Hooters is Economic and Civil Freedom in Action
In a chunk of the world, women can’t marry without their parents’ permission, open a bank account, travel alone, dress how they want, or even drive. I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty screwed-up way of life that you’d think would have died a long time ago. However, there is one solid fact about human nature that some don’t get: some people enjoy the freedom and respect the freedom of others, and other people are Saudi Arabia.
I could easily continue on a Saudi Arabia tirade, but let me veer to the other side of this road. Recently I’ve been trying to find the best examples of freedom in action, and by “freedom” I mean a full marriage of economic prosperity and civil liberty that is a testament to our era and an exemplar of human achievement. And after much time and research, I’ve found it!
Hooters is a franchise powerhouse that has spread across the United States, and across the sea in Australia, Aruba, Austria, Brazil, Bolivia, Germany, Guatemala, Hong Kong, and over a dozen other countries. Their model is simple: combine what men like most, namely cold beer, hot food off the grill, and attractive women.
The last part has come under attack from the puritan Right and the feminist Left because some people don’t like to admit there are economic benefits to being an attractive person. It’s a fact of life: human nature drives people towards pretty things and people, which makes Hooters the most honest business in the world because they deliver good food, cold beer, and eye-catching women, and they bring it all home with a fun and friendly environment. It's a win-win because what separates Hooters from most other restaurant chains is that Hooters delivers an experience—like Chick-Fil-A, but with less “my pleasure” and more cleavage.
Hooters didn’t just pop into existence overnight. It exists thanks to generations of activists who fought for a women's right to enter voluntary exchanges and contracts; to those who fought against prohibition in the 1920s; to free markets; and to top it off, the saints of consumerism that asked themselves questions like, “Why not put a TV in a restaurant and play ESPN?”
Hooters is a combination of the best principles of voluntaryism in action, and it came about because freedom-minded individuals wanted voluntary association and interaction, and for their personal choices to be respected. Contrary to what your mother may have told you, Hooters isn’t a strip club. True, the shorts are short and the shirts are tight, but if you act like anything other than a gentleman, you’ll find the 6’ 5” cook ready to escort you to the exit. And because of the cultural attacks on Hooters, they’ve made it as family-friendly as possible. Walk in on a Friday night and you’ll see kids’ birthday parties, and husbands and wives eating and having a good time. People like to be treated well, and Hooters always tries to provide excellent customer service because people remember that type of thing.
If the old adage is true that countries that have McDonald’s restaurants never go to war with each other, then I’d like to up the ante and say a country with a Hooters understands the real meaning of economic and civil liberty.
Remso W. Martinez is a journalist and political commentator in the D.C. area. His new book, Stay Away From The Libertarians!, will be available on Amazon on June 23, 2018. You can follow Remso on Twitter @Remso101