Hooters is trying something new. This February, the company will open a restaurant called "Hoots," but there will be one huge difference between it and its fellow restaurants — there will be male servers. That's right, Hooters is opening a restaurant with men serving up wings and beer, and some people are pretty darn excited about it.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, "Hoots, A Hooters Joint" will open in a Chicago suburb this month. It's apparently the company's foray into the fast-casual eating scene (think Chipotle) and will feature a pared-down menu of Hooters' typical fare. The chicken wings and beer will certainly still be a mainstay, just without the, well, hooters.
But if you were hoping for a new restaurant that looks and feels like Amy Schumer's "O'Nutters" skit, you're going to be sorely disappointed. It's not going to be a restaurant that objectifies men instead of women. It's just a restaurant! A spokesperson told the Tampa Bay Times that the servers — which will be both men and women — won't wear the typical Hooters outfits; they'll likely just wear t-shirts with the Hooters logo on them. Whether they'll be in shorts or pants, though, is anyone's guess.
That's not the only huge change, though. Instead of having table service, Hoots will be, like your typical fast-casual restaurant, reliant on counter service. So, you can order your wings, fries, and your beer at the counter, and then sit down to enjoy your meal without having to think about the objectification the waitresses must face every day. The restaurant will also have a full-service bar area.
The location is opening up under the management of Hooters Management Corp., which is a franchisee of the larger Hooters of America company. But Hooters of America's CEO is on board. "We are very supportive of this initiative," CEO Terry Marks said in a statement provided to Nation's Restaurant News. "It’s a logical extension of the brand and will provide more people with more opportunities to enjoy our world famous wings. We have a lot to learn, but we are excited about the potential."
If it's successful in Cicero, the Chicago suburb where Hoots is opening first, you could be seeing more pop up near you in the future. Neil Keifer, the CEO of the franchisee Hooters Management Corp. told Nation's Restaurant News that he's cautiously optimistic about the new venture. "We’ll give it the old college try, so to speak," he said.
If you're into wings, beer, and not objectifying people, hey, you might want to give it a try, too.