The latest entry on the long list of industries and businesses killed by those damn millennials is Hooters, the restaurant that lets you eat mediocre wings in a strip mall while staring at women’s cleavage. According to an article at Complex, drawing data from PornHub searches, the younger generations just aren’t as into breasts as their baby boomer predecessors. So the company is shutting down a number of locations and restrategizing.
First off, the idea that it’s millennials’ disinterest in breasts that’s killing Hooters is ridiculous. More likely, it’s the fact that Hooters is an outdated, overpriced business rooted solely in objectification. Millennials have largely destigmatized porn, they have online dating, they’re waiting longer to get married, and they have less money on average than their parents and grandparents. What part of that leads anyone to choose Hooters as their go-to lunch
Eric Adam Hovis there turned that lengthy thread into a blog post, the better to streamline all the awful ideas, I guess. The ideas were so awful, Hovis has edited his short terrible piece (which you can still read here) into a much lengthier terrible piece after getting what I can only assume was a firestorm of … let’s be kind and say “feedback.”
That first point has since been edited to explain that he thinks Hooters should have more diversity and body-positivity. Which might be a fine point if “body positivity” didn’t rest on tearing down a specific type of woman.
As for that second point, hoo boy, strap in. He starts off by proposing that Hooters could have a “debate night.” I am not exaggerating when I say that that is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard. I had a visceral reaction to reading those words, and it was not pleasant. The waitresses of Hooters and any other “breastaurant” already have to deal with gross leering men and pretend to enjoy their company in exchange for a kept job and what are hopefully increased tips.
Almost as bad as the idea of debate night (j/k, nothing will ever be as bad as debate night) is the suggestion that there should be “some specialized setup for the guys who just want to therapeutically vent their woes to women,” “especially if they’ve been drinking.” He calls these women “specialized ‘problem listener’ hostesses.” He couches this by suggesting those women will take some of the emotional labor of dealing with drunk over-sharers off of the waitresses. But … who in the world would take that hostess job? You might be saying to yourself, at least they’ll be paid well, right? NOPE!
Hovis says that with all of this, “I think I’m thinking of a geisha place,” and sure, what he’s talking about is similar to that, although with Hooters’ hypersexualization of its employees (even though no one thinks they’re getting sex when they walk into a Hooters), it might be closer to a courtesan or even that “Girlfriend Experience” made famous by Steven Soderbergh and Showtime: an intelligent, witty, sexy woman whose goal is to make the men around them feel seen and special and turned on. But what do all of those experiences with those specific types of women have in common? They’re really fucking expensive