Some restaurant chains are famous for their food. Others for their service. Still, others are more infamous for the terrible treatment of employees.
But Florida-based Hooters is famous for entertainment, and that means big-screen sports and revealingly dressed Hooters Girls.
But there’s more to working at Hooters than being a Hooters Girl. There are other positions both in the ‘house’ and in the back, and as a large international chain. Hooters has very detailed and extensive rules for how to run their restaurants. This can be a good thing if you like clarity and transparency.
So how old do you have to be to work at Hooters?
You’ll see that it depends on the job you’ll be doing.
Different Jobs Available at Hooters
While the famous or perhaps infamous Hooters Girls are well-known the world over, this isn’t the only position available at the restaurants by far. You can also work as a host or hostess, a “To-Go” (Hooter’s name for someone who takes food and drink orders), or in the kitchen.
Let’s take a look at each of these positions in detail and talk about how old you have to be, what wages you make, and what their roles are.
If I didn’t start with this job, it would be like talking about all the people who make The Oprah Winfrey Show without mentioning Oprah herself! Despite the excuses some people give for hanging at Hooters, you know, good chicken wings, big-screen TVs, Hooters Girls are the main attraction.
Their job is to entertain and serve customers, to be friendly and chatty, and to sit at tables with them. If this sounds like a “hostess bar” concept to you, then you’re honestly not very far off.
Entertainers, not servers…
The concept of the attractive Hooter’s Girl seems to defy employment laws. Don’t they restrict businesses from hiring people based on their looks? Well, yes and no. While there are laws to protect workers from discrimination, Hooter’s Girls are hired as entertainers and not as servers. Like models and dancers, this allows Hooters to only hire fit and attractive women for this position.
Hooters Girls have to have their hair and make-up done and wear a tight shirt with short shorts (which recently got even shorter!). They can be penalized for gaining weight or not being made up enough. As entertainers, Hooters Girls are meant to rotate around the restaurant so that each table is visited by at least three of them during their stay.
They have to be friendly and be able to work up conversations with customers of all sorts.
More Than One Type of Hooters Girl?
There are two types of Hooters Girls: on-the-floor and behind-the-bar. Although they’re not advertised this way, these are waitress and bartender positions. However, the behind-the-bar position is only given to exceptional Hooters Girls who have proven themselves in the on-the-floor position where they all start off.
Minimum Age: 18 years old (because they serve alcohol)
Wages: $3-5 per hour plus tips (normally averaging $20/hour)
Requirements: You have to have a bubbly, fun personality and be beautiful (whatever that means) and fit.
Hosts / Hostesses
When you arrive at a Hooters restaurant, the first person you’ll meet is the host or hostess. Yes, they do sometimes hire hosts! Their job is to take reservations, manage the house, keep track of tables, and seat customers.
To ensure that the Hooters Girls don’t have too many tables to entertain, they have to keep strict track of the number of tables they can seat at a time. They also manage things like music volume, lighting, and TV channels to maintain the right atmosphere in the restaurant.
A good head for management…
Hosts and hostesses can work long shifts on their feet. The job also requires a friendly, outgoing personality and a good head for management. While the appearance restrictions don’t apply to this position, hosts and hostesses are expected to be neatly presented at all times.
Minimum Age: 18 years old
Wages: $8-$13 per hour (average $9 per hour)
Requirements: Friendly personality, professional attitude, neat appearance, and good management skills. Previous experience is an asset.
The name of this position may be unfamiliar, but it makes a lot of sense. People in this role are responsible for taking and filling “to-go” or “takeout” orders over the phone. Through the Hooters online app, delivery services, and walk-in customers. While the hosts/hostesses and Hooters Girls are busy with in-house customers, To-Gos handle all other orders.
To-Gos still need to be friendly, personable, and out-going as they will handle orders from walk-in customers and also take orders over the phone. But they also need to be highly organized and at least tech-savvy enough to handle multiple apps for online orders.
However, since they only handle food and sometimes merchandise orders and don’t serve alcohol, you only have to be 17 years old to work in this position at Hooters.
Minimum Age: 17 years old
Wages: $9-$11 per hour (average $9 per hour)
Requirements: Good communication skills, friendly personality, and great organizational skills. Previous experience is an asset.
Of course, there are jobs in the Hooters kitchen as well. Kitchen staff are responsible for receiving orders from the floor and preparing food. You’re required to wear a Hooters Kitchen worker’s uniform and maintain a high level of hygiene and food quality.
Minimum Age: 18
Wages: $9-$16 per hour ($11 per hour average)
Requirements: Cleanliness and personal hygiene, good teamwork, and food prep skills. Previous kitchen experience is an asset.
If neither front-of-house nor the kitchen is for you, there’s still one option available to you to work at Hooters. The Cleaning Crew here is, of course, in charge of keeping the premises clean at all times, whether while the restaurant is open or before and after operating hours. This also includes washing dishes and stocking waiter stations.
As this is an entry-level job, though, the wages are the lowest in the restaurant.
Minimum Age: 18 (because you may handle alcohol)
Wages: $5-$7 per hour
Requirements: Strong work ethic and the ability to do physical work.
Other positions at Hooters include Restaurant managers, Regional Managers, Online Marketing Specialists, Training Specialists, and more. These are all more senior positions that require a lot of professional experience and credentials, so the minimum age isn’t an issue.
Working as a Hooters Girl!
Since the Hooters Girl has basically become the brand icon of this restaurant chain, there’s a bit more to say about this position. It has its perks but also some serious challenges.
Perks include good tips and free meals on every shift as long as you order healthy food befitting of a woman managing her waistline. If not, less-healthy options are only discounted or even, like French fries, full price.
You also have to maintain yourself well. The restaurant uses the loophole of hiring Hooters Girls as entertainers, and for this reason, they can tell you how to do your hair and make-up and also even penalize you for gaining weight. The iconic Hooters Girl uniform (short shorts and a tank top) is tight and revealing, and no muffin-topping is allowed.
There are other weird quirks of the job. For example, there are strict rules about wearing your uniform anywhere outside of the restaurant – you can’t – it has to be covered up. You also are not allowed a phone at all while on your shift. You can’t even carry it in your pouch, and it’s not going to squeeze into a pocket of those shorts.
Dancing and dress up…
In training, Hooters Girls also learn choreographed dances. When certain songs come on over the restaurant sound system, you’re expected to drop everything and get out on the floor to dance. How weird is that?
There are also monthly theme nights where you’ll be expected to dress up not in your uniform but in a similarly enticing themed costume. By the way, the costumes are at your own expense, too. Pirates, football, Christmas are just a few examples of the themes.
Here’s What The Official Hooters Website Says about Hooters Girls:
“A Hooters Girl must appear to live a healthy, active lifestyle and be captivating to all who visit Hooters restaurants. A Hooters Girl is approachable, attentive, and upbeat, taking care of the needs of guests as she socially engages them, entertaining each individual guest at the front door and/or on the floor.
A Hooters Girl is knowledgeable about the menu items and merchandise. She ensures that only the very highest quality food and drinks are served to guests and is a positive representative of the brand. A Hooters Girl should embrace the company’s core values of Show You Care, Respect Everyone, Elevate the Spirit, Value Feedback, and Exceed Expectations.”
There’s a corporate culture statement if I’ve ever seen one!
Additional Restaurant Opportunities
Firstly, for alternative part-time jobs, check out my 20 Part Time Jobs That Pay More Than 20 Per Hour, 15 Part Time Jobs That Pay More Than 40 Per Hour, and the Best Jobs For College Students or even the Best Times Of Year To Apply For Jobs.
Next, to decide which position you’re best suited for are my Waitress Job Description, Bar Manager Job Description, Assistant Restaurant Manager Job Description, and my Restaurant General Manager Job Description in 2023.
I’ve put together a diverse selection of restaurants to choose from, such as my Tim Hortons Application, Marcos Pizza Application, Qdoba Application, or how about my Long John Silvers Application, Jacks Family Application, Red Lobster Application, and Blaze Pizza Application.
We also have applications along with their interview guides; take a look at our Zaxbys Application and Zaxbys Interview Questions, Arbys Application, and Arbys Interview Questions, or what about our Jack In The Box Application and Jack In The Box Interview Questions, and Chilis Application and Chilis Interview Questions.
To summarize, for most positions, you have to be 18, or 17 at minimum. Be aware that in some states, the age for serving alcohol is 21. So the age you can work at Hooters will be the same.
Whether you’re going to try for a Hooters Girl position, Host or Hostess, To-Go, Kitchen Staff, or Cleaning Crew, there are many jobs for teenagers at the Hooters restaurant chain.
If you think this is the sort of climate you’d be happy working in, here’s the most important tip. To get a job at Hooters: they care more about your personality than your experience or training.
All the very best becoming a Hooters Girl!