Rarely are American exports purely material. For example, when an outpost of the Clearwater-born Hooters chain opens overseas, it brings with it far more than just fried chicken wings and steak quesadillas—it introduces a little bit of the Central Florida Gulf Coast lifestyle to that corner of the world.
Philosopher Edward Said would call this "cultural imperialism" and view it as an example of centuries-old Western encroachment. But would he say that after tasting Hooters' Daytona Beach Style wings? This we may never know, but thanks to Yelp, we do know what hundreds of patrons at far-off Hooters locations think of America's most popular Breastaurant.
Some of these review excerpts come from locals, while others are from Americans abroad. Together, they form a patchwork quilt of the Hooters Global Community, a quilt that has been deep-fried and smothered in delicious Buffalo sauce.
“I acknowledge you can't get key limes in Australia but this pie was just not right ... it wasn't bad, but it wasn't key lime pie, and marketing it as such was wrong, and explaining the difference by saying it's 'Australian' key lime pie is wrong. It was misleading for them to put a photo of the 'real' key lime pie on the menu when the reality was totally different. Fortunately, the manager took it off our bill.”
—Three Star Review. Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.
“The waitresses of course wear skimpier outfits than your average waitress and I'm ok with that. I find my eyes tend to move downwards though after the waitress takes my order and leaves as I find they show more butt than breasts. Plus, there's no way I'm getting caught looking at her hooters when she's taking my order. I think that's why a lot of guys wear ball caps when they eat here.”
—Three Star Review. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
3. CZECH REPUBLIC
“As a rule, Hooters is not the first stop I make when I am traveling, but this restaurant was just down from my room so I thought I would stop in for a drink before exploring the rest of the city … It was a choice that I certainly do not regret ...
"It is the same feeling of comfort a tourist gets when he/she steps into a McDonalds without any guilt brought on by the shame of scarfing down a Big Mac in the face of superior local options. No, the fare at this Hooters provides all of the nostalgia of home with a sense that at least it's wholesome and unprocessed.”
—Five Star Review. Prague, Czech Republic.
“Our visit to Frankfurt Hooters … well, wasn't so grand. When we first arrived they actually had a male server (with a moustache!!!).”
—Two Star Review. Frankfurt, Germany.
“I guess since you don't tip in Japan, none of them sit to talk to you but is more like a normal restaurant."
—Four Star Review. Ginza, Tokyo, Japan.
“They also have special Hooters Japan memorabilia for purchase, like Hello Kitty plushies in Hooters uniform. If that's your thing. Real cool!”
—Five Star Review. Chiyoda, Japan.
“We were sick of tacos and Mexican food so we came here for a meal. We wanted boneless wings but the waitress messed up our order and gave us regular wings. We were hungry so we didn't complain and ate them anyways.”
—Two Star Review. Cancun, Mexico.
“The servers also seem to organize dances where they all get together and strut their stuff to a song of their choice every hour or so. Muy caliente!”
—Four Star Review. Cancun, Mexico
"Let's be honest here ... nothing is spicy as we would like it to be compared to normal Singaporean fare. If anything it is to experience beer and wings while watching sports on TV. Then, later on ask yourself, 'wah lao, this is how Americans spend time watching sports? No wonder why they are so big.' Just enjoy some good fried food and cold beer. Also, enjoy the ladies hitting on your [sic] and flirting as they are required to."
—Three Star Review, Singapore.
8. ST. THOMAS
“I’ve visited Hooters all over the world as far West as Hawaii and as far East as Germany and I have never had such unsatisfactory service than in my own home country … TRAINING TRAINING TRAINING!!!! These ladies need to be retrained or fired!!! I'll be calling corporate about this. I refuse to have St. Thomas' Hooters be listed as the worst!”
—One Star Review. St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
“The menu is varied and offers all the American BBQ foods such as wings, burgers w/ curly fries, baby back ribs (weirdly there was a poster of 'Mini Me' next to me so I felt awkward ordering those baby back ribs).”
—Three Star Review. Zürich, Switzerland.
“This is obviously a place for guys !! If you have a jealous woman, don't come here for dinner! If you have been to the U.S. or seen Hooters in movies then you know what I'm talking about. Basically the waitresses dress really sexy and they have to show a large cleavage!”
—Three Star Review. Taipei, Taiwan.
11. UNITED KINGDOM
“As an American, Hooters is a fairly common site in the States, but a rarity in the U.K. The one in Nottingham looks like any Hooters elsewhere and the wings taste the same. The beer selection is ample and the staff is awesome. I did have a bit of a mindfu#k when the amazingly hot waitress looking like a swimsuit model start talking ... and she sounded so proper ... like Mary Poppins.”
—Four Star Review. Nottingham, United Kingdom.