American restaurant chain Hooters - infamous for its scantily-clad serving staff - has been given the green light to open a third UK site. The latest location will open in Greater Manchester’s Salford Quays, joining a recently-approved opening in Liverpool as well as Hooters Nottingham, which has been open for 21 years.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the decision made by Manchester Council’s licensing panel has come under heavy fire from all corners, including Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, and Salford Mayor Paul Dennett, who blasted the decision as ‘regressive’.
‘The location and nature of the business cause me serious concern,’ said Dennett. ‘I therefore totally appreciate the negative reaction from the community.'
He continued: ‘The nature of the business jars with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s gender-based violence strategy, reinforcing archaic and unwelcome attitudes towards women. Greater Manchester is home to 1.4 million women and girls and we will continue to champion progress towards gender equality. Hooters would be a regressive step for Salford and Greater Manchester.’
Campaign groups have also weighed in, including Men at Work, Men Against Violence Campaign, and Male Allies Challenging Sexism, who all penned an open letter to the two Mayors opposing the decision. Men at Work founder Michael Conroy had this to say:
‘I have spent years working with teenage lads around sexism and respectful behaviour 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 1970s, a real throwback to an era we thought had gone. For a city council to consider giving a licence to a place like that sends a message of support for it. Hooters is just not okay.’
The restaurant received similar backlash in Liverpool when Liverpool Council granted Hooters a licence to open a site in the city centre, with local groups signing a petition that branded Hooters as ‘an archaic and chauvinistic brand.’
In response, Rachael Moss - who will manage Hooters in Liverpool, said, ‘I am a mother with three children, two of which are small girls, and a qualified barrister.
‘The Hooters brand is empowering and celebrating beautiful, strong women [sic]. We thrive on making people happy and I am happy to take my children there. I am proud to be part of this venture.’
Despite the backlash, these two Hooters sites look set to go ahead, and who knows - perhaps there are more in the pipeline
Fancy finding somewhere else to eat? These restaurants in Manchester might be able to help