Last week, the National Organization for Women filed official complaints against a chain of local California restaurants. This time instead of objecting to women being exploited, they were concerned over a slightly more alarming matter at hand. They claim the establishment is catering to children and in effect intentionally harming them.
The California chapters of N.O.W. complained that although the San Francisco, San Bruno, Sacramento and Orange County restaurants are officially listed as adult entertainment businesses, they now accommodate children and are actively incorporating ways to entice parents to bring their children to their restaurants.
How are they doing this?
The Hooters’ restaurants are serving a children’s menu, offering booster seats and high chairs, and selling child sized t-shirts. The shirts have sayings for girls, such as “Future Hooters Girl.” For boys, bibs that say “Sorry, I Only Date Hooters’ Girls” are available.
As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, Patricia Bellasalma, N.O.W.’s California president, asserted that Hooters is violating state and local laws prohibiting sexually oriented “adult” businesses from serving minors.
Hooters maintains that they have made a recent attempt to become more family-friendly and these new offerings are part of that effort. They also claim that their “no touching” policy is adequate in providing a decent atmosphere that is wholesome enough for children.
Call me a prude but I don’t think Hooters is any place for a child to be at, kid’s menu or not. If parents really need to patronize adult establishments, it makes sense to leave those excursions to a date night when the kids are home with a sitter.
Some say that the women who work there are dressed in uniforms (albeit tight-fitted) just as any other establishment. Yet the ambiance of the franchise is specifically geared to men who go to gawk at scantily clad, well-endowed waitresses. It seems inconsistent with teaching girls to have self- respect and teaching boys to respect women. I’m afraid that merely throwing crayons and bibs into the mix does not make an institution family-friendly.
What do you think? Would you ever take your kids to Hooters?