Jacob Zinn :: journalist + photographer

Stuff Your Dad Likes: Hooters

Posted in Stuff Your Dad Likes by Jacob Zinn on March 8, 2012
Jacob Zinn can’t give you fatherly advice, but he can accidentally delete all your cell phone contacts.

The tight T-shirts. The orange short shorts. The bubbly (but often absent-minded) waitresses putting themselves through college.

Hooters is a white trash paradise built on American values such as freedom and chicken wings. It’s a two-star chain restaurant for the blue-collar working man to unwind after a hard day’s work with a beer in one hand and a burger in the other.

It’s home to both southern flavour and unabashed tastelessness, and if you’re dad’s a NASCAR-watching redneck at heart, he’s likely visited such a classy location.

I don’t think my dad has ever been to Hooters – or if he has, he says it was for the wings. But that doesn’t mean your dad hasn’t enjoyed a titillating Hooters Girl holding jugs in front of her jugs.

Hooters has pretty servers, cold beer on tap, sports on TV 24/7 and greasy, deep-fried U.S. delicacies. It’s the restaurant men escape to when their bachelor pad or man cave isn’t manly enough. (But don’t think it’s a restaurant for men only – every now and then, kids eat free!)

Sure, the food is subpar, but no one really goes there for the food. That would be like reading Hooters Magazine for the articles.

If your dad is like my dad and hasn’t been to Hooters, he’s at least been intrigued by seeing its impact in popular culture. From the running joke in Big Daddy to Lisa Simpson’s Hooters Manhattan Beach T-Shirt from Goodwill, the restaurant is a piece of Americana next to baseball and apple pie.

Even extended franchises aren’t safe from ridicule, like Larry the Cable Guy’s comedy bit on receiving “80,000 frequent boner miles” from Hooters Air, or the sad truth that the Hooters Casino Hotel on the Las Vegas strip has never made money from gambling.

Next year, Hooters will celebrate 30 years as America’s swankiest restaurant with hot pants-clad servers. And after three decades of ziplining orders to the kitchen and precariously carrying them out in front of their cleavage, the Hooters Girls are still orange with pride, and fathers everywhere are tipping them generously for it.

Because, like Hooters, your dad is delightfully tacky, yet unrefined.


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