The year was 1983.
Do you remember 1983? I was a sophomore in college. Ronald Reagan was president. We gathered around the television to watch the final episode of M*A*S*H.
Sally Ride became the first woman launched into space.
Cheryl Tiegs graced the cover of "Sports Illustrated".
"Octopussy" was the latest installment in the James Bond franchise.
"Flashdance" was all the rage.
Everyone was working out to Jane Fonda's video.
And we were rocking to the tunes of Culture Club.
And in Clearwater, FL, the "Hooters" franchise was launched.
That was 30 years ago.
While the rest of us have grown older and moved on, "Hooters" has changed very little in those 30 years. From the food to the decor to the uniforms worn by the waitresses, walking into a Hooters restaurant is almost like stepping into a Time Machine.
Thus the announcement this week that changes are coming to your neighborhood Hooters Restaurant. Food, decor, uniforms - it's all on the table in a push to make the chain profitable again.
My first thought upon reading this news was, "Change the food and the decor, but don't touch the uniforms!"
While I will certainly miss the iconic tank top and orange shorts, maybe it IS time for a makeover.
But what will it be?
I have visited similar restaurants over the past few years and have not been impressed with what I have found.
Not long ago we stopped at a "Tilted Kilt" in Clarksville. The short kilts were cute, and the cleavage was "over the top" - ahem! - but it seemed like all the girls filled in the spaces with tattoos!
Lots of tattoos! Big, ugly tattoos, scarring what had previously been very beautiful skin.
Then there's "Show-Me's", just up the road from us. "Show-Me's" is almost a direct knock-off of "Hooters", down to the wooden deck and the fake palm trees out front. But the uniform is black and the shorts are more like bikini bottoms. And for some reason, ""Show-Me's" just seemed a little
Not long ago a friend pointed out that most "Show-Me's" are located next to Harley-Davidson dealerships. Coincidence? I think not.
Then there are the Bikini Baristas - an odd choice of clothing for a coffee shop!
Nothing like a little
And Bikini Bars seem to be popping
Don't get me wrong. I think she is beautiful. But I don't want her bringing me food dressed like that!
How are you supposed to chew your food with your mouth hanging open!
Whatever "Hooters" decides to do with the uniform, they must continue to walk the fine line between attracting horny men and maintaining a family atmosphere.
If they go too far in favor of the former, the First Mate won't let me eat there anymore!
Yes, sometimes the First Mate steers the ship!
But if they move too far toward the latter, they'll lose a lot of the customers who have made them what they are!
To make matters worse, the company has announced that "social media" will play a big part in the decision.
Naturally, the Captain will be watching!