Regardless of your thoughts on the chain, their story is at least unique. It almost begins as a joke or skit on Saturday Night Live. What happens when you have six businessmen in Florida who want to have a good time in restaurants and bars without getting kicked out? They create their own restaurant and open it on April Fools Day because even they are convinced it won’t probably won’t succeed. True story. It happened in 1983 in Clearwater, Florida. Call it dumb luck or skill; it worked as the restaurant is now a global brand and the first of the “breastaurants” as they have come to be known. Oh and back to Saturday Night Live, that’s where they got their name. Steve Martin hosted the episode in 1980. The story of how they got their first “Hooter girl” is even more bazaar (see trivia below).
General Restaurant Information
Food Type: Wings
Restaurant Type: Casual Dining
U.S. Locations: 338
States: 48 states, Hooters Locations
Company Slogan: Hooters makes you happy
Questions: Contact Information
Phone number: 866-225-4668
Email: Contact Form Only
FAQ Page: Frequently Asked Questions
Who Owns The Restaurant? Hooters of America, LLC
Headquartered: Atlanta, Georgia
Email/contact page: Contact Information
Address: 1815 The Exchange SE, Atlanta, GA 30339
Do They Franchise? Franchise Information
Hooters was founded by six Clearwater, Florida businessmen with no previous restaurant experience in April of 1983. The first location opened later the same year on the site of an old rundown Clearwater nightclub. The next few years saw a couple of changes in ownership, and today the chain is actually two privately held companies: Hooters, Inc., which owns the restaurants in Tampa Bay, Chicago, and Manhattan; and Hooters of America, which owns or franchises all other locations. (source)
What Is It Like To Work At There?
Employment Page (hooters.com)
What to expect when working at Hooters (job-applications.com)
The History of Hooters
Original Location: 2800 Gulf to Bay Blvd, Clearwater, Florida
Founded: April 1, 1983
Founded By: Lynn D. Stewart, Gil DiGiannantonio, Ed Droste, Billy Ranieri, Ken Wimmer, Dennis Johnson
Founder Obituary: NA
Name Origin: Wikipedia states –
The restaurant name is a double entendre referring to both its owl logo, a bird known for its “hooting” calls, and an American slang term for women’s breasts popularized by comedian Steve Martin on the hit comedy series Saturday Night Live.
History Page: Company History Page
Hooters of America (company-histories.com)
The History of Hooters (thingsmenbuy.com)
Hooters of America, Inc. History (fundinguniverse.com)
Charity Focus: Breast Cancer
Green | Eco-Friendly: No resources found
Animal Cruelty: No resources found
The restaurant’s name was inspired by the May 17, 1980 episode of Saturday Night Live, which was hosted by Steve Martin. During his monologue, titled “I Believe,” he said, “I believe it’s derogatory to refer to a woman’s breasts as ‘boobs,’ ‘jugs,’ ‘winnebagos,’ or ‘golden bozos…’ and that you should only refer to them as ‘hooters.’” (source)
Discounts At Hooters
Rewards Program: Reward Program
Do Kids Eat Free at Hooters?
What day do kids eat free? Tax-Free Weekend & some locations offer the promotion on Sundays as well.
Summary: Their official website states that “kids younger than 12 years old will receive one free Kids Meal with a purchase of $10 or more from an adult at participating locations nationwide”. In addition to that, Brad’s Deals reports that kids eat free on Sundays from 11a-11p. Please keep in mind that you should always call ahead and ask before you visit to verify eligibility and details.
Does Hooters Offer Military Discounts?
Summary: The official site (as well as multiple other sources) states that they offer “a free entrée from the Veterans Day Menu by presenting a military ID or proof of service at any location nationwide”. They do a really good job of explaining all the details of their annual promotion including the sale of their calendar that supports active military personnel. You can find all the details of the promotion here.
What About Celebrating a Birthday at Hooters?
Summary: Nothing could be found on their website about honoring birthdays but the following external sources stated the following. As always, call your local store to find out any details beforehand.
“Free chicken wings” (urbantastebud.com)
“10 free wings” (hustlermoneyblog.com)
“Get free food on your birthday and a whole host of other great rewards with email signup.” (bradsdeals.com)
“free song + t-shirt” (clark.com)
“Get 10 free wings on your birthday when you sign up for the eClub” (spoonuniversity.com)
Does Hooters Offer First Responder Discounts?
Summary: Their official site states the following –
In recognition of their strength, courage and service, Hooters is thanking the nation’s first responders by offering a meal on the house. On Saturday, Oct. 28, all active first responders, including EMT, firefighters and police officers, in uniform or with proper ID can enjoy a complimentary meal from a special menu at participating locations nationwide.
Does Hooters Offer Senior Citizen | AARP Discounts?
Summary: No resources found
Are There Any Other Discounts or Benefits?
Order Online: Online Order
WiFi Available: Yes
Use Apple Pay: Yes
Reservations: No resources found
Catering: Hooters Catering
Open 24 Hours: No
Yelp: 2.75/5 or 55%, 772 reviews sampled
Tripadvisor: 3.45/5 or 69%, 1,954 reviews sampled
Facebook: 4.12/5 or 82%, 9,909 reviews sampled
Overall Average: 3.50/5 or 70%, 12,635 reviews sampled
Misc Customer Service Articles: Customer Service Tips from Hooters (lifehack.org)
Hooters on Amazon
Food & Nutrition
Menu: Hooters Menu
Kids Menu: No kids menu
Secret Menu: Hooter’s Veggie Burger (secretmenus.com)
Most Popular Menu Item: No resources found
Coke or Pepsi: Pepsi
Does Hooters Serve Alcohol: Yes
Nutritional Information: Hooters Nutrition Guide
Vegetarian | Vegan Options: Not necessarily a vegetarian paradise thus there aren’t a lot of resources (internal or external). Their burger page does state “Veggie and Turkey burger patties available upon request”. If you would like a review of this menu item, check out Veggie Burger Reviews, Ratings & More by yumveggieburger.com
Farm to Table | Organic Options | Clean | Non-GMO: No resources found
Miscellaneous Nutrition Resources:
Nutritional Guide (livestrong.com)
Healthy Dining (healthydiningfinder.com)
The 5 Worst Items at Hooters (fitday.com)
Allergen Information: They don’t offer one
Gluten Free Options:
Gluten-Free Menu (hootersflorida.com)
Gluten-Free Menu (glutenfreeguidehq.com)
Dairy Free Options: No resources found, but the following may be helpful to you.
Restaurant Guide For Dairy-Free Dining (godairyfree.org)
Peanut Free Options: No resources found, but the following may be helpful to you.
Food Allergy Guides For Many Chain Restaurants (verywellhealth.com)
Ways to Eliminate Risks of Peanut Allergy When Dining Out (healthguidance.org)
Does Hooters Have Any Secret Recipes?
Hooters Secret Recipes:
Buffalo Chicken Wings (topsecretrecipes.com)
Fried Pickles (topsecretrecipes.com)
Pasta Salad (topsecretrecipes.com)
Buffalo Chicken Wings Reduced-Fat (topsecretrecipes.com)
Fried Pickles (theslowroasteditalian.com)
Buffalo Wings (geniuskitchen.com)
Did You Know?
The owners of the first location got so tired of hearing how many businesses in the same location had failed previously they put a graveyard in the front of the property with names of all the failed restaurants.
The very first waitress, Lynne Austin, was hired on a bet made by the founding partners. Ed Dortse went (this included a boat ride and swimming) to the Jose Cuervo Bikini Contest that was taking place nearby and begged Austin, the winner of the contest, and she finally accepted. (source)
After that fateful night, Austin goes on to be featured in Playboy as their Playmate of the month in 1986 after being discovered from an ad labeling her the original “Hooters Girl.” Her success with Playboy was the first national coverage the restaurant received and as result business took off like never before. Born in 1961, she’s now almost 60 years old. (source)
If you ever visit a restaurant, look for at least three waitresses to visit you through the meal. It’s part of a system called the “E3 system: Every Hooters Girl, Every Guest, Every Day.” (source)
It was on purpose that the founders (calling themselves the Hooters Six) started the restaurant on April Fools Day (1983) as they had no experience and no idea of what they were doing. They merely wanted to create a beach themed restaurant where they could have fun and not be kicked out.
No ponytails allowed, the girls always have to have their hair down. And makeup…always required while working, no exceptions. (source)
Want fries with that? The most common example of “upselling.” If you patron of the restaurant, look for that. The waitresses are allowed to pick and choose the shifts they work based on the number of sales they bring. (source)
While on a break, the waitresses are offered a different, much healthier, menu. This menu, called the “Spa Menu,” provides items such as vegetables, salmon, and other low-fat options. The food from this menu is free to them. If they want to order off the menu offered to patrons, it may be discounted based on how healthy or unhealthy it is, but they must pay for it. (source)
If you have ever wondered why the restaurant (as well as other similar chains) can hire certain stereotypes of women only and get away with what would generally be considered discrimination against others, it is because the waitresses are actually hired under the category of entertainers, not waitstaff.
With a heavy male demographic of customers, if a lady accompanies the guy, the staff are instructed to sit next to the girl so to be less threatening to her. (source)
It is common for the girls to trade tanktops with girls at other locations, the only exception is the Las Vegas store where you can only wear their top if you can prove you worked there. It doesn’t matter where your shirt is from, if you are found wearing your “uniform” anywhere outside the restaurant, including to and from work, you will lose your job. (source)
Your waitress depends on her tips; only minimum wage is paid to the “entertainers.”
They used to own and operate its own airline. Due to increasing fuel and insurance costs, the venture wasn’t successful over time.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Hooters (thedailymeal.com)
30 Things You Didn’t Know About Working as a Hooters Girl (ihateworkinginretail.ooid.com)
Things You Didn’t Know, The Original Breastaurant (ranker.com)
Surprising facts (foxnews.com)
What You Didn’t Know About Hooters Girls (theodysseyonline.com)
10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Hooters Waitress (cosmopolitan.com)
15 Surprising Facts About Hooters Restaurants (worknearyou.net)
Hooters Of America, Inc. (encyclopedia.com)
Most embarrassing moments over 30 years (usatoday.com)
Hooters on Amazon
Followers (as of August 2018) –
Better Options: Coming Soon
Regardless of your feelings, Hooters and the new “breastaurant” industry is big business (in the tune of around $2 billion annually) and says a lot about American culture. I guess people haven’t changed, sex has always sold, but now there are far easier ways to be entertained by the industry in our culture that has ever been before. For all previous restaurant chains, I close my review with a summary of the restaurant. I may or may not have a general opinion about the business, but with Hooters it has been a different experience. I put it off for a while just because it wasn’t something I wanted to “study.” The other chains are restaurants, but this restaurant and those like it are far more than that. It brings to mind feelings of treatment of women, our cultural values, abuse and the ever-increasing pornography industry that is crippling so many homes and marriages. I’ve heard many (men) say over the years, “it’s just about the wings, they have great wings there,” but for me, it’s far more than just wings when it comes to Hooters.
I hope you found the information on Hooters helpful. The more we know and understand about the restaurants we eat at, the better decisions we can make of where and what we should eat. If you found this article helpful, would you please help by sharing this with your friends and family. If there is anything you would like to see about a restaurant that’s not already listed, please leave a comment below, I would love your feedback! You can also email me at anytime backofthemenu @ gmail.com.