Hooters is facing backlash after an employee revealed that she and other waitresses have to buy their own tights for $5 per pair, which are on sale through a vending machine in the bathroom.
TikTok user @kenzjee, who works as a waitress at the restaurant chain, revealed in a January video how Hooters employees get the tights for their uniforms.
She demonstrated purchasing the hosiery, which comes in different skin tone colors, from a vending machine in the restaurant bathroom.
The tights must be worn as part of the uniform, which also consists of tiny orange shorts and a low-cut white shirt with their logo.
But some TikTok viewers were outraged to learn that the tights weren’t provided by the company, and that waitresses had to pay for them out of their own pocket.
Hooters is facing backlash after an employee revealed that she and other waitresses have to buy their own tights for $5 per pair
TikTok user @kenzjee , who works as a waitress at the restaurant chain, revealed in a January video how Hooters employees get the tights for their uniforms
She demonstrated purchasing the hosiery, which comes in different skin tone colors, from a vending machine in the restaurant bathroom
The TikToker explained that the reason Hooters doesn’t provide the tights for free is because they are considered ‘undergarments,’ so they have to ‘sell them through a third party’
‘People always ask me about our tights machine and I have to buy tights today so I’ll just make a video about it,’ she began in the video, which has now been viewed more than four million times.
In the clip, she inserted a five dollar bill into a vending machine that sold the tights. She then chose the size and skin tone color that she wanted before a pair popped out of the bottom.
The vending machine was made by a company called Peavey Hosiery, which charges $8.49 for the same tights – called Suntan Hosiery – on its website.
In the comment section, the TikToker explained that the reason Hooters doesn’t provide the tights for free is because they are considered ‘undergarments,’ so they have to ‘sell them through a third party company.’
She also revealed that the item of clothing is tax deductible as a work-related expense.
But many commenters still believed that the company should not make their employees pay for the tights if they are required as part of the uniform and blasted them in the comment section.
In a follow-up video, @kenzjee revealed the vending machine is located in the public bathroom in the restaurant, which means that any customer could walk in and buy them if they wanted to
She also explained that because they don’t have a dressing room, the employees are forced to get changed in the public restroom
In a third video, the woman slammed the company uniforms for being ‘so tight and uncomfortable,’ while she struggled to fit into her top due to its small size
‘It’s a company uniform, so company should pay for it…’ wrote one disgruntled viewer. ‘Making money from your employees is a bad business.’
Another TikTok user agreed: ‘They should be provided for free.’
‘If it’s part of your uniform shouldn’t they be free?’ echoed someone else.
A former Hooters employee also chimed in, sharing her dismay. She wrote, ‘These tights are a scam. They tear so easily. I had to buy a new pair every few weeks.’
In a follow-up video, @kenzjee revealed that the vending machine is located in the public bathroom in the restaurant, which means that any customer could walk in and buy them if they wanted to.
‘It is in the normal bathroom but we don’t encourage customers to buy them,’ she explained.
‘They’re here for our convenience so it’s just kind of inconsiderate. One time we had this woman buy 15 pairs of them. It was just really rude.
‘They’re $5 a pair why would you do that if you don’t have to? They’re here for our convenience so we don’t really encourage it but it does happen and we can’t really stop them.’
Commenters voiced that the company should not make their employees pay for the tights, and mercilessly ridiculed them in the comment section
She also explained that because they don’t have a dressing room, the employees are forced to get changed in the public restroom.
‘We are not allowed to leave or enter the building in our uniform, we have to have it covered – so we all bring a change of clothes and we change in here, the public bathroom,’ she said.
‘We don’t have a dressing room or changing room, and we put all of our stuff outside in a little closet in the dining room.’
In a third video, the woman slammed the company uniforms for being ‘so tight and uncomfortable,’ while she struggled to fit into her top due to its small size.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Hooters for comment.
Hooters has come under fire for their uniforms more than once in recent months.
In October, the chain faced backlash when it shared its new uniforms, which included shorts that were so tiny, some people compared them to ‘underwear.’
After facing furious fire, however, Hooters announced that it would allow staff members to ‘choose’ between the new shorts and the older ones, which weren’t as small.
In October, the chain faced backlash when it shared its new uniforms, which included shorts that were so tiny, some people compared them to ‘underwear’
After facing furious fire, however, Hooters announced that it would allow staff members to ‘choose’ between the new shorts and the older ones, which weren’t as small
Spot the difference! Texas-based Hooters Girl Giselle Nguyen, 20, shared a comparison video on her TikTok account, showing off the difference between the old (left) and new (right) shorts
The axed uniforms prompted fury among Hooters Girls, several of whom quickly took to TikTok to express their horror over the new ensembles, while showing off the ‘revealing’ hot pants to their followers.
Hooters’ decision to introduce the derriere-baring hotpants marked a major shift in focus for the infamous ‘breastaurant.’ which was founded by six men in 1983 and quickly built a salacious reputation on hiring ample-chested women who serve customers while modeling cleavage-baring tank tops and T-shirts.
The uniform has always been a major focus for Hooters, which has reportedly told its staff in the past to cover up their behinds in an attempt to maintain an element of modesty and keep the focus of its customers on the workers’ chests.
It may well be that Hooters’ introduction of a new uniform was influenced by a 2017 report, which indicated that the restaurant’s flagging sales may have been to blame – at least in part – on the changing sexual fantasies of millennial men.
At the time, Business Insider reported that ‘millennials are less interested in breasts than their elders’, after adult website Pornhub revealed that people between the ages of 18 and 24 were 19 per cent less likely to search for breasts when seeking X-rated content online than older generations.
In the four years since those figures were released, Hooters’ business has continued to dwindle – and it seems that the company is now trying to nip the issue in the ‘butt’ as it were, courtesy of its new buttock-baring uniforms.
New direction: Kirsten Songer, 22, who has worked for the chain for a year, tried on her old and new shorts in a TikTok video, joking that the updated version ‘no longer covers anything’
While the chain’s traditional uniform did also feature very short shorts, a number of the eatery’s staff members say they always felt comfortable in the designs because their buttocks were completely covered.
On the other hand, the new skin-tight hotpants did quite the opposite courtesy of their very high-cut design, which some staff members went as far as to label ‘pornographic.’
‘So, this is what I’m supposed to be wearing… and I hate it,’ 22-year-old Hooters bartender Kirsten Songer said while modeling her new uniform for her followers.
‘The new black shorts, they do not have a bottom, they have a crotch string. So they sit like this… oh look, a wedgie!
‘There is no longer anything covered by these shorts. And this is what the problem with the new shorts is, this is why all of the Hooters girls are upset. Because this is not what I agreed to wear a year ago when I was hired.’
Kirsten – who earned viral fame in July when she posted a series of videos detailing how she fakes ample cleavage for her job, despite having AA-cup breasts – tried on both her old shorts and her new to make clear the differences in the design, noting that while the original pair could not be considered demure, they covered much more skin that the updated version.
Upset: Some Hooters Girls – including Gracie Herrick – joked that they were temped to quit their jobs after seeing the new uniforms
Barely there: The new shorts feature a very high-cut hemline at the back, which is designed to flash the wearer’s buttocks; all staff members are required to wear tights under their shorts
‘As far as the shorts go, we have orange shorts and we have black shorts,’ she explained. ‘The orange shorts are if you’re waitressing on the floor and they tend to run a little bit bigger.’
The bartender then tried on her old orange shorts while turning around in front of the camera to show off the fit, before then putting on the new design.
In another video, the TikTok-famous Hooters Girl joked that she was tempted to quit her job over the uniform change, explaining in her caption that she ‘had seen [other] TikToks about the shorts’ but was still stunned to discover just how small they really are.
‘I got mine today and this is WILD,’ she wrote, before reassuring her followers: ‘I didn’t actually quit, don’t worry.’
In light of the very public backlash, Hooters soon reversed a policy, saying in a statement to Business Insider: ‘As we continue to listen and update the image of the Hooters Girls, we are clarifying that they have the option to choose from traditional uniforms or the new ones.
‘They can determine which style of shorts best fits their body style and personal image.’