Hooters branded ‘sexist’ and ‘like something from the 1970s’ as campaigners slam Salford Quays plans

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Campaigners have criticized plans to open a Hooters in Greater Manchester – branding the restaurant “sexist, misogynistic and degrading”. The US chain, famous for employing scantily-clad waitresses, has applied to open a branch in Salford Quays.

Womanchester, a women’s rights organization from Manchester and Salford, believe approving this restaurant would be in direct opposition to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s commitment to end sexist harassment and abuse.

“Hooters is a sexist restaurant, which uses the objectification of women as its selling point, from its name, to the uniform, to the way it treats the female staff,” a Womanchester spokeswoman said. “It is an outdated brand, viewing women as objects to sell food and drink is no longer acceptable in 2022.

“Since #MeToo and the campaigns against casual misogyny and sexism, we have moved past the days when this was considered acceptable. Woman’s Place UK quite rightly asks why any city would want to associate themselves with the outdated image of skimpily clad, objectified women serving a mostly male customer base.

“Openly sexist in its policies, this is not an acceptable working condition for the waitresses.



A Hooters branch has been open in Nottingham since 1998

“If Andy Burnham is serious about his campaign ‘#IsThisOK’ to challenge the underlying attitudes that lead to the assault of women, then refusing Hooters would be a very basic task. It is frustrating that we are still having to make the same arguments over and over again.

“Men and boys should stand with us, and many are opposing this. We are a group of women from all walks of life, of all ages, and feel very strongly about this.”

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Womanchester has also received backing from the Quays councillors. Newly elected councilor Alex Warren for the Liberal Democrats as well as Labor councilors Jake Rowland and Ann-Marie Humphreys have all said they will help the group oppose this application.

The group wants a public meeting to be held on this so their views can be heard. The only other Hooters in the UK is based in Nottingham, while plans to open another UK restaurant in Liverpool were met by a petition which slated the chain as ‘an archaic and chauvinistic brand’.

Men at Work, Men Against Violence Campaign, and Males Allies Challenging Sexism are just some of the campaigners who are opposing this. Alongside individual campaigners, they have signed an open letter to Greater Manchester and Salford mayors Andy Burnham and Paul Dennett urging them to oppose this license application from Hooters.

Michael Conroy, of Men At Work, said: “I have spent years working with teenage lads around sexism and respectful behavior and what it means to be a man. We have an obligation to speak out when things like this come up.

“This place makes the girls that work there seem like they are part of the menu. This is something that has no place in 2022.

“It seems like something from the 1970’s, a real throwback to an era we thought had gone.

“For a city council to consider giving a license to a place like that sends a message of support for it. Hooters is just not okay.”

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Mr Conroy explained that this was not an objection to the women who would choose to work there, but the US chain that chooses to impose these work obligations on them. In a country hit by the cost of living crisis, I have explained that as prices go up, our choice in what we do to put food on the table reduces.



Hooters could be coming to Greater Manchester

Lawyer Tom Farr has pleaded with the council to refuse this license application. “I am appalled to see that the council is considering opening a Hooters restaurant in Salford,” he said. “Time after time, I have seen the impact that the normalization of the sexual objectification of women in one environment has on how men go on to treat women in another.

“Greater Manchester cannot say they are committed to tackling male violence against women and girls, and wider misogyny, if they are complicit in the establishment of environments that normalize and encourage such behavior and objectification.”

Hooters have been contacted for comment in response to the allegations of sexism put forward by objectors, but are yet to directly address this.

“For nearly four decades, Hooters restaurants have built a reputation around the world for offering great times for everyone,” a spokesman said. “From iconic food and beverages such as wings, burgers, seafood, beers and cocktails to world-famous Hooters Girls and our Heart of House employees who create a one-of-a-kind guest experience.

“Hooters is the ideal place for guests to cheer on their favorite sports teams or celebrate any occasion with friends or family. Just as importantly, we are part of the fabric of communities with initiatives to raise funds for breast cancer and programs to honor local heroes including the military.

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“We are pleased to bring our restaurant concept to the people of Salford Quays and trust the community will experience our hospitality for themselves.”



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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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