By Jonathan Ramos
From an early age, every red blooded American boy aspires to venture into a “promise land,” of sorts, that goes by the name of Hooters. Hooters and similar restaurants featuring scantily clad women have been around since the early 1990’s; and with their inception came along an influx of controversy. This discourse has brought about a two-sided argument, which many Laredoans will have to undertake after the opening of the first “Brestaurant” in Laredo.
On one hand, there is the moral obligation to abstain from these sins of the flesh, but on the other hand there’s the promise of breasts, legs, thighs and tasty wings. All kidding aside, this has become a very serious issue. There is a certain level of female objectification that comes along with restaurants like Hooters, as well as discrimination against women who are not “up to their standards”. Women might also feel threatened by seeing a man, or their partner, blatantly gazing at another woman. The fact of the matter is that the attire that Hooters waitresses wear no more revealing than a standard cheerleader outfit. They are also a restaurant that no one is forced to go to, and offers jobs that no one is forced to work.
The real issue is that society is biased when it comes to what they believe to be appropriate in a business setting. Restaurants like Hooters bring about a lot of business, not just because of how the waitresses dress but also because it’s a sports bar with a variety of food tailored for the right market. Men! This explains why there has never really been a successful male version of Hooters.
In Dallas, a local business man took the concept of a “male version Hooters” and called the restaurant “Tallywackers”. The restaurant received global recognition, but did not have the desired effect on women, its target market; so much as it did with the gay community. The restaurant was open for a year and eventually closed. This occurrence could explain a significant difference between men and women. It might be that men are able to separate objectification out of the equation, whereas women are simply not interested in seeing half-naked men serving them food.
What is clear is that restaurants similar to Hooters, Twin Peaks, and Redneck Heaven have been successful for over 20 years and until there is a drastic cultural change, they will continue to prosper. So far the Laredo Hooters has been prosperous and now Laredo will soon have a new Brestaurant by the name Tilted Kilt. Tilted Kilt has already broken ground on Jacaman Rd. near Hollywood Theaters, and it is a Celtic themed restaurant that features female servers in short kilts and serves traditional pub food. Perhaps Tilted Kilt will be as successful as Hooters, or maybe Hooters will continue to dominate the brestaurant chains, either way there’s no doubt Tilted Kilt will bring about the same controversy that all “brestaurants” do.