The UK does not want 'Hooters'. It is a retrograde step for a country dedicated to gender equality

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Please sign the petition

Hooters is breaching its licencing conditions by holding sex-themed events (bikini contests), and giving 12-year-old kids at birthday parties cakes featuring disembodied naked breasts and party bags filled with porny treats. Bristol City Council did not feel 20+ letters of complaint was sufficient, so please sign this petition and show them the strength of feeling there is about this.

On Wednesday, 11 May 2011, Hooters in Bristol held a widely promoted swimsuit contest in which its (young, female) staff dressed in bikinis to be judged by the customers. This event began at 7pm, two hours before children are excluded. There was no suggestion in their advertising of this event that it was restricted to adults and it is not accepted that any such restriction was in place.

Under the terms of their Licence (condition L13) Hooters are prohibited from providing any “adult entertainment or services, activities, other entertainment or matters ancillary to the use of the premises that may give rise to concern in respect of children. For example (but not exclusively), there shall be no nudity or semi-nudity”.

The licensing authority's definition of "nudity" includes toplessness. Therefore wearing a bikini for the purposes of entertainment is plainly semi-nudity.

Both the swimsuit contest itself and the failure to restrict children from the premises demonstrate a breach of licence.

The day after the swimsuit contest, a child's birthday party was held at Hooters in Bristol. He and his friends were served a pornographic birthday cake representing disembodied and life-like naked breasts, with the nipples fully displayed, decorated with the words “Happy 12th Birthday”, and in the Hooters colours of white and orange. The children were also given high-caffeine drinks and party bags containing sexualised Hooters merchandise.

Any premises licence holder must demonstrate that they are fulfilling the licence objective to protect children from moral, psychological and physical harm. Hooters, while claiming to be "family friendly” is exposing children to sexual entertainment - and not protecting them from harm.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Hooters Bikini Contest

Just in case you were thinking this bikini contest nonsense "wasn't that bad", let's remember that Hooters is meant to be some sort of family friendly environment that you'd take your children to for a birthday party.

Let's take a look at what went on - we doubt the following images are safe for work:

Hooters Bikini Contest FB page

Images from the competition

Hooters Bikini Contest

As you can see, aside from being hardly "family friendly" this isn't even particularly "woman friendly". Sure, if you're young, white with a socially conventional "good figure" this might be a fun event to participate in, but we can't imagine many women paying £15 for a ticket to judge other women and enjoying the experience.

Bristol Evening Post's balanced reporting on Hooters shock!

So the Evening Post have finally managed to report on Hooters in a balanced way for a change.

Bristol Evening Post article on Hooters bikini contest

The Evening Post, which have previously been known for their desire to keep this future advertiser and discount Christmas party venue happy, have reported on the bikini contest following a complaint from Bristol University's Gender Violence Research Centre.

As usual, the comments below the article are full of misinformation and misogyny.  We'd set the record straight but what's the point when those writing a kneejerk reaction don't want to hear about the reasons for the complaint or why this is different to wearing a swimsuit on the beach.....(and if you can't see the differences between that and girls parading up and down and being judged on their bikini clad bodies in front of a crowd of slavering losers....sorry, men.... then perhaps these people should stick to reading The Sun instead of challenging themselves intellectually with the Bristol Evening Post). 

Those who can see the difference long ago stopped bothering to post on the Bristol Evening Post's webpage in response to the barrage of misogyny that always accompanies an article on Hooters.  If we thought that our views would be taken seriously, we would take the time but those who type out the misogynist bile don't want to take a minute to consider why Hooters is so offensive and why the Centre for Gender Violence Research would take the time out of their day to bring this to the Council's attention.

We'll leave them to their simple ideas about feminism, empowerment and women's place in the world whilst we focus on those who can make a difference.

Hooters in Bristol hosts its "inaugural" bikini contest

Well, well....who'd have thought that the oh so "family friendly" Hooters restaurant would start holding bikini contests?  What a surprise.  And they told us it was all about the food and the atmosphere and the hula hooping! 

So on Wednesday, 11th May Hooters in Bristol held its first bikini contest implying that we have many more to look forward to.  According to the terms of its licence it allows children in until 9pm and the bikini contest started at 7pm.  What a great night for all the family!

During the (quite frankly, mockery of a) licensing hearing committee, Gallus Management's lawyer said: 

Gallus’ lawyer said: “There isn’t anything about this that undermines the protection of children. I realise it is not for everyone. It is a restaurant with a uniform. Not a strip club. The uniform is not relevant to the licencing application.”

What about when the girls aren't wearing a uniform at all?

And we have this from the licence written decision:
Licence condition number 13:  There shall be no adult entertainment or services, activities, other entertainment or matters ancillary to the use of the premises that may give rise to concern in respect of children.  For example (but not exclusively), there shall be no nudity or semi-nudity, films for restricted age groups, the presence of gaming machines

Bristol City Council are currently looking into whether this breaches a licensing condition or objective.
Given that the licence shouldn't have been awarded in the first place, the answer to that, Bristol City Council, would be yes.

Will BCC prove to be as spineless as they were when they approved the original application, even though the police objected to the licence being awarded?

We will wait and see.

In the meantime, if you want to object, please e-mail: and copy any councillors in that you think should be involved.

And don't forget to thank Marks and Spencer while you are at it for helping to inflict Hooters on our city.

You can e-mail to say thank you at: