Hooters: An American Institution in Colombia

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Hooters Medellin
Hooters in Parque Lleras
Hooters Medellin
Hooters in Parque Lleras

In honor of July 4th, I’d like to turn the spotlight on a uniquely American restaurant chain known as Hooters, which opened its doors in Medellin three years ago.

Known in the USA for its buxom waitresses, and spicy buffalo wings, it was only a matter of time before the owl and tacky uniforms made their presence known in Colombia.

In July 2010, upon returning to Colombia after a year away, I met up with friends in Parque Lleras, and together, we grabbed dinner and beers at Hooters.

Like the Hard Rock Cafe, if you’ve been to one Hooters, you’ve been to them all.

The standardized menu ensures Americans will get a taste of home, whether it’s the buffalo wings, quesadillas, cheeseburgers, or jalepeno cheese fries.

You can count on a certain, albeit greasy, standard of quality.

Me and a Hooters girl (July 2010)
Me and a Hooters girl (July 2010)

And that certainly goes for the wait staff too, though as my friend Troy likes to say, Medellin has the only Hooters where the guys are more likely to be watching the girls walking by on the sidewalk, then the ones inside serving them.

But what struck me during my foray into Colombian Hooters was the presence of teenage girls.

On the opposite end of the bar from us, there was a large table with a teenage girl celebrating her birthday, along with a dozen of her girlfriends.

I’ve only been to a Hooters once in the USA, so I can’t compare, but the stereotype is that it’s a sports bar where men of all ages go to flirt with the scantily clad girls, who are of course there to rake in as much money in tips as possible every day.

But the clientele is different in Colombia.

In the video below, Naty Gaviria, a Colombian Hooters girl from the Medellin restaurant, wins the title of Miss Hooters World 2010 after the International Swimsuit Pageant July 10, 2010.

If you follow the subtitles in her interview, you’ll see she mentions the fact that families go to Hooters for birthdays, and to spend time around the Hooters girls.

Below is the casting event to choose Miss Hooters Colombia 2010.

Do you think it’s strange for young girls and families to be hanging out at Hooters? Or is that common at all Hooters restaurants  Share your thoughts in the Comments below.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. I am sure the deep fried pickles are as salty as in Canada and the girls are hotter. But come on David–recycling articles from 2010?? How about a review of some massage places in Medellin?? 😉

    • Hi Jay, I never wrote about my trip to Hooters in 2010, so I’m not recycling it, just trying to fill in the blanks a few years later.

      Don’t hold your breath on the massage parlors, this is the wrong site for that kind of intel.

  2. Obviously you have never been to a Hooters in the USA (You say one time so must have been a late night). Hooters is billed as and is a “Family” Restaurant. Yes the uniform is designed to attract attention. But the restaurant is a good place for all types before late night. Hooters in Colombia (I have been to the one in Medellin) is very much the same as in the USA.

    • Actually, the one time I went in the US was no later than dinner time, and it was with my dad and brother (I believe we were on a road trip, and it was dad’s idea). But we’d never have stopped there if my mom were with us.

      Thanks for filling me in. I still find it hard to believe it’s a “family” restaurant on par with more PG-rated places like Friendly’s or TGIFridays.

      But from a marketing standpoint, it makes a lot of sense, so I give them credit.

  3. Holly sh*t! Can’t believe it son, this girl looks like the one I’ve met in Bogota through Colombian Cupid!!!
    She’s from Medellin and worked as well in the Hard Rock Restaurant…who know’s???
    You don’t remember her name do you?

  4. The prices are expensive – three times what Hooters is in the states. The girls are not as attractive as in this article (they were years ago) and the place isn’t as clean as it once was. Really a shame. 26,000 COP for a pitcher of the local cheap Pilsen when you can get the same pitcher at the Medellin Beer Factory for half price. Same deal on the wings (2 to 3 times more than other restaurants). Such a shame..