Maybe the issue is simply with me? Perhaps I am simply wrong? These questions quietly go through my mind as I leave one of my favorite restaurants. The food is always good, the beer is always cold, and the price may not be a bargain you always get your money’s worth. So why do I always leave a Hooters restaurant with mixed feelings?
The Wings-Hooter’s sells wings. Wings are brilliant. On my list of human achievements I would confidently place chicken wings above penicillin and just below the Super Nintendo. Hooters has by far the best wings I have ever eaten and are far superior to Buffalo Wild Wings for one simple reason: They are fried. Now as a black man it is not very progressive of me to say that frying something usually makes it better, but it is true. In all honestly I really don’t even understand why Hooters even bothers with menus. I feel that you should simply be asked upon entering the restaurant how many wings you would like. If you reply by saying “I would like something besides wings” I feel you should be kindly asked to leave the restaurant before the authorities are called. I am sure the other food Hooters sells is probably good, but the problem is that if I order something that aren’t wings, I wouldn’t get to eat wings, which is a problem.
Beer- Hooters also has another strong point: They sell beer. I will cover why beer is great at a later time, but until then let me simply summarize by saying beer is good. Hooters capitalizes upon this by offering their beer in super large mugs. The appeal of eating wings and drinking beer from a mug that takes two hands to pick up is blatant and if you fail to see the magic in that combination you should once again be kindly asked to leave the restaurant.
The Service- I get it, it is a restaurant for men, in the same way Spike is a TV channel for men. Apparently anything for men has to be low brow, and have plenty of scantily clad women for us to ogle at. Why do marketers love to make the assumption that if you use crude jokes, and have some woman with her flappers out that men will buy whatever you have to offer? I guess this assumption is based off of results, because if it didn’t work the trend would have surely died out. Why as men are we so content to allow ourselves to be pegged as grunting beasts who respond best to anything that satisfies our most primordial needs? I suppose the outlook is not all bad for men however as magazines such as GQ offer men a publication which features content that appeals to a men on a both a low brow and intellectual level. GQ however is a flawed magazine and I do suppose the Spike approach to men’s entertainment translates better as a restaurant than the GQ approach. I can still appreciate the concept of being served by an attractive and curvaceous woman. But at the end of the day knowing that the Hooters business model works because it draws on the crudest aspects of being a man can be disheartening.
It’s a bit creepy- I may be alone on this but I simply find the treatment the waitresses give the customers at Hooters to be unappealing at best. Why does the staff insist on sitting down at the table, calling me honey and then touching me on the back? They insist on treating the customer that way because it works. What I find to be cold and insincere, some men find it to be a perk. To the men who tip extra because of the attention they receive from the waitresses I ask this: “How empty is your life?” The concept of a man paying his check and considering how much to tip while thinking, “Hmm, well the waitress called me honey, and touched my back” simply boggles my mind. I also shudder to think that somewhere out there is a man who says to his buddies “Dude, I think that waitress likes me” after having his shoulder touched by the waitress. I may be old fashioned but I tend to tip people on the quality of the service they offered me, and not on the number of times they flirted with me.
The Verdict- Good food will do things to a man. Great food will make a man sacrifice his morals. As high and mighty as I pretend to be I am more than willing to deal with all of the negatives to enjoy nirvana in the form of a fried chicken wing. I have found that for best Hooters experience, take out works well, you get the food, you get to look at a woman with her busters all out, plus you are not limited to one measly serving of blue cheese dressing per order of wings, provided you have some of your own.