Established in 1983 by six businessmen, Hooters is now associated with beer, chicken wings, sports, and undoubtedly waitresses. Young ladies are striving for the position whilst men are eager to observe an esthetically pleasing background: waitresses serving food and beverages in a revealing uniform. The analysis of numerous digital sources has proved that the company frequently experiences challenges and faces ethical issues raised by local communities. Hooters restaurants have been struggling with discrimination, sexual abuse, indirect impact on eating disorders, and other challenges throughout its history. Nevertheless, management has a poor ethical framework because it does not focus on the resolution of alleged discrimination and the violation of legal requirements, but invests in social events sponsoring races and their participants as written by capstone project writing service
A revealing uniform that consists of tight shorts, top that exposes the chest area, and tights to give an impression of tanned skin contribute to the perception of women as sexual objects for visitors. This explicit context triggers cases of anxiety and eating disorders among females. Research conducted by Psychology of Women Quarterly has showed that ladies are subject to anorexia and depression due to the inability to have an influence on the restaurant internal environment. Excessive pressure from managers to enhance physical appearance causes insecurities and jeopardizes the mental health of waitresses.
Weight, hiring, and racial discriminations are also on the list of ethical violations in Hooters restaurants. Management only hires young women to fill in vacancies, prompting discriminatory hiring. Nevertheless, the company argues that its position is based on its business activity that will only be in due course when this condition is fulfilled. Several lawsuits have not convinced owners to change their strategy, but they insist that such practice abides by bona fide occupational qualification requirements. Non-compliance with company standards has recently resulted in a weight discrimination lawsuit. Consequently, it was settled by Hooters, however, a waitress was fired since her weight exceeded employer’s internal expected limits. The case of racial discrimination was reported by a fired African-American waitress who had not been permitted to add blond highlights to her hair since the restaurant management did not consider it natural for her race in general. Despite restaurant’s objections to this statement, the woman had been awarded with USD 250,000. All of the indicated cases demonstrate that the company frequently faces ethical challenges and struggles with lawsuits and social disapproval.
The above-mentioned list of violations can be elaborated even more, prompting the necessity to review Hooter’s position and responses to managing the challenges and risks. The beginning of 2017 was highlighted by the establishment of a new restaurant in the chain that would employ servers of both sexes. Forbes also confirmed that by opening Hooters restaurant, the company was shifting from the so-called “breastaurant” model towards the one that abides by expectations of contemporary society. A uniform would become more casual and male and female waiters would serve from behind the counters. This event might serve as a testimony that the company is diversifying its hiring strategy abiding by legal requirements; the step will also potentially decrease the quantity of relevant lawsuits and legal costs.
None of the reviewed digital sources mentions measures the company has undertaken to mitigate other discrimination issues and their impact on the mental health of the personnel. Thus, it is possible to conclude that it focuses its efforts on different approaches to enhance the brand image and cope with ethical challenges. They include the sponsorship of NASCAR, highlighting its bond with sports and fans by launching a wide range of promotions and special offers for supporters. One more example of commitment to society values is Hooters contribution to the Veterans Day that will occur on November 11. All veterans are invited to attend one of the restaurants in a chain and opt for a meal from a designated menu for free. Apparently, marketing managers consider these events as a chance to indicate commitment to social events as part of the company history and corporate values.
Despite tackling the challenge of a negative brand image and community perception, Hooters restaurants have managed to withstand lawsuits that questioned their brand strategies as those not compliant with common hiring approaches. Management has made attempts to enhance its reputation by sponsoring sports and social events with a view to compensate ethical issues it deals with on a daily basis. Apparently, it will still have to cope with these challenges, partly because of the industry niche it is functioning in (the so-called “breastaurants”). However, maintaining community-oriented practices will keep the company afloat.