From the outside looking in, women that work at Hooters seem to really enjoy their jobs (and cute little outfits). But like most things in life, nothing is ever as it seems. The following stories prove just that...
(Content has been edited for clarity)
“We Were Their Family”
“I’m an actual retired Hooters Girl. I pretty much enjoyed most of my time working there. I don’t have any terribly awful or even terribly exciting stories to share, but what sticks me the most is the handful of ‘regulars.’ Old, single men who dined with us every single day, day in and day out. We were their friends and we were their family and they were paying us to be that. It was heartbreaking and I really did like and enjoy the company of the majority of them. It was hard to say goodbye! Honestly, the worst part was the daily uniform inspection. Having to stand up with legs spread and arms straight out so our managers could inspect every detail of us (armpits for hair, hair for bobby pins, face for makeup application, tights for runs/holes, shorts for stains/tears, shoes for whiteness, tank tops for stains and to make sure bra straps weren’t peeking through) was always torture.”
Some Became Touchy
“I didn’t work at Hooters but at a sports bar where they required us to wear skin-tight jerseys with the number 88 obviously circling our bosoms. I once had a guy who had one too many drinks say to me, ‘You’re naked under those clothes,’ all seductively. I thought it was sarcastic and harmless until he became touchy. When I told him to back off, he became persistent, mumbling dirty talk and pulling me to sit on his lap. When I yelled, ‘DUDE, STOP IT!’ other guys from other tables stood up and then he became furious, calling me a tease and said that I was leading him on. Three guys escorted him out of the building and he screamed a whole bunch of names on the way out.
But, yep it was my fault – I shouldn’t have led him on.”
Suddenly, The Parking Lot Seemed Like A Dangerous Place
“I was a waitress at an exotic club for a while. There were always people who had had a few drinks in them getting kicked out and some odd individuals wanting strange requests (these people are the reasons why I never became a dancer) but I wasn’t their main target since I was only a waitress, not an entertainer.
The creepiest comment I can remember off the top of my head was when I was talking to a customer about how I needed to go out into the parking lot to give a customer back his card that he forgot in the sleeve after paying. The customer I was telling this story to promptly said, ‘If you come after me in the parking lot, you wouldn’t be coming back in’.
I never went after a customer who forgot their card again.”
He Wouldn’t Take His Eyes Off Of Her
“I am a dude and I witnessed this at a Hooters last night. We (just me and my buddy) sat down at a high top and there was a younger guy alone at the table next to us. It wasn’t very crowded. At one point, I overheard the waitress saying ‘I can’t go outside.’ Apparently, he was asking if she would walk him to his car and give him a kiss. She told us the whole story of this guy, who was 23.
He drove an hour about every 2-3 days to come to that specific Hooters to see her. He has left his number multiple times and obviously hasn’t gotten the picture. He left and we started eating our meal. About 20 to 30 minutes later, the waitress walked by our table and said, ‘He’s back.’ The dude walked in and used the restroom and walked back out to his car. Got back in his car and drove slowly by, looking into the restaurant.
At this point, we thought he left and about 10 minutes later we (my friend and I) walked out and the dude was sitting out there in the car waiting for her shift to end. I went back in and told the manager to make sure the waitress wasn’t followed by him.
It’s guys like that, that make girls look at guys as creeps.”
Joke Gone Bad
“I worked as a hostess at a dance club. I was fully clothed, but guys would regularly ask for lap dances or tell me what they wanted to do to me, etc.
I was just a curious person between jobs in my technical field, I didn’t need to work at a dance club, it was just a little fun. I never went too far out of my comfort zone to get tips, I was just nice to people. My worst story was I was when I was joking around with this guy. Every time I’d walk by, we’d dance together for a little and I’d move on. Then we started having bits of conversation here and there. He was really kind and smart, and I was enjoying our talk. Every time I’d walk away, he’d give me a dollar. After a few times, I was like, ‘You don’t have to tip me for just talking to you.’
He went on this long rant about how I’m just pretending to be nice to get his money. He said, ‘I’m hoping you’re a hostess with a heart of gold, but you’re only here right now to get my tips.’ He asked me if I’d go home with him if he promised to buy me breakfast in the morning. I told him absolutely not. The rant continued, but I was just too hurt that he thought I was lying and had to walk away.”
They Isolated And Bullied Her For Such A Dumb Reason
“I was a Hooters girl for a few months. I was 18, in high school, and had moved out of my mom’s place. My mom had never allowed me to cut my hair short, so I cut it all off as soon as I moved out (I had the Kate Gosling cut before she was a thing).
Anyhow, I started working there before it opened. Many of the girls made friends with each other but I was always kind of left out. I didn’t really understand why. I was nice and got along with everyone, and wasn’t competitive with the other women.
One day in the bathroom, I was getting ready for work with a few other girls. Part of the uniform there was makeup. I don’t wear the stuff often, I pretty much only wear it on special occasions or on days when I am just feeling down and want to look extra pretty. So, I wore the bare minimum – lip gloss and mascara.
One of the other girls approached me and asked why I didn’t wear foundation and why I always came in bare-faced. I explained I wasn’t really into makeup and just didn’t wear it except for at work. She then replied, ‘So…you are a lesbian, right?’
I was just kind of shocked. I told her no and asked why she thought that. She explained most of the girls there thought I was a lesbian because of my hair and my lack of makeup. I just told her she and all the girls were wrong and it was just who I was. She got a stupid smile on her face and said, ‘Alright. No judging here, just so you know!’
So, they all thought I was gay. Fine. I was taking home $200 a night and in high school with very few bills. Those chicks went out after work almost every night to a dance club (a female club), but they questioned if I was the lesbian.
This is the reason none of them really talked to me and why I was left out of all the cliques.
A few days later, I was in a car wreck and received airbag burns on my face. I stayed out of work for a week while recovering. When I came back, I still had a few burns healing, one of which was on the corner of my mouth. Every time I smiled it would crack open again and it took FOREVER to heal.
A couple days after I came back, I was doing my thing, making that money, and one of my tables waved me over. They asked me if I had a cold sore on my mouth and suggested an ointment for it. I explained what it was and thanked them for their concern. They looked confused and said, ‘Well, that girl said it was a cold sore and suggested we should watch what you touch’.
I asked them if they would be okay with telling my manager that, and they said yes. I brought the manager out. He listened, thanked them and asked about their service and food and then asked me to meet him in his office.
He yelled at me. He told me I shouldn’t have asked them to talk to me and told me to never bring him out for a ‘he said she said’ situation again. I explained to him that other girls there were hateful and always gave me issues (bartender made my drinks last, the hostess gave me the bad tippers, etc). He said I was imagining it and to get over myself.
The next week, the girl who said I had the cold sore showed up with a bunch of her friends and they requested my section.
I served them well, like I did everyone, got the discount on their bill, and brought them each separate bills, as they requested.
I went to grab some drinks for another table (which I had to wait forever for), and when I got back, they were gone. There was a $20 on the table. Their total bill was over $60.
I immediately got the manager (the same jerk as before) and he said: ‘Well, maybe you weren’t there to make the change and they had to go’.
Seriously. That was his response. He did offer to remove everything from their bill except $20 worth.
I was pissed. It was complete and total b.s. I had been gone for 5 minutes. He was obviously on her side for one reason or another.
I went to clean off their table and they had set the drink pitcher up in a way with napkins that it flipped over and spilled everywhere when I moved a cup that was up against it. Drinks poured all over the table, floor, my tights, my shoes, my socks, my little pouch thing, my cash, my tickets – everything.
I quit. I went to the manager’s office, gave him my drink-soaked pouch with tickets and cash, and told him he could kiss my behind.
And I never went back, I didn’t get any of the tips for that day as I didn’t ‘close out’ but I didn’t care. Screw that place.”
The Guys Who Tried To Hit On Her Were The Worst
“I worked as a drink waitress at an exotic dancing club. Aside from guys asking me to sit in their lap, go home with them, grabbing me, I never got that much harassment (major resting meanie face and I don’t flirt with customers, which was weird for my line of work. Or I’m ugly. Take your pick).
But this one time, I was walking by a table with one dude sitting there, enjoying the show when he pulled me over and said, ‘I just want you to know, you’re the prettiest girl in here.’
And, completely deadpan, I replied, ‘That’s because it’s a Tuesday,’ and go back to work.
And for those thinking this reply makes me rude or an angry woman for not just graciously accepting the compliment, maybe. But my experience had, up to that point, taught me that responding with ‘Haha, thank you,’ would end with him likely inviting me over for flirtatious conversation while I had work to do. Men in exotic dancing clubs rarely give compliments without some ulterior motive and I didn’t have the time to give the benefit of the doubt.
Or maybe I’m a ‘female dog’ which is also fine.”
Too Many Speciality Drinks
“I was working a party of 8 that turned into 18 (they were coworkers as I recall, and sort of slowly showed up in pairs after the initial 8-top). I was certainly needed, but for a Tuesday night, this was an unexpected surprise, but, as servers do, I rolled with it. There was a guy that had been sort of flirty from the get-go, which is very common. My outfit consisted of a pretty revealing jean skirt and a snug, low-cut top, which was just another part of the job, ya know? Anyway, there was a particular mixed drink on our menu featured and there was a limit of two per guest.
So this guy maxed out on his two specialty drinks and got a little ‘friendlier’ with me. He started commenting, aggressively, ‘Your eyes…your legs…your hair,’ etc. I came to find out, in between all his drinks, he started asking people at the table to order more of these specialty drinks for him and they were doing it! About two hours into the ordeal, he started slapping my behind every time I walked by. I was going out of my way to avoid him and his coworkers were cringing. Finally, he stood up, wrapped his arms around me and started swaying. He was telling me he wanted to take me to the Jay-Z concert the next day and lifted me up over his shoulder. I realized he’d been stealing other guests’ beverages and decided to tell my manager.
‘Well’ said manager, ‘did you tell him to stop? I mean, they’re gonna be gone soon anyway. Just avoid him.’
Which was more or less the reaction I expected, but priceless nonetheless. I loathed that establishment. And, I just want to finish off by saying, if you’re ever with ‘that guy,’ do the right thing and call him out. I was pretty straightforward, but jeez. All those people just watched in horror as I got fondled and disrespected. Servers, no matter how ‘scandalous’ you may think their uniform is, are still people. Still daughters. Still mothers. And still handling your food.”
The Terrible Manager
“I used to work at an Ohio chain called ‘Star Diner’ and the girls’ manager was a 42-year-old chain smoking, saggy skinned lady who liked to pick on the younger girls if they didn’t have time to put on makeup or if they happened to gain a couple pounds. She pulled me aside a few times to tell me how I should style my hair or do my eye makeup. One time I gained a couple of pounds (the food there was amazing) and she made me cry almost every day until I lost the weight.
I’ve always gotten compliments on my looks and never had anyone say anything negative about my body so she really made my self-esteem plummet. I was a really good worker who took pride in my job and never complained about anything. She ended up firing me after about a year because of cutbacks when there were other girls on the floor who would cry if they didn’t average $30 an hour for the day.
The money was nice, though.”
An Aggressive Stalker Made His Girlfriend Quit
“My girlfriend worked at Show-Me’s, which is just the Missouri knock off of Hooters, but she had a few bad experiences. The worst by far was the guy who would show up only for her and wait for her to leave. It got to the point where he followed her to her car and pinned her to it. Considering she is only 5’2 and this guy was 6’4 and had about 200 pounds on her, she would have had no chance against him. She was lucky and some regulars saw this and yelled at him to leave. The managers refused to walk her to her car after repeated complaints to them. Thank God she quit right after. Plus the food sucked anyway.”
The New Year’s Eve Event Had Her Like, “Crapity-Crap-Crap”
“I was new to the restaurant chain (about one month in and only 18 at the time). We were made to take a shift on either Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or NYE and silly me forgot to sign up so I was stuck closing the restaurant on New Year’s Eve. I work in a larger suburban area in Southern Illinois, so the store was empty for the most part near midnight.
11:15: A well-tipping regular comes in and there’s only me and one other girl working, so I snatch him up hoping to make an easy buck.
11:30: His two buddies saunter in, one an average joe that just came off of his construction job and the other a hulking (what appeared to me, being fairly small framed) 7 foot mass of testosterone bent on getting messed up.
11:31: SHOTS-SHOTS-SHOTS-SHOTS-SHOTS-SHOTS EVERYBODY!
While these fellows were demolishing their livers, a gentleman who was in the restaurant earlier (that I had been talking to for a couple hours) decided to come back in and sit at the bar so we can chat again.
Side note: I’m never actually interested in anybody I meet at work, as what they see is a contoured-to-heck face that looks next to nothing like me and I’d prefer to meet somebody that isn’t just hitting on me because of my bright orange shorts. BUT he was good at making conversation so it was a nice change from the typically forced conversation. Unfortunately, this guy assumed I was very interested and not just looking for tips.
11:58: The regular and his friends were wasted and I was going back and forth between the man at the bar and the band of brutes, bringing drinks and making conversation.
11:59: The NYC New Year Ball’s about to drop and both parties are beckoning me over and I’m standing in the middle of the two, probably 7 feet from each other. The massive friend of the regular and the nice fellow at the bar both said earlier they wanted a new year’s kiss. CRAP.
‘FIVE!’ – Oh God, this is a nightmare.
‘FOUR!’- Jesus take the wheel.
‘THREE!’ – CRAPCRAPCRAPITYCRAPCRAP!
‘TWO!’ – Some miracle must occur right this moment, please Lord.
‘ONE!’- At this moment I awkwardly threw my hands up, still standing in between the two parties, yelling, ‘Happy New Year!’ Then I swiftly booked it around the corner into the back as fast as my bulky white shoes would allow.
Bonus discomfort: As the regular and his pals were leaving, the big guy decides to GRAB ME AND PICK ME UP, hug me, spin me around, and set me back down. I got a huge tip though.”
What A Nightmare!
“I worked as a shot girl in college at a local pizza place. Everyone was cool to me and most people realized this was not my first choice in jobs. However, our skirts were so short that you couldn’t feel it hitting your legs – it sort of just hung there.
And, of course, because of this, I failed to realize that my skirt was tucked into my nylons…and rolled around like that half the night showing off my behind until I overheard some guys say, ‘Should we tell her?’ Then I reached for my skirt, only to discover the nightmare.”
‘Good Ol’ Hoots’
“My first table, after asking what he’d like on his Philly cheese steak, answered with, ‘You.’ That was his answer for anything I asked.
Mostly it wasn’t bad though. Lots of old men just wanting drinks and wings and flirting. Sometimes it made me very sad. There was a man who was in the Navy who had been so downtrodden in his life. I just listened to him and he gave me this special ops pin.
We had a regular, Richard, and he was bat-crap crazy but lovable. He’d bring us bags of candy all the time. One day, an equally batty woman came in and we got to play matchmaker. In the end, though, she went home with the Dos Equis man…cardboard cutout.
Although, some bad stuff did happen. Mostly it was because of drama within the girls themselves. There was a morning shift that started out with our manager saying she didn’t want to have to break up a fight. One of the girls and her boyfriend went on a break… and that night another girl invited him to stay with her.
I wasn’t there for this shift but they made the girls do wall sits to send an extra server home. Twenty minutes later someone won, but the managers didn’t send anyone home.
The worst thing that happened to me while working there was lifting stuff in the back and getting an umbilical hernia. I could tell something was up, told the manager I thought I had a hernia but he said I was fine. I went to the doctor and they had me get me a surgical consult as soon as possible with a surgery scheduled and everything.
But the managers didn’t really care about the girls there. At my store, they didn’t really advertise anything. It was slow a lot, and when we complained about not being able to make any money because there were too many girls on slow nights, they blamed us for not giving ‘Hooterful’ service. In the end, I couldn’t handle it anymore and I left. It’s a complete image focused environment which ends up being very negative. Plus it wasn’t good enough money at my location to put up with any b.s so I got a job in a nicer restaurant and make twice the money there than I ever did at good ol’ Hoots.”
Not A Pleasant Sight At The Yogurt Shop
“When I was in college I used to work at a local yogurt shop that required that all the girl employees wear white shorts. Usually, I would get weird comments, but nothing too harmful.
However, one night when I was closing by myself I saw a guy just standing at the front door. I signaled to the guy that the store was closed but he just stood there and kept staring at me. I thought he did not understand me so I walked up closer to the door and that’s when I saw him touching himself. It was awful, I had to call the police and it was a huge deal.”