22 March 2010

Becoming a Trainer

It's official.  I am a Certified Hooters Girl Trainer.  After hours of my own training, I now have the ability to train others.  I have to say it feels great.  So does the extra dollar an hour I'll be making (during training shifts only of course).  So does the big shiny nametag I now wear announcing my awesome to the world (note the regular orange nametag versus the gold trainer nametag).  So does being at the top of the Hooters Girl food chain.  Great indeed.

So I know you're all curious about what Hooters Girl Trainer training is like.  Besides being a tongue twister, the training basically involves knowing everything about being the perfect Hooters Girl.  I mean EVERYTHING.  Of course you also have to BE the perfect Hooters Girl.  This includes, but is not limited to: how to scrunch socks properly, selecting the correct bra, achieving perfect scores on all menu, bar and service tests, how to correctly size shorts, looking PERFECT every shift, knowing and caring out the "12 Steps of Hooters Hospitality," suggestive selling techniques, appropriate makeup and hair styles, how to tell a girl she fails to have the appropriate makeup and hair style, how to not make a girl when you tell her she doesn't have the appropriate makeup and hairstyle, how to tell a girl to get the appropriate makeup and hair style and a whole bunch of other things.

Well that's all good and great, but what does Hooters Girl training really involve?  Hooters Girl training is an intense three or more day journey.  It doesn't just start with shadowing as many serving jobs do.  Hooter Girl training starts in the classroom.  There are lectures and movies and tests and a manual.  You learn about Hooters history and Hooters hospitality and Hooters brand and Hooters image.  You learn all that there is to learn about Hooters.  You become Hooters.  You are Hooters.  Basically, Hooters has Hooters Girl training down to a science.

Hooters ability to train so effectively and so intently is core to Hooters strength as a brand.  As I was sitting through my tenth hour or so of class last week, I was struck by how dedicated Hooters is to maintaining an impeccable image that is the same no matter what Hooters you end up in.  You could be in New York or Los Angeles or Tokyo and your experience would be the same.  You'd eat the same food, see the same dances and see the uniform worn just so.  Your Hooters Girl may have an accent or dark skin or be tall or be any number of things, but at the core she'd give you the same service and the same scrunched socks.  This is because of Hooters intense, methodical training.  The training that tells you exactly how to wear your make up and just how to pull up your shorts to make them "smile" and the right way to scrunch those important socks.  Yes, they tell you the right versus wrong way to scrunch socks.  And we were doing it all wrong.  Did we ever think about it?  Hell no, we never thought about it.  But let me tell you, there is an obvious difference.  We had too big of folds and folded over the tops and had no uniformity.  Smaller, exact scrunches and no folded tops made our legs not only look longer, but thinner.  Who knew?!  Hooters knew - obviously.

Of course that probably seems silly, how to scrunch socks.  But it's a perfect example of how exact Hooters training is.  Hooters not only takes training seriously, but they do a damn good job of it.  While it may seem like overkill, it is fundamental to why Hooters has been such a recognized brand for over twenty-five years.  When it comes down it, the Hooters Girl is Hooters.  Take her away and it's just another sports bar that serves another plate of hot wings.  Take the Hooters Girl away and you don't have Hooters anymore.  Impeccable training makes impeccable Hooters Girls, which makes the Hooters experience.  If it weren't for all that intense training before you even step on the floor the Hooters Girl could be compromised thus compromising the very premise of Hooters.  Hooters knows this.  Hooters pounds this in our heads.  Strong work, Hooters.

Basically, I wholeheartedly agree with Hooters training practices.  While it seems daunting at first (trust me, I thought it was insane when I was hired), it is the key to your success as a Hooters Girl and the key to Hooters success in general.  Being that perfect Hooters Girl WILL make you more money and it has obviously made money for Hooters as a business.

I do my first training shift on Sunday morning.  It will be her third training day.  Basically, what this means is that for the most part I'll just follow her around and she how she handles her tables and make sure she doesn't miss anything.  Essentially it should be a breeze.  When I have to teach my first class, things will get more interesting.  Promise.

Also, I'll be including a few specific stories from my training last week and what's it's like having corporate around the store.  Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. I think that this is all basically right, and so you can see why Hooters has things set up this way, but I still have to say that haven't visited different Hooters I still notice major differences between them - obviously there are similarities, and a lot of the differences might come down to the dynamics of the particular people working at a given store, but whatever the reason for the differences, it probably just goes to show how much more unpredictable (and thus, from a corporate perspective, "bad") things would be without the sort of training you describe.



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