- Hooters of America announced it will make its new revealing shorts optional for employees.
- The policy change comes on the heels of a series of viral TikToks of staffers speaking out against the uniform.
- "They can determine which style of shorts best fits their body style and personal image," a Hooters spokesperson told Insider.
Hooters is adjusting its uniform policy to make its controversial new shorts optional in response to outcry from employees on social media.
According to a spokesperson for Hooters of America, staffers will now be permitted to choose between the new shorts – which some have described as so skimpy they're "like underwear" – and the original longer shorts.
"As we continue to listen and update the image of the Hooters Girls, we are clarifying that they have the option to choose from traditional uniforms or the new ones," the spokesperson wrote in an email to Insider. "They can determine which style of shorts best fits their body style and personal image."
The announcement comes on the heels of a series of viral TikTok videos shared by employees this week speaking out against the shorts, which some feel are too revealing. The shorts are the latest in a history of complaints lodged against the company for sexualization and degradation of women since its founding in 1983.
In its statement, Hooters of America wrote that it "appreciates the feedback, both positive and negative, regarding a more accommodating and inclusive image policy on tattoos, jewelry, nails, hairstyles as well as new uniform options – to include new top styles, shorts, and the addition of socks."
The backlash reflects a growing trend of retail employees taking to social media to air their grievances and push for better working conditions. In recent months, staffers at companies everywhere from Starbucks to Apple have turned to social platforms to challenge employers and call for change.
Hooters of America, the franchisor and operator of Hooters restaurants, operates more than 420 franchise locations across 42 states and 29 countries. There are also an additional 25 locations owned separately by the Original Hooters Group, which uses similar branding but did not participate in the uniform change.
According to the spokesperson, the shorts were "the result of a collaboration with Hooters Girls and have been worn for months in several Texas markets with overwhelmingly positive feedback." Since debuting in select Texas locations, the shorts have since expanded to other states.
On TikTok, some staffers defended the shorts, with one claiming that she made "way more money" while wearing them. Another wrote that she was "obsessed" with the shorts while one user wrote "Am I the only Hootie that loves the new shorts???"
Looking ahead, Hooters of America said it plans to continue to work with employees and give them opportunities for "providing input at every stage including future clothing items and accessories."
"We're excited to see a national trend toward self-expression and inclusivity that bodes well for our marketplace," the spokesperson wrote in the email. "We work continuously with our Hooters Girls to refresh and update the image of our brand ambassadors and to empower them to feel their best while at work."