Bristol’s Hooters Closes

Ah – it seems that Hooters in Bristol has shut down. Good luck to the employees in finding more work, and to the owner in their future ventures. And I mean that. Whatever you think of the company/brand/ethics/whatever, a lot of people will have lost their jobs and income.

I never quite got around to going. And not just because I’ve been poor and have been struggling to find employment. I thought I’d blog about why I never went.

Their main selling points seemed to be:

  1. Skimpy-outfitted waitresses;
  2. Beer;
  3. Sports;
  4. Chicken wings.

I’ve nothing against skimpy-outfitted waitresses. I’ve been in regular bars/cafes and seen waitresses in short skirts, tight shirts, or whatever. It’s not that special really. I guess even if I were thinking entirely with my penis, it’s still not that much of a pull, because – there are attractive girls everywhere, anyway. Go *anywhere* on a Friday night and you’ll see girls in tight and/or revealing clothing. Big deal. I bought a cake in a cafe today, and the girl working in there was attractive. Will I go in there every day just because of that? No. Most restaurants employ a lot of young people anyway, so the chance of you having an attractive 19-yr old serving you seems quite likely.

A few months ago, me and my mate Stephen had to get together to discuss some radio stuff. It’s kind-of awkward at either of our houses, and we end up procrastinating, playing computer games, watching crap on YouTube, etc., so I half-jokingly suggested we meet up at Hooters. And then I immediately dismissed it completely. This was partly because I thought we might end up ogling the waitresses instead of working on radio sketches, but it was mostly because of the apparently-constant sports on screens everywhere. I hate sports, and thought Stephen (who is a sports fan) might start watching it (like all good sports fans would, if they’re sat there with coverage happening in front of them). Or it might be difficult to hear each other over the commentary, music, or other people debating the sports coverage. Either way I perceived it to be somewhere which is probably noisy and difficult to work in.

I also thought that with the element of attractive staff, that everyone might tip but me (on attractiveness, rather than service), and I’d look like a right cheapskate. I don’t tip generally. Not in a cafe. I will in a restaurant after a meal (I’ll come back to this), IF the staff have been good. If they’ve been average, I probably won’t. Have I mentioned that I’m poor?

So I can’t go there to socialise in a slightly boring past-the-nightclubbing-stage way. I like chicken, but there’s a myriad of other places in Bristol selling it, and they don’t have the greatest reviews for it in the Bristol branch.

“The food was disgusting, too. Really greasy, and I couldn’t eat much of it as I was feeling sick from all the grease in my tum. The melted, plastic cheese on top of the nachos looked vile too – like it had been squeezed out of a bottle. Who knew cheese was vibrant yellow?!” – Isobel, Nov 2010

This is described as a restaurant, but chicken and barbeque sauce is the sort of thing I might go to Miss Millies or Burger King for. The former is a take-away, and the latter is a….I don’t know what the term is. Nobody would describe Burger King as a restaurant, would they? It’s a kinda sit-down take-away. A take-away where you can’t be bothered to leave the building.

I’m not saying it’s all bad, but I know of nobody who has been to Hooters and gone “amazing – I’m going back tomorrow/next week”. A quick search of reviews finds me very little. Even newer restaurants in Bristol like the enormous Za Za Bazaar (which I also haven’t been to yet), I’ve heard good and bad things about. I’ve heard “things” though. People have mentioned it, in passing.

I think this small sample group of my friends+friends-of-friends, maybe backs up the claims that Hooters just didn’t have a high enough footfall in the area they were in, or not enough people knew where it was, despite the overwhelmingly-negative coverage they received from feminist groups, protestors, etc. even before they had opened. I was nearly tempted to go as soon as they opened, just because of all the fuss that had been made about it. Let’s not forget that story (which still hasn’t had sources listed, or names quoted, oddly enough) about the 12 year old’s birthday party, where it was claimed children were shown a sponge cake with visible breasts, and given sexualised merchandise.

Other minor reason I didn’t go: the colouring is hideous. Bright orange? Great for a juice bar I imagine, but for a restaurant/cafe – it’s a bit gaudy and horrible, isn’t it? Aside from Dynorod (eugh – so unpleasant), I bet you can’t name one other brand with such horrific colouring. It’s 2012 for goodness sake. Even McDonalds have realised that mass vibrant gaudiness is not the way to attract customers.

And I don’t like beer. Although I’ve just looked now and see they sell a range of drinks including tea/coffee for £1.50 with free refills. Bargain. I might have been up for that. Ah. Bit late now.

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