Re:Hooters-Whats going on?
I am an American living in China. In my city of Hangzhou, there are several American and western chains of fast food. Subway (which is over $6 USD for a footlong, too expensive), bunches of KFC's and Starbucks, Pizza Hut's (which is a total head scratcher since Pizza Hut is expensive and sucks) and a few McDonalds.
Saying that, about 5 years ago a Hooter's branch opened. Frankly, I never liked Hooters that much in America. I always thought the concept was a bit degrading for women, and frankly, the menu wasn't anything special. Chicken wings? Even my dumbass knows how to make those. It's not haute cuisine.
But I was interested in what it was like here. It was just about exactly the same, down to the floor plan and the kitchsh. The Chinese girls in those outfits were cute. One minor annoyance was that they were required to do a performance once an hour. Not required in my book, but it creates a "festive" atmosphere. One was required to stand at the door in those shorts when it was winter and cold outside. Places where the staff SHOUTS "Welcome to (Our Company)!!" usually makes me run out the door. Why does management make them do that? They hate to do it, and we the customers hate to hear it.
Didn't have the chicken wings, but I had the hamburger and the steak sandwich, which were both just not good to awful. I chalk that up a lot to hiring local staff, who really do not know how to make the food correctly. That steak sandwich was just a blob of grease, funky meat, a limp bun with some old curly fries next to it. For about 10 USD. Everything in there was expensive, plus a 15% SERVICE FEE.
The branch survived about a year or so, and then went out of business. Hangzhou is near Shanghai, and it does well enough there because of the amount of Westerners to support it. Hangzhou has a smaller expat community, and frankly, the Chinese themselves did not like the food, the prices for mediocre food they were not familiar with, nor the concept. Other places like Subway, KFC, Starbucks have survived and thrived by knowing and catering to the wants and needs of the local customer. Chinese like Subway because of the vegetables, KFC because it is chicken, and also because KFC was very wise to allow different menu items for local tastes (and taking out all the good menu items KFC has), Starbucks for hot drinks (Chinese love tea/coffee houses where they can sit on their butts for hours playing Iphone or reading magazines) Hooters for some odd reason thought an exact store in a city in China would go over like one in Tennessee.
Not to mention that a custodian or guard (after hours, and not by the food) died on their property, after hours. That's some bad ju-ju on the place and it shuttered right after that. Hooters said they will return, but they haven't, and probably never will. Good riddance.