Saskatoon women are taking the opportunity to apply for a job that’s a little different than the average serving gig.
Katelyn Dreaver said she thinks it would be “such a fun experience” to be a Hooter Girl at the new Saskatoon location, scheduled to open July 25.
“I hate going to jobs that I just don’t enjoy and I think this is something that I’d honestly really enjoy,” she said outside JT’s Bar and Grill, just before walking in to drop off her application and “audition” for the role.
That casting call generally still resembles a typical interview — sitting down with general manager Raleen Bowles to discuss job title, hours, and discuss whether someone is a fit for the role — but calling it such is a nod to the extra mile Hooters Girls go, according to Bowles.
“What we’re looking for is girls that have really good personalities,” Bowles said. “Hooters is a very fun place to work and the girls have great attitudes and they’re very interactive with the customers.”
That’s why the girls hired aren’t servers — they’re “entertainers.”
Bowles said girls are interacting with customers from the minute they walk through the door, not just taking their order and bringing them their food and the bill at the end of the night. A touch of song might be required some nights as well — although Bowles said choreography isn’t part of the training.
After spending five weeks in Atlanta learning from Hooters staff there, Bowles said she was impressed with seeing just how fun and friendly the staff were and how some special events seemed to involve the whole restaurant — facilitated by the entertainers.
“We are looking for Hooter Girls,” Bowles said.
That experience, the people and working alongside other girls is something that drew Dreaver to apply.
“Being around just a bunch of girls that are like you would honestly be just a great experience,” the 21-year-old said.
While her family is more shy, Dreaver said she’s always been more outgoing. She doesn’t have any serving experience yet but she has worked retail and has done “everything but being a waitress.”
It’s the opposite for Stephanie Daoust, who has spent 16 years in the serving industry.
When asked why she wanted to apply, Daoust’s answer was simple: “Why not?
“I love being a server, I love high pace, I love entertaining and being in the industry,” she said.
That industry can be difficult sometimes. Daoust said it can take “a thick skin sometimes,” but said Hooters sounds like a great place to work.
Bowles said the hiring process will take a couple of weeks, likely lasting into the beginning of July. Originally from Saskatoon, the general manager has been pleased with the “steady” applications she has been seeing and doesn’t expect any problems with filling a large roster of staff.
“We’re open to anything or anyone when it comes to a Hooter Girl entertainer or Hooter Girl bartender,” Bowles said.
“We want to hire people, get to know them and make sure they’re the right fit for what we’re looking for.”
Once management has selected the girls with the “bursting personalities” it’s looking for, Bowles said the girls will be brought back to do a process with orientation and uniforms, teaching the girls how to tackle the Hooter Girl look.
The women hired will be taught how to present themselves — doing their hair and makeup and how the uniform should be worn — as well as how they should be interacting with customers and how to make the cocktails on the restaurant’s menu.
For Dreaver, that iconic white logo tank top and orange shorts are one of the selling points of the job.
“Honestly, I love it; it’s so me,” she said with a laugh.
With the concept and image of a Hooter Girl being the main focus, Bowles said management will also be bringing in trainers — top Hooter Girls from the US — to spend a week with the new staff and help train them. Those girls are also expected to hang around for the opening days of the restaurant.
As important as that concept is, however, Bowles emphasis that what will draw her to hire someone is “big personalities.”
“People have that concept (that it’s all about the look) but that is not necessarily what Hooters is,” she said.
Hooters Saskatoon owner and operator Jim Tomas added that people’s perceptions of the restaurant aren’t always accurate. He said the restaurant is family friendly and open to kids of any age.