Chinese Hooters Psychology

Shanghai’s Hooters restaurant is very old news by now. “A symbol of a new China,” blah blah blah. The Western media ate it up.

Shanghaiist recently did an interview of a Shanghai Hooters girl named “Quasar” and got to ask some of the more important questions:

How does the salary for a waitress at Hooters [Shanghai] compare to waitresses at other [Shanghai] restaurants?

Do you know what the word “hooters” means? [Note: the Chinese translation of the restaurant chain’s name is 猫头鹰, which simply means “owl” and has no sexual connotations.]

In America, there used to be some controversy about Hooters. Feminists didn’t like it because they thought it treated women poorly, treated them just as sex objects. I guess you don’t think that’s the way it is in China?

How did you choose [your English name]?

See the interview for the answers to these incisive questions.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Your link to Quasar’s interview will probably get more use than the comments section from your usual commenters.

  2. I think it’s interesting that (in the article) there are a lot of American tourists that go to Hooters. I just can’t imagine taking time off of work, planning the trip, buying a plane ticket, gettting on a plane, spending thirteen hours in the air, arriving at one of the most well known cities situated in one of the oldest and richest cultures in the world, and going to a Hooters. Save your money and go to Myrtle Beach…they have a Nascar Cafe there too.

  3. What, Doom, you don’t like boobs? Boobs are good whatever city you’re in. I wouldn’t travel to Shanghai for boobs, but if I was in Shanghai, and there were boobs, I would seek them out. But that’s just me. Some guys are into Nascar.

  4. Lookat the big brain on Ryan.

    I don’t like Hooters = I don’t like Boobs.
    so in that case
    I don’t like Carrott Top = I don’t like comedy.
    I don’t like Boone’s Farm = I don’t like fine wine.
    I don’t like Acid Rain = I don’t like fresh water.
    I don’t like Books a Million = I hate literature
    I don’t like Paris Hilton = I despise women…especially smart ones
    I don’t like William Hung = I don’t like great music

  5. Ryan, there isn’t much in the way of boobs at Shanghai’s sole Hooters joint.

  6. See now, if Hooters becomes popular — like Starbucks and Taiwan-based UBC Coffee — then a horde of Chinese copycat chains will emerge, which begs the question: what names will they be called?

    P.S. Carl’s right from the looks of Washburn’s pictures, but if they put a Hooters in Beijing or Tianjin, things would be different.

  7. Hooteers, Ooters, Who-ters, Huters, Hoowooters

  8. I went to that Hooters once with my bf and other 2 friends. The girls are hot, and they did come over and talk. Sadly they only talk with 3 American guys, and I am transparent on the table. X_X By bf turned his head towards me and said “tell her i am with u”. I just gave him a kiss, then she stopped talking to my bf.

    “Leaving tel no. is forbidden.” But actually the hooters girl on our table did leave her tel no. to one of my friend.

    I don’t know whether it’s a culture thing, but these girls made me feel like enemy in some moment. They are hot by the way.

  9. interesting article. i really have to wonder exactly how the manager explained the name, b/c i still don’t think she quite gets it. (which, honestly, i think is a goos thing.)

    now i have a question: for a girl to be “hot,” does she have to have both a good body and a good face, or will just one or the other do? if she has a great face but only an ok body, does that mean she can only be “pretty” and not “hot”? if she has a great body, is her face no longer important in terms of whether or not she’s “hot”? i have wondered this for a while, and if john doesn’t mind, this seemed a good forum to poll a spectrum of males (and females, i suppose, though i’m pretty sure we females think differently on this one). thanks for your input! 🙂

  10. Da Xiangchang Says: September 14, 2005 at 6:15 am


    That’s a very good question, and I think most guys would agree with me when I say a girl’s HOT, it has more to due with her body than her face. I mean, her face can’t be ugly, but most guys would TOTALLY take a girl with an okay face and a hot bod over a girl who has a good-looking face and an okay bod (and how she shows it too–i.e., what she wears to show it off). Now, if she has both, she hit the jackpot, but then you get into all sorts of trouble if you’re a totally hot girl, which, if I were reincarnated as a girl, I would much rather be average-looking girl with a decent body than a hot girl. I just can’t take the ogling from ugly guys all the time!

  11. Amy,

    I’m way too smart to try to answer that question in writing.

  12. Depends on how long the relationship is.

  13. What is hot?

    For Singles, hot is someone that appears to you as hot, (face, mouth, lips, eyes, hooters, butt, body, curves, etc.). Now that’s hot.

    For bf/gf, hot is the person you are with. I hope so or else you won’t be with him/her.

    For married couples, hot is someone else that’s not including your spouse.

    No matter what the reason, hot is just hot. To some, falling in love is hot. To others, physical attraction is hot.


  14. I have no idea how we got from hooters to hot girls but for anyone who lives in china and isn’t Chinese you will see lots of girls every where you don’t have to go to a bar. unfortunately if china continues on the vein it is there will be nothing left to look at apart from crappy bars, café and fast food joints and people will have forgotten where they came from and why this is such a mystical and beautiful country just my humble thoughts

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