and I am perfectly fine with that. I am not going to sit here and defend the company like I am in some sort of cult and hootie the owl will shun me if I don’t..(hootie is our mascot) it is your business if you like or dislike the establishment. But remember hooters employees have feelings too..if they had a problem with it or any way they were being treated then shouldn’t work there. If an employee is being treated unfairly and they still choose to continue employment with the company then they are the ones with the problems.

Okay on to the kids..most birthday parties that we have are for children. But hooters is considered a family restaurant and a bar and I believe that after a certain time of night children should not be allowed in. Not because we don’t like kids but because at later hours more alcohol is being consumed and less food. We really aren’t a bad place. But if you still choose to “defend” us hooters girls keep in mind we have minds of our own. What if I protested a new bank opening in my city? Well I may be walking by it one day and a robber could shoot me. It sounds ridiculous right? If you are scared of the result of a hooters opening in your city then don’t go! You might have a little fun if you do go and we wouldn’t want that now would we?

Oh and to answer a previous question..you don’t get disposed of when you turn 25…you have many opportunities to grow within the company. Including manager positions and corporate positions. Age has nothing to do with these opportunties. Most girls and guys who work for hooters take higher job positions because they pay more not because they got too old to be a hooters girl!

Notohooters // Posted 12 August 2010 at 7:29 pm

If you’re against the idea of a Hooters in Cardiff, please sign here:


Bedd Gelert // Posted 2 September 2010 at 9:42 pm

My understanding is that the Hooters in Bristol will be near Millennium Square in the vicinity of the Gala Casino and the @t Bristol site [the old Marks and Spencer’s Just Food site].

I don’t have a strong opinion either way on this, but then speaking as a man this might be to be expected. I am far far more concerned at the fact there is already an Urban Tiger lapdancing club opposite the Hippodrome, Central Chambers lapdancing club just off the Centre on the road that leads up to Corn Street, and Lounge at 30 on Corn Street itself. I see that as being a far bigger problem than the Hooters, which for all its faults is unlikely to have sex trafficked women working on the pain of losing their ‘right to remain’ in the country.

Of course, the argument may well be that increasing numbers of Hooters may be a ‘gateway drug’ to more lapdancing clubs. But the old ‘harm reduction’ argument would surely say that if we could get rid of lapdancing clubs by replacing them with Hooters, then that would be an improvement of sorts, and certainly a better job for the 1 in 4 who are, reports suggest, graduates.

Finally isn’t the issue here that fighting against an American fast-food chain is ticking all those ‘Guardian’ boxes, and is easy, whereas addressing the problem of prostitution and the knotty question of whether decriminalisation of the sex trade would make women safer, is a lot lot harder.

And putting that in the too-difficult box is an easy choice when complaining about Hooters is as easy as filling in an online petition. Okay, petitions helped Object in changing the law on so-called table-dancing clubs, but it was lobbying of MPs and the Lords which really really helped win that battle.

FeminaErecta // Posted 3 September 2010 at 12:41 pm

I’ve worked in bars for years and am harrassed daily, wearing long black trousers and a baggy black shirt. It is not the bars we need to change, it is the all round attitude of people who go to them. If you are a woman who works in a bar and allow men to make derrogotory comments about you or touch you without your permission then you are giving off the message that it is OK for that man to do this to ANY woman who works in the service industry.

We already get paid fuck all, work ridiculous hours, never get the credit or a share in company profits, never see daylight, are forced to get taxis home by our patriachal bosses who still believe that because of our gender we are not ‘safe’ unless we spend an hours wage on getting home, and have to put up with being groped and felt up and spat on and called a ‘tight bitch’ if we complain about it. Melissa, I’m glad that working in the restaurant where you have signed a contract saying you will not sue for sexual harrassment you have never experienced any, but I have, nightly, in working in exactly the same industry. I don’t want to take away peoples job,s I just am sick and tired of men thinking, because I’m a waitress, they have a right to feel me up because when they go to other bars they are actively encoraged to do so.

Laurel Dearing // Posted 3 September 2010 at 1:01 pm

Yeah I agree the other ‘gentlemens’ clubs are more problematic in Brizzle too. I don’t see Hooters as the worst thing in the world, but I think the thing is that it normalises mild sexualisation of women as normal family entertainment. I expect its somewhere that the majority of women who choose to work there enjoy it, but there have certainly been some horror stories, and I’m always concerned about the impact that normalising women as bouncy smiley servants dressed to please has outside the place. I guess I think in somewhere like Bristol with a huge radical community that these things shouldn’t really be mainstream. Attracts a different type of person. I plan to move there and I would hope that by the time I do its just another ‘liberal’ city that doesn’t really care past certain people having a good night out. =/

coldharbour // Posted 3 September 2010 at 1:45 pm

Re: Guardian article.

‘Before starting work, Hooters girls in the US have to sign a contract that reads: “I hereby acknowledge and affirm that the Hooters concept is based on female sex appeal and that the work environment is one in which joking and innuendo based on female sex appeal is commonplace.” It continues: “I also expressly acknowledge and affirm I do not find my job duties, uniform requirements or work environment to be intimidating, hostile or unwelcome.” Quite how it is possible to affirm this before you’ve started your job is anyone’s guess. As Carol J Adams, an American academic who has written extensively about Hooters, says, “What this document is making clear is that the women at Hooters should expect to be sexually harassed, and put up and shut up.”‘

I would have thought this kind of employment contract would not hold water in the U.K., the definition of workplace sexual harassment is defined by the law set by Westminster, employers do not have the right to ask employee’s to voluntarily ignore it.

The Employment Equality (Sex Discrimination) Regulations 2005 amend the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 to provide that a person subjects a woman to harassment, including sexual harassment, if:

“(a) on the ground of her sex, he engages in unwanted conduct that has the purpose or effect –

(i) of violating her dignity, or

(ii) of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for her.

Hannah // Posted 3 September 2010 at 2:50 pm

“Finally isn’t the issue here that fighting against an American fast-food chain is ticking all those ‘Guardian’ boxes, and is easy, whereas addressing the problem of prostitution and the knotty question of whether decriminalisation of the sex trade would make women safer, is a lot lot harder. ”

I disagree with this, which seems to follow the defeatist logic of ‘there’s no point making small changes because we’ll never solve the bigger problem’. There’s no point in me turning the lights off in a room I’m not in because that’s not going to stop climate change from killing us all. There’s no point in me reducing my meat intake for cruelty reasons, because animals are going to die anyway. The truth is that no, these actions are not going to solve the bigger problem by themselves, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not in themselves incredibly worthwhile, and important steps towards solving the bigger problems.

I’m concerned about the proposed expansion of the Hooters chain in Britain and think it is proof of diminishing respect for women in this country – and I come from the city with the only Hooters restaurant in the UK currently, Nottingham. Not proud.

polly // Posted 4 September 2010 at 8:30 am

“If an employee is being treated unfairly and they still choose to continue employment with the company then they are the ones with the problems.”

Have you ever heard of this thing called the ‘recession’ Malissa? Or employment law? Or employment tribunals?

Employers are not supposed to treat people badly at work, but sometimes they do. The fact that a number of people go to, and win, employment tribunals shows us this. And sometimes people do work they don’t like because they don’t have an alternative. If someone just left a job with what isn’t considered a valid reason, in the UK they wouldn’t get benefits for 12 weeks. What are they meant to do, starve?

Personally I’d like to see a suitably qualified man apply for a job at Hooters and then take them to an employment tribunal for sex discrimination when he gets turned down. In fact I’d laugh my socks off. Anyone know an unemployed waiter?

polly // Posted 4 September 2010 at 8:41 am

Interestingly Hooters has already been in legal trouble for sex discrimination in the US.


Of course US law isn’t the same as UK law and I’d really like to see the chain being forced to argue that being female/young is a genuine occupational qualification for serving food. I reckon they’d have a difficult job actually.

maggie // Posted 4 September 2010 at 7:46 pm

@ Laura Dearing

“It normalises mild sexualisation of women as normal family entertainment.’

Really? The name Hooters is offensive in USA and we wouldn’t bring our children to a restuarant that had the sign ‘Boobs’. Would we?

Mild sexualisation? What is that and where does it lead to? Bristle has already it’s fair share of ‘Gentlemen’s clubs’ in this area. Oh and also ‘At Bristol’ a family friendly, hands on science place with a planetarium and a goodish restuarant – a plus in Bristle it seems. I foresee a relocation happening soon…but not in Bristle.

Annabel // Posted 4 September 2010 at 10:24 pm

Exactly, FeminaErecta. I got fired from my last pub job because I complained to the manager about the punters (who were old enough to be my grandfather) ‘accidently’ touching me and asking what colour underwear I had on, ect ect.

I’d prefer not to have hooters but to be honest, the women know what they’re in for when they apply for the position. It’s the problem with the men that go there and their attitude, an attitude that is already heavily ingrained in society unfortunately (see: street harassment) and if people can profit out of it then they will do, to hell with how it affects us women.

It makes me sad, but I can’t blame hooters waitresses anymore than I can blame lap dancers, they are merely profiting out of a society that labels them as sex objects. I just hope for the hooter’s girls that there are better policies in place to protect them for when men take it to far than there are a some strip clubs.

Jess // Posted 5 September 2010 at 2:23 am

If you wish to object against the proposed Hooters in Bristol, please sign the petition below. It is being formally presented to the Council at the Full Council meeting on Tuesday.


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