Fans of American diner Hooters, brace yourselves. The American diner, traditionally known for female servers who don tight white tank tops and short orange shorts, might be getting a uniform change to fit into more conservative mindsets in Asia.
The new uniform is currently in progress and will be implemented in due course. Some uniform changes include higher necklines, longer skirts and the inclusion of shorts and thicker stockings, said an article on Channel NewsAsia. Singapore market will not be impacted.
According to Neil Bailey, the president of Hooters Asia, in an interview with CNA, Hooters expressed a willingness to make the necessary modifications to penetrate the Asia market, which it aims to expand aggressively in. He added that the uniform has been altered over the last 30 years of the brand, and Hooters Girls are prohibited from wearing accessories to avoid the over sexualisation of their image.
In a conversation with Marketing about the uniform changes, Arun Ratnaa, group marketing director at Destination Group, the Bangkok-based franchisee of Hooters, explained that the brand is focused on what it actually stands for – great sports, its famous chicken wings and its iconic servers.
“While we bear in mind that we are guests in the respective countries, we are focused on what the brand actually stands for; great sports from around the world enjoyed with our world famous chicken wings in great locations and the best service you would receive from our iconic Hooters Girls,” Ratnaa said.
In the case of Jakarta, Hooters has been “received very well” and is being proactive by engaging the local community. Exclusively in Jakarta, the Hooters girls will be dressed in a higher cut top as a way for Hooters to show respect to the country’s culture. The brand also also seen success in Thailand, and after defining what the brand should actually be, it rolled out with its expansion plans for the region.
Currently, the expansion is led by Destination Group, which aims to open more than 30 new Hooters restaurants across Asia over the next few years. It currently has outlets in Singapore, Jakarta, Thailand and Hong Kong. According to Hooters Asia’s Bailey, the company has also set its sights on Taipei, Manila, Koh Samui and Phnom Penh. The company has also set its sights on KL, Taipei, Manila, Koh Samui and Phnom Penh.
This is not the first time a brand has looked towards altering its iconic uniforms in a bid to boost branding efforts.