The restaurant chain brought in a new dress code that featured revealing skimpy shorts that has “upset” some employees
Hooters has been forced to backtrack on its controversial new uniform policy after complaints from staff members that said it was “x-rated” and “disturbing”.
The restaurant chain, known for the tight-fitting uniforms worn by its female staff, has now said it will allow employees to “choose” which uniform they wish to wear.
In a statement to Insider, a spokesperson for Hooters said: “As we continue to listen and update the image of the Hooters Girls, we are clarifying that they have the option to choose from traditional uniforms or the new ones.
“They can determine which style of shorts best fits their body style and personal image.”
It followed its previous decision to replace already-short shorts for new skin-tight, bikini-cut bottoms, which some of its staff compared to underwear.
A series of viral TikTok videos shared by Hooters staff show employees speaking out against the shorts while others have threatened to quit as a result of the uniform change.
“Oh look, a wedgie!” Hooters employee and medical student Kristen Songer, 22, said as she revealed the new shorts.
“This is why all the Hooters girls are upset — because this is not what I agreed to wear a year ago when I was hired.”
In another video, one person compared the two shorts with the caption: “Love my job but don’t love wearing undies to work.”
Another TikTok user said: “Soooo Hooters got new panties. I mean shorts.”
The uniform change did receive positive feedback from some staff, one who said she was “obsessed” with the shorts while another asked “Am I the only Hootie that loves the new shorts???”
“I’ve been making way more money with the new shorts,” a third said.
Hooters has repeatedly come under fire for promoting the objectification of women through mandatory barely-there uniforms, as well as staff beauty pageants and girl calendars.
The bar and restaurant chain launched in 1983 with a unique selling point; serving staff made up entirely of attractive, young women wearing orange hotpants and tight tops.
Hooters of America, the franchisor and operator of Hooters restaurants, operates more than 420 franchise locations across 42 states and 29 countries.
The company’s spokesperson added that the shorts were “the result of a collaboration with Hooters Girls and have been worn for months in several Texas markets with overwhelmingly positive feedback”.
They said that Hooters “appreciates the feedback, both positive and negative, regarding a more accommodating and inclusive image policy on tattoos, jewelry, nails, hairstyles as well as new uniform options — to include new top styles, shorts, and the addition of socks.”
The company said it plans to continue to work with employees and give them opportunities for “providing input at every stage including future clothing items and accessories.”
“We’re excited to see a national trend toward self-expression and inclusivity that bodes well for our marketplace,” the spokesperson continued. “We work continuously with our Hooters Girls to refresh and update the image of our brand ambassadors and to empower them to feel their best while at work.”
Read More: Hooters backtracks on new uniform policy after staff hit out at ‘underwear’ shorts