Okay it’s been years since I’ve been to a Hooters tiddy bar and it’s been years since I last ate a chicken wing. I am a small part of a community of people born between like 1985 and 1995 fighting tooth and nail to kill as many mediocre fast-casual restaurants as we possibly can in the short span of time that we have. Our time will eventually run out, and we are cognizant of this. We must take down as much as we can while we have the time to do so.
Hooters has done, effectively, one good thing in 35 years of existence and that’s the small role it played in kickstarting the legend of Michael Jordan during the final few days of the 1991 NBA regular season. From Sam Smith’s 1991 book Jordan Rules:
“Directly across from the [Bulls hotel in Miami] was a three-story outdoor mall with one corner of the upper level devoted to a restaurant-bar called Hooters, sort of a Playboy Club for fraternity guys (…) It was the closest the players had been since Jordan’s first few seasons in the league.”
So we got a sense of camaraderie that led to six NBA championships out of Hooters. Otherwise? Very little. We got a legendarily mediocre PlayStation game out of it. We got a bunch of uncomfortable commercials. We got very little else. Hooters has been coasting for a long time on the very weird, creepy premise that patrons are supposed to just, like, gawk at their waitresses I guess. Hooters has rested on its laurels. Hooters is a restaurant for chicken wings, the most mediocre food, where you drink Bud Light, the most mediocre beer, and like, stare at people, the most mediocre of states of self-existence.
So, how do we save Hooters?
There are like two ways you can go here if you’re Hooters. You can try to appeal to us mewling millennials by offering like Deschutes IPAs and Quinoa Avocado salads and whatever else a Wikipedia stub on millennials would lead you to believe we desire. This would be a tough road to follow because it involves significantly improving your product.
Luckily for you, Hooters, a not-insignificant economy has sprung up around consuming a shitty product in order to poke at a perceived enemy. This seems to have worked for several things – that John Gotti movie, the Drinking Straw Industry, the Republican Party – and it could work well for a period of time for your dying restaurant.
You have to own the libs to save Hooters.
Advertising is probably the easiest thing you can get started here. I’ve mocked up a few easy fliers:
Your decorum is easy, baby – The American Flag. Plaster it everywhere. Put a big ‘n on the wall. Little ‘ns on the tables. Make the napkins into little flags so we can wipe our sticky messy faces with the flag our forefathers died for. Put the flag under the glass bit on the table so even as we shove mozz stick after mozz stick after fried pickle down our gullets we’ll still dedicate what few beats of our hearts are left to America. If possible fashion a flag into a beer glass. Play the National Anthem every 17 minutes and if anyone doesn’t stand up you like, take a picture of them behind their back and post it on your Facebook page with a long rant about how the country’s going down the toilet. Speaking of the toilet, that top tank bit on the toilet looks suspiciously rectangular and could provide perfect space for a nice flag.
This is guaranteed to get people out to your restaurant for at least the duration of one snarky tweet that’s like “I Love @Hooters because Snowflake Millennial Libs HATE it!” from someone who considers doing something like that both a worthwhile use of their short, short time on earth and a valid personality trait. I don’t know how long the shelf life of lib-ownage is, though, so you’ve gotta be careful.
This endeavor, should you choose to undertake it, will probably not work for very long, but it may work for a few weeks and that’s the type of time frame you’re dealing with. After that, you’ll have no customers, bad PR, and far too many American Flag napkins left.
At that point, I don’t know. Maybe try to flex that “Home of the Camaraderie that led to the Chicago Bulls’ 1991 NBA Championship” muscle.