American restaurant chain Hooters, known for its female waitresses, has received permission to license a new site in Cardiff and has filed applications to open sites in both Brighton and Bristol.
Joining the only UK branch of Hooters in Nottingham, which has been trading for 12 years, the Cardiff restaurant will open on Mary Ann Street, near to St David’s shopping centre.
The new branch will serve Hooters’ all-American menu, featuring burgers, nachos, chicken wings and salads. Diners will be served as usual by waitresses in orange shorts and a white tank top.
Although the brand is popular in the US, with locations booming across 44 states, the proposal for its expansion to Cardiff has not been welcome.
Unwelcome restaurant concept
The Cardiff Feminist Network, an online community of feminists has been promoting its ‘Say No to Hooters’ campaign petition to fight for the image of their Wales’s women.
Sally Hughes, an activist for the cause said: “Hooters is an American family restaurant chain come porn-shop, lap-dancing strip club. The objectification of women is not taken seriously enough in our society.”
The decision to grant a license to the Cardiff venue comes at the end of the statutory consultation period, in which the council said no valid objections were made.
A spokesman for Cardiff Council’s licensing department said, “The application was accepted on 11 August and fully granted on 16 August.”
However, the 455-location company continues to pride itself on its family-friendly attributes, denying that the restaurants are run inappropriately.
A family restaurant
The company website states: “Claims that Hooters exploit attractive girls are ridiculous. Hooters Girls have the same right to use their natural female sex appeal to earn a living as do super models Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell.”
Hooters Nottingham, the chain’s first UK site, has been a success in its area. Julian Mills, general manager, said: “Since opening twelve years ago, we’ve been very welcome in the area. It is a family restaurant which has been popular in Nottingham.”
A third restaurant has already been given permission to open at Brighton Marina, but Bristol Council is still in discussions about the proposal and plans to come to a decision next month.
The restaurants will be run by Bubo Limited, which has signed an agreement with Hooters to operate its franchise in the UK.