Hooters Hiring Age- Their Social responsibility, The Barrier to Career

Hooters Hiring Age

It is best to understand that hooters are a chain of restaurants unique in the American food industry for having servers in tight white tops and orange shorts that are typical waiters in another restaurant establishment. These servers are recruited and compensated for their duties which prominently includes wearing these tight uniforms to sell their products further. 

The legal age of hire at hooters is 18, and applicants don’t even have to possess a GED as their website states that comprehensive training will be provided upon employment. Though this is a worthy endeavor, employing people without certification, training them to be proficient in their job, and providing them with tools to succeed. It does call into question that it encourages people to drop out of high school if they know that they can get a hooter job.

Hooters also do not provide these young people with lifelong skills but rather skills on how to survive in the fast-food industry, which basically, in this case, amounts to being good-looking, being able to take orders, and filling out receipts.  While 18 is the legal age for consent in the United States and most developed nations, one has to wonder whether hooters hiring age should be higher too, say 21, to reflect their work environment better. We must consider the stressors and factors that these young girls have to put up with daily in doing their work. 

Hooters understand that 18-year-olds have their bodies- in peak condition and want to exploit this to market their franchise products. While this is legal, it does seem a bit exploitative to employ young women who are still in their teens to wear skimpy clothes and serve food to men who are at times thrice their age, all while acting like they are having fun doing it. Below are reasons why I think the hiring age of hooters should be raised to 21.

  • Handling of Alcoholic Beverages – Hooter staffers serve their clientele with alcoholic beverages all the time even though they themselves are ineligible to drink. While underage drinking is officially frowned upon by the hooter establishment, the fact remains that their 18-year-old servers have access to alcoholic beverages often without supervision and have been known to sneak them out to their friends or take them themselves.

    This can create a culture of alcoholism and destructive behavior. If the age limit for hiring is up to 21, this would pose less of a problem as they would have had a few more years to gain adultery resolve that could enable them to say no to alcoholism.

  • Immature to Handle Sexual Assault – The problem with putting teenage girls in skimpy clothes and having them serving out orders is that it invariably attracts a lot of male unwanted attention. While we live in a world where it is expected that every man is a gentleman, the reality is that this is rarely the case.

    Men when already intoxicated by cat calls at these young girls who are not yet emotionally ready to handle such abuse. They are still used to the awkward fumbles of teenage boys and to go from that to the relentless pressure from grown men can be emotionally draining on these teenage girls. 

  • Inability to Set Boundaries – Most of the young hires have no experience beforehand in dealing with perverted men and sexual assault. They, therefore, have no skill in setting boundaries on their interactions with members of the opposite sex. What to them can seem like innocent communication can be termed flirting by the men and may lead to unwanted sexual situations.

    Hooters as an organization expect them to be polite to the customers but to maintain a level of professionalism in their interactions. This doesn’t always work as some of the customers are charming predators out for these teenage girls. These young hires are ill-equipped to deal with sexual harassment and may try to handle it on their own thereby only making it worse.

  • Unequal Wages – Other businesses where young females are expected to wear skimpy clothes to work such as cheerleaders, strippers, etc. are better compensated than the hooter waitresses. The company might argue that putting on these clothes and serving meals cannot equate to the stressful choreography that those other professions require but the bottom line is that these industries are built on young women baring as much skin as possible to drum up sales.

    The cheerleaders sign professional contracts and are compensated in events of abuse that may have resulted from their work while hooter waitresses are not. Such a world without this blanket protection is not what an 18-year-old should be subjected to. The young hires would have asked for better wage conditions if they were much older and understood their basic rights but as naïve 18-year-olds, they will go along with whatever company policy that they are offered. 

  • Social Responsibility – While beginning to work at an early age is the hallmark of the American dream that entails the freedom to pursue your goals, young people generally are not responsible with pay privileges and rather spend the money on drugs and underage drinking. This is especially true with young workers and should be monitored at places where they have access to alcoholic beverages.

  • Barriers to Career Progression – This kind of job seems easy to get as long as one is attractive and has a cheery personality but it comes at the cost of being stagnant and does not offer many career progression prospects. Without high school diplomas and working long odd hours, the employees barely have time to maintain a decent lifestyle, not to talk of attending college or gaining extra training to move up in life.

    Besides most of the staff at 18 are already entrapped into the sweet pleasures of life and may not realize it until it is too late that they are no longer spring chickens. The hooter organization entraps them with medical insurance and vague promises of career advancement but the truth is that there can only be one manager at a time and about 20 wait staff. It is important that young people understand that this is a case of all that glitters is not gold as the current benefits will likely hinder future progress. 

I still think that 18 is too young for the hiring age at hooters as most of the new hires are girls who are just out to make a bit of cash for spending money and maybe lured to stay for extended periods. Considering the dress code they have to adhere to and exposure to drinks and other adult products like cigarettes.

Hooters should increase their hiring age to enable their applicants to be more experienced in the adult world and manage crises before coming to work for them. It is pertinent that they are versed in handling sexual harassment issues and are equipped with tools to defuse situations that become supercharged in their duties. 

Hooters Hiring Age- Their Social responsibility, The Barrier to Career

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