Hooters worker attacks chain for paying her just $2 an hour: ‘We are not just waitresses but entertainers’

Waitress highlights multi-million gap between profits and her own pay ahead of strike

Gino Spocchia
Monday 11 October 2021 13:28 BST
A Hooters employee has used TikTok to call for higher wages
A Hooters employee has used TikTok to call for higher wages (TikTok/@nochurchservice)
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A waitress has used TikTok to call for higher wages and tips from Hooters, who infamously use “Hooters Girls” to wait on and entertain diners.

In a video uploaded on 19 September, a Hooters waitress known as “Rose” asked for a $8 (£5.80) hourly wage with a mandatory share of tips because she saw that her employer had made $500m (£366m) last year.

Hooters is thought to pay “Hooters Girls” roughly $5 (£3.67) per hour, although according to Glassdoor this ranges between $2 (£1.47) and $10 (£7.34) per hour.

All but five US states, meanwhile, have their own minimum wage and it is not federally mandated. The states that do not use minimum wages are Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Highlighting the gap between Hooters’s profits and her own hourly wage, “Rose” argued in her TikTok that “Hooters Girls” were the “main attraction” but got $2.13 (£1.56) an hour. It was not clear where she worked in the US.

She wrote in a text overlay: “Hey Hooters!” I saw you made a profit of 500 million this year! And between 100 million-500 mill average every other year. And that’s super cool! But the girls, who who are your main attraction make 2.13 an hour and rely on tips.”

“Rose” went on to say that, “in our guides you say ‘we are not just waitresses but entertainers’ and we bus and set up for opening and closing, for basically free, so lets talk”.

She added in the comments to the video that “a lot of you forget, your make up has to be done, hair done, new shoes and tights and uniforms any time something happens. Paying us $8 an hour is fair”.

The TikTok has has since been viewed 363,000 times and received more than a thousand comments from TikTok users who supported “Rose’s” calls for a higher wage.

Hooters has plans to expand its “Hoot” spin-offs, which allegedly earn $50m annually. That is on top of annual earnings of between $100 and $500m for Hooters itself, according to Inc Fact.

The CEO of Hooters, meanwhile, told Business Insider that trade was better than in 2020 and almost at pre-Covid levels in August.

Democrats in Congress have been calling for a higher minimum wage at the federal level, however eight members of their own party and all 50 Republicans in the US Senate rejected a $15 minimum wage in March.

“Rose” added on Sunday that there was a minimum wage strike in North Carolina on 15 October.

The Independent has approached Hooters for comment.

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