Hooters to open first Japan restaurant in Tokyo on Oct 25

TOKYO —

Japan’s first Hooters restaurant will open at Tokyu Plaza by Akasakamitsuke subway station on Oct 25 after nearly five years of negotiations between Hooters Japan and the company’s head office in Atlanta.

Hooters Japan COO Mitsuo Tanabe said the brand’s logo, uniform, menu and ambiance will be the same as back in the U.S., as will the menu of seafood, sandwiches, salads and spicy chicken wings. 

As for the famous Hooter girls, Tanabe said the company was not emphasizing the overt sex appeal of the girls, although, “of course, we expect lots of guys to come here to see the girls. It’s not the image of Hooters that we want,” he said. “Instead, we want to emphasize the restaurant’s qualities as being healthy, friendly and hospitable.”

Nearly 400 girls applied for the job and 40 were selected, including 10 foreign girls. One Japanese waitress will be selected to represent Hooters Japan at next summer’s Miss Hooters World Contest in Florida.

Tanabe said Hooters plans to open one store a year in Japan until they have 10. “Somewhere like Ginza or Shinagawa would be good. Roppongi is not at the top of our list. We don’t want to be on the main Roppongi street because then the restaurant runs the risk of attracting the wrong sort of people off the streets. We have to think of the girls’ safety,” Tanabe said. 

  • 0

    some14some

    Hope prices will be reasonable and people won't call it looters restaurant !

  • 0

    Gurukun

    It’s not the image of Hooters that we want,” he said. “Instead, we want to emphasize the restaurant’s qualities as being healthy, friendly and hospitable.”

    Maybe that's why it took 7 years to close the deal...

  • 0

    EbiChiri

    Great news ! Finally another half-decent western food joint I can go to where you can have eye-candy while you eat and waitresses who actually acknowledge you as a human being.

  • 0

    xpompey8

    Seven years of negotiations, now that's what I call persistance! But who's really thinking of "healthy, friendly, and hospitable" when dining at Hooters?

  • 0

    stevecpfc

    I dont even know about these Hooters business. Doesn`t sound like the type of place i would take my relatives to at the weekend.

  • 0

    jinjapan

    looks as if i'll be heading to tokyo next week :-)

  • 0

    ironchef

    Awesome! Spent much time in many Hooters back in the US. Relax people, the waitresses here don't dress any less revealing than the girls here in Tokyo with their miniskirts and 15cm platform stripper shoes.

    They want to keep themenu and ambiance the same-- how about keeping the prices the same as in the US. I don't want to pay 1500 yen for 6 wings

  • 0

    namabiru4me

    I want to see the 40 before I commit.

  • 0

    paulinusa

    stevepfc: Hooters restaurants are family and couple friendly. In fact, if you bring your kids the Hooters' gals will keep them amused. I always wondered why Japan never had a Hooters, what with popularity of cosplay.

    Moderator: JT will publish a much longer story on Hooters Japan in the Executive Impact section next Monday.

  • 0

    paulinusa

    The Japanese guys are going to eat this up!

  • 0

    Weasel

    the company was not emphasizing the overt sex appeal of the girls

    Just emphasizing the overt appeal of their chicken wings to the public. Nothing wrong with that.

  • 0

    pathat

    They should have only Japanese waitresses. Foreigners should not be allowed.

  • 0

    paulinusa

    pathat: Foreign waitresses are there to appeal to Japanese men.

  • 0

    ben4short

    And why not, pathat?

  • 0

    my2sense

    This was on my desk in late 2007 and I dealt with Atlanta a few times. Both sides were hesitant to do business. I was going to go for it myself but they wanted over a million USD just to talk and then the franchise fees were insane with the red tape on the Japanese side. Good idea not putting one in Roppongi (Roppongi sucks anyway now). Japanese businessmen who like greasy wings, sports and boobs will pay off. BTW, put one outside every US base and that should slow them down a bit and let em pay in dollars... Cheers and high five to the dude that judged the 400 sets of hooters and cute faces. I will surely check it out and get my fake "Playboy Scout" meishi card ready.... hehehe.

  • 0

    Frungy

    I actually saw the sign outside the restaurant when I was in Tokyo last, but was too busy at the time to get a closer look. It's actually not "by Akasakamitsuke subway station", that description is misleading. It's mid-way between Akasakamitsuke and Yotsuya, possibly even closer to Yotsuya than Akasakamitsuke.

    Moderator: Incorrect. It is almost on top of Akasakamitsuke Station (where Royal Host used to be), and nowhere near Yotsuya.

  • 0

    elbudamexicano

    I do hope they have HUGE hooters, I hate it when Japanese say oh she is suge kyonyu, (she has awesome hooters) but you say to yourself, god, these poor folk have no idea what are really gigantic breasts. I hope JT also starts to give us some nice PICTURES, many many PICTURES, my imagination is on FULL SPEED but you know it would be nice if JT uploaded some nice color pictures of these new girls that will work for the first HOOTERS Japan. God bless all the hooters restaurants all around the world!ps, pathat is way off the mark, small j hooters will only RUIN the real meaning of HOOTERS!!!

  • 0

    paulinusa

    elbuda: Not all the women will have large boobs. Although their figure is part of the selection process, their personality is equally important. They are required to always be cheerful and friendly. You won't find a Hooter's waitress with a bad attitude.

  • 0

    Debucho

    let's be real. hooters in American slang means boobs. that is exactly what they are selling.

    dont be naive. I have no problem with selling eye candy boobs with you food, but let's not start the euphemistic "its not sex appeal we are selling" richeaous BS talk... please just stop it.

  • 0

    sourpuss

    the original restaurant was in the Grand Tetons.

  • 0

    paulinusa

    Debucho:People do go for the wings (and yes, sex appeal). Bet you've never been to a Hooters.

  • 0

    genji17

    Hooters...the American version of Kabakura!! Sadly last time I went to a hooters in the states, our server had 2 black eyes...not sure what that means. Anyway this should be interesting and get some buffalo wings is a plus. Hopefully its not at the outragous prices like Fridays.

  • 0

    kokorocloud

    ...Ew.

  • 0

    cactusJack

    In the USA, customers tip the Hooters girls pretty good, but in Japan, tipping is not the custom, so it looks like the base salary of these girls is gonna be pretty high, rent of course will be high, therefore costs will be high, therefore the prices for food and drinks will be most likely be utterly insane. Customers will have to write these mammalian protuberances off as a "business lunch".

  • 0

    smodgy

    I imagine the menu will be just like TGIF...not healthy at all! lets hope th girls make up for that.

  • 0

    paulinusa

    pamalot: There has been Hooters' restaurants in Shanghai(2), Beijing, Singapore, Taipei and Seoul(2) for years.

  • 0

    paulinusa

    "Bee stings are not hooters"

    Are the women in those other Asian countries known for their big busts?

  • 0

    hoserfella

    Roppongi is not at the top of our list. We don’t want to be on the main Roppongi street because then the restaurant runs the risk of attracting the wrong sort of people off the streets. We have to think of the girls’ safety,” Tanabe said

    Am I the only one who caught this little nugget? In other words; "Drunken foreigners will surely come here to rape and pillage"

  • 0

    mackemack

    Seafood sandwiches... Doesn't the bread go soggy?

  • 0

    bicultural

    I saw this news on TV last week. They had a line-up of about 5 girls for the interview. They didn't look quite Japanese, kind of like your typical "Asian-American." They used English greetings as well. Don't know how well they actually speak. And they were quite ... well-proportioned.

  • 0

    Beelzebub

    The last Hooters I went to was in Pudong, Shanghai, and seated at the table beside me was a family of Muslims, including several women in hijabs. Go and figure....

  • 0

    Debucho

    Bet you've never been to a Hooters

    I have been there many times. It is good food with a boob concept. Let's not kid ourselves

  • 0

    american_bengoshi

    hosefella: I think he means to say that a Roppongi location would attract unwanted Nigerian and other African criminals along with foreign and Japanese rapists, pimps, scam artists, drug addicts, etc.

  • 0

    Gurukun

    american bengoshi-and me (^^)y

  • 0

    swingaway

    Ahh~, folks, it's just clean, healthy fun! No grabbing, just ogling. Wait, we do that at the beach too. Most people will be going to Hooter's for the breasts(chicken)and legs(crab)... Wish I was the hiring manager!

  • 0

    mrsynik

    Are the women in those other Asian countries known for their big busts?

    The Phillippines & India would be worth researching. Worst case, some Bangkok ladyboys would have the required qualifications.

  • 0

    redsac

    Hooters sucks

  • 0

    combinibento

    I for one will make a visit during its first week open. I used to go to Hooters for lunch back in the US and loved it. Quite reasonable, games on the TVs, and of course friendly, voluptuous girls. One can only hope that they bring the Bleu Cheese Burger over here as well...

  • 0

    bobbafett

    Don't think I will make the special trip from Osaka to see girls dress the same was they do in the street.

  • 0

    kawachi

    @sourpuss: That's a good one! The best I've seen in a long time here on JT. I wonder if their dessert menu will be heavy on the melon items?

  • 0

    gogogo

    Tanabe said the company was not emphasizing the overt sex appeal of the girls,

    Yeah right, take a look at the Japanese website

  • 0

    mrskit

    wow,,,,,,, another youre allowed to look but not touch,,,more stress for the already sexually deprived salary men in Japan ! ha ha

  • 0

    Sarge

    "We don't want to be on the main Roppongi Street ( Roppongi Dori or Higashi Gaien Dori ) because then the restaurant runs the risk of attracting the wrong sort of people off the streets"

    Well, then, open it on one of the many side streets, LOL.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    Or even better avoid Roppongi all-together, plenty of other good spots where they cpould make a killing.

  • 0

    TheBigRiceBowl

    The food is good bar food, and they don't choose ugly servers which is nice. That's really about it. I never found it to be a "boob fest", or "look but don't touch" or anything like that. Attractive women in shorts and t-shirts. The company plays it up with the "pun" in the company name, but honestly, once you go in there, you don't feel like you are in some oogling arena full of lusty, drooling goons. It's good competition for The Hard Rock Cafe.

  • 0

    paulinusa

    When someone is celebrating a birthday, the waitresses sing a special Hooters' birthday song while you stand on your chair. It varies from reataurant to restaurant, but sometimes you are forced to sing or dance while up there(and look very foolish). A very funny bit.

  • 0

    hoserfella

    american bengoshi - that was basically my point. Be wary of the scary foreigners who won't possibly be able to control themselves when presented with a Hooters girl.

  • 0

    paulinusa

    horsefella: Well Hooters restaurants are already in something like 26(?) countries, so maybe this is only a reflection on local attitudes. I don't know.

  • 0

    TheTim

    I'm not overly enthusiastic about this prospect. In particular the 10 foreign girls. If I see one tip cup, I'm gone! Even the Japanese girls who speak good English are much different than the average Japanese waitress. ie, not near as friendly from what I've found as their time in the U.S., Canada, or the UK commonwealth has typically played with their mind for the worse.

  • 0

    hoserfella

    paulinusa - It's the same as if a Hooter's manager in the states says he's avoiding, say, a black neighborhood. I've re-read that statement a few times now and still can't interpret it any other way.

  • 0

    Eyeblack

    Will it be non-smoking?

    Moderator: No.

  • 0

    RobertCB

    If not to see large breasted women why would one go to hooters? lol, Probably why I've never been to a hooters, but saying it isn't about the breasts is kind of like saying Disney isn't about the mouse.

  • 0

    kaatosan

    Who needs this? It's just another TGIFridays and lowers the bar even more.

  • 0

    Osakadaz

    Think I will keep going to Juso music instead.

  • 0

    mrsynik

    Does the band 'The Hooters' ever do gigs at 'Hooters'?

  • 0

    Eyeblack

    “Instead, we want to emphasize the restaurant’s qualities as being healthy, friendly and hospitable.”

    How can it be healthy if smoking is allowed? Lies, all lies.

  • 0

    yokomoc

    pathat:

    They should have only Japanese waitresses. Foreigners should not be allowed.

    A Japanese-only restaurant called Hooters would surely be breaking trade descriptions. If it was IHOP that would be spot on :)

  • 0

    peachy871

    hoserfella...he does have a good point though, and they are wise to avoid Roppongi. Trust me, if you were a gal hired to work at Hooters, and there were a Roppongi branch, you would probably wouldn't want to be working at that one. I love Roppongi, I love going out in Roppongi, and that area is no place for a Hooters restaurant. They have very valid reasons to avoid opening there. And yeah, we foreigners are the biggest problem .

  • 0

    Ranger_Miffy

    Great. " It’s not the image of Hooters that we want," Right. Then either don't call it Hooters or make owls the mascot. And, SMOKING. No respect for the women working there, or the food, or the lungs and safety of all humans in the place. I hate cancer clouds in my food, don't you? And, another sexist place. There will be WOMEN working there, not "girls". And, with so many hostess club, why would a man go to a place where everyone has to be so chaste. And, just why is this a good idea? Probably just more junk MacFood that is wrecking health and planet. Sorry. I am so unconvinced of this place invading Tokyo. Let the flames fire up. Good night.

  • 0

    hoserfella

    peachy, Horseradish. Ive been to "The Pong" more times than I can count, and while there are shady characters, getting hassled by a few Nigerian touts etc. is the least of my worries. Its about as dangerous as a Sunday morning church service. I stand by my assertion.

  • 0

    the_sicilian

    I have said for a long time that a Hooters down here in Okinawa would make a killing. With chicken available locally, a lot of Americans, a lot of Japanese tourists, it would be great. I just don't have the start-up capital.

    I hope it works up in Tokyo.

  • 0

    the_sicilian

    And the only people that complain about Hooters are women that are insecure. Those that are very secure in themselves (ie. have self confidence in themselves as women) don't think it's a big deal. They say, "Where's the companion restaurant for women called Peckers?"

  • 0

    bontakun

    And American culture makes another foray into Japan... just the kind I wanted (/sarcasm)

  • 0

    MisterCreosote

    Suh-weet.

  • 0

    bobbafett

    Think I will keep going to Juso music instead.

    You'd be lucky to be given a hoot about in there rather than seeing any hooters. A fake hoot maybe, but not a full beam hooter anywhere.

  • 0

    genkimark

    Why did it take them 7 years to negotiate??!!

  • 0

    Raymasaki

    im Surprized Japan didn't have one yet BUT Yeah im all for it. even some Foreign Girls thats what some JP Men like. its Not only "Big Hooters" because ive been to some in the US & some of the Girls were not "Huge" But the tight Orange shorts :)

  • 0

    XXXXX

    there's always a \catch/ Can somebody explain this b*ll

  • 0

    XXXXX

    they should open a Hooters for women

  • 0

    paulinusa

    xxxxx: You would be surprised at the amount of couples and parties of men AND women who go to Hooters.

  • 0

    tenguleavings

    So, a company named "Hooters Japan" fought a seven-year-long legal battle with the American head office, even though there were actually no Hooters in Japan (yet)? There's some optimism for you.

    I agree with the sicilian--the people who complain the loudest are really just airing out their own hangups. My wife and I have gone many times without any kind of battle of the sexes erupting--at the core, it's a restaurant, so shut up and eat.

    I did have the pleasure of visiting once while a table full of Japanese salaryman types were there, a fat column of smoke rising up to the ceiling in a perfect carcinogenic column. Not sure if they even ate anything, but they did seem to enjoy their interactions with the waitress. Perhaps they viewed it as a much, much cheaper hostess club?

  • 0

    XXXXX

    paulinusa: that is fine, but you know how it is in Japan, everything by group - the group mentality; vending machines soon will be able to tell you what to buy according to your age and sex?? Ha. Btw the /catch/ is the last paragraph. Something like playing with fire and not wanting to burn..

  • 0

    XXXXX

    b/c they know that's inviting some trouble since they're not used to it here. 'we' japanese. ack

  • 0

    XXXXX

    Besides...why not cater to women? Or will they need to be married or accompanied by a male? I don't see many guys wishing to go to a Hooters designed for women. And I don't see many Japanese women (married or single or whatever) wishing to go to Hooters as is. Maybe it's a married couple thing on other parts. Think it will be the same here? toughie

  • 0

    XXXXX

    You would be surprised at the amount of couples and parties of men AND women who go to Hooters.

    Clever. This is just fine for you guys to say b/c you're being catered. La-dee-da. I wouldn't go to Hooters, much less to see boobies (plenty of my own, thank you) but if they had a place (and not those strip clubs) with attractive males serving women...I'd think about it.

  • 0

    pandaclair

    “Instead, we want to emphasize the restaurant’s qualities as being healthy, friendly and hospitable.”

    Really? Friendly and hospitable I understand, but healthy? Last I checked, mounds of sauce-covered chicken wings weren't part of a balanced diet

    Tanabe said Hooters plans to open one store a year in Japan until they have 10. “Somewhere like Ginza or Shinagawa would be good. Roppongi is not at the top of our list. We don’t want to be on the main Roppongi street because then the restaurant runs the risk of attracting the wrong sort of people off the streets. We have to think of the girls’ safety,” Tanabe said.

    I'm sorry, but I really hope they don't open one in Ginza. I don't have anything really against Hooters. If women want to take advantage of men's generosity by wearing short-shorts and serving them beer and wings, more power to them, but it's not exactly a classy place. If I want to go to cheap chain restaurant for American food and culture, I'll go to Roppongi or Shibuya. Ginza is my escape from that!

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    Why does this even become a news in Japan? Hooters are nothing special except girls in provocative uniforms. Big boobs, cute butts.. that's just about it. How about Hooter boys with cute butts, and wide chests? LOL!

  • 0

    tokyotom

    will hooters airline get a landing pass at Haneda? that's how you cross-promote!

  • 0

    Frungy

    XXXXX at 01:13 AM JST - 22nd October paulinusa: that is fine, but you know how it is in Japan, everything by group - the group mentality; vending machines soon will be able to tell you what to buy according to your age and sex?? Ha. Btw the /catch/ is the last paragraph. Something like playing with fire and not wanting to burn..

    ... what, you mean like "niche marketing", a decidedly Western habit? It's not just Japan XXXXX, it's everywhere in the world. Most people find the little boxes they're put in quite comfortable, that's why it works.

  • 0

    zentraedi

    Don't expect to find any hotties there. Was watching this on TV the other night with my girlfriend. After they introduced the girls, we were both like "ブス、ブス、ブス".

    She then asked me if the girls were actually supposed to be attractive at Hooters in the US.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    I'd love to.... for the chicken wings, of course! :)

  • 0

    elbudamexicano

    I was in Akasaka Misuke yesterday, and low and behold, HUGE HOOTERS, I mean, the sign for the HOOTERS new restaurant was really huge, and so were the hooters but so was her face, and there seemed to be a lot of Japanese dudes from newspapers etc..milling around outside.

  • 0

    tokyocrawler

    i thought they couldnt open a hooters store in Japan for so many years because there were no girls with big enough jugs to hire.....but finally, are we in luck???

  • 0

    talking2U

    You are partly correct. Such girls simply have better job opportunities. They do exist. I know.

  • 0

    TimRussert

    In some ways this is the biggest news of the month, of the year maybe.

  • 0

    LuckyLangers

    Awesome. Someone grab me my thong!

  • 0

    Farmboy

    "the company was not emphasizing the overt sex appeal of the girls"

    Ummm...you have a place called "Hooters," but it's not about sex appeal. Perhaps it's a place to discuss the barn owls of the Miocene period?

  • 0

    lostrune2

    Our nearest Hooters here is only a few hundred meters away just across the large public park. It was the first Hooters in the wide area when it opened a long couple decades ago. Suffice to say, it has already been well-visited by us over the years. Go there for food and sports (hope Japan has good sports to watch all year round). There's also that one time when a friend and I were the only ones in the smoking section (he smokes, I don't), so the lonely waitress serving that section sat down with us for company, haha!

  • 0

    presto345

    delightfully tacky yet unrefined

    Exactly.

  • 0

    hurryharry

    ....music to my ears...

  • 0

    mindovermatter

    As for the famous Hooter girls, Tanabe said the company was not emphasizing the overt sex appeal of the girls,

    Yea.... Right... No need for that...

    Why go to a restaurant to see women scantly clad young women, when you can just go to the office...?

  • 0

    elbudamexicano

    God I love big Hooters! It will open in just a few HOURS!!!

  • 0

    Mark_McCracken

    “Instead, we want to emphasize the restaurant’s qualities as being healthy, friendly and hospitable.”

    Not delicious?

  • 0

    dokshinshatcho

    yeah right .."we want to emphasize the restaurants qualities " ...sure

  • 0

    limboinjapan

    I really don't have time to customize my post to all those who have made silly comments, so I will make it more general.

    Some have said it is sexist others its not for Japan.

    Well I have never been to a maid cafe but as far as I have been told most of the girls there refer to the male clients as "master" I don't think there will be any of that at Hooters and I suspect at least the food will be edible as from what I have read and heard most of these ,maid cafe are not.

    Having been here a long time I still remember "Anna Miller's アンナミラーズ" do a quick search in Japanese and it was all about the generally large chested waitress and the uniform but the cheese cake and food were great, the girls were nice and friendly but I miss the Chicken in a basket the T-bone steaks and most of all the key lime pie and 24 hr Breakfast!

    So for all those complaining get of your high horse and look around in Japan there are far worse places than Hooters.

  • 0

    tokyoguy719

    Went to Hooters today for lunch with one of my co-workers. The atmosphere was ok. We had a really cute Japanese waitress named Tomoyo! Menu was is extremely limited and over priced. I had a cobb salad, 5 chicken wings and oolong tea (3,025 Yen). My co-worker had a burger, 5 wings and coke (3,025 Yen). Grand total = (6,050 Yen)=($74.41). In my opinion I dont think that the Hooters brand will last long in Japan unless they make some changes. I think Hooters Japan Franchise has to open 10 branches in the next couple of years. I cant see Hooters begin successful in Japan because their main customer base are Japanese salary men & women. This place is too expensive for salary person. They may go one or two times, but after the new car smell and theme wears off, Japanese will see IZAKAYAS and Kompas as a more economical and comfortable(culturally)way to have fun. Anyone who has lived in Japan long enough to understand the culture would agree I think. I dont think they can sustain enough repeat customers.

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