18 May 2011


I'll have a mocha, please. CREDIT
Recently a question popped up in my email that asked about my opinion on “sexpresso” stands that are appearing everywhere and are being compared to Hooters.  If you’re unfamiliar with what a sexpresso stand is, it’s basically you’re regular coffee stand only staffed with girls in lacy lingerie.  And they’re all the rage.  Even our middle of nowhere, Montana city has two of these new stands.  With the names like “Natté Latté,” this new fad is all about sexy service and double entendre.

With that simple overview it seems a pretty easy comparison to Hooters.  The female staff, the play on words, the eye on entertainment.  But personally, I think the comparisons stop there.  Yes, Hooters has a strong component based on sex appeal, but it’s an innocent, playful sex appeal not shared with these far more racy coffee stands.  While I wear a tank top, shorts and horrendously tan, nearly opaque nylons, these girls are clad in little more than bra straps, lace and underwire.  I don’t know about you, but I just don’t like the idea of standing in an open window in front of a line of cars with little more than lace boy shorts shielding my lady parts from both the elements and prying eyes.

I guess to me there is a definite and firm distinction between the playful sexy of Hooters and the entirely overt sexy of these drive-in cafes.  Perhaps the line is small, but I think it absolutely exists.

Now, I realize that my stance has the probability of being taken as hypocrisy to some and that’s totally fine.  What I will note is that I see nothing wrong with people frequenting these stands.  Just as I have always maintained with my own place of employment, visiting these establishment is purely a personal decision and I am all for personal choice in all things.  Including where, when and how your morning coffee is served.  What is too much for me is fine for others.  That’s the beauty of choice.

All I know is I personally don’t like the idea of a barista in a negligée serving me a cup of scalding hot liquid.  That just sounds like a workman’s comp filing waiting to happen. 


  1. They have a few of them here in Vegas, I've never seen one but I see ads for them looking for girls on Craigslist all the time. Totally not my line of work although I could pull off that lingerie no problem! I'd rather work at Hooters.

  2. i've never heard of this. i don't see a strong parallel between hooter's and it, though. so you're in a tank top and shorts - pretty much what i wear every day in the summer. it's not the same as lingerie. although i wouldn't personally go to one of those sexpresso places (i don't like coffee anyway) i don't see a problem with it. if people don't like a place, just don't go to it. simple as that.

  3. For the most part I agree with you, but some Hooters have dress-up days or bikini car washes where you wouldn't see much different - and might see less (I'm guessing: I've never actually been to a sexpresso stand, but I have been at a Hooters on a lingerie-themed day).

    But I think that the actual difference isn't what they're wearing at sexpresso stands but what they're doing. See, Hooters is just basically a sports bar - the kind of place that a lot of guys will be going to in the first place, i.e., the kind of place that often hires more attractive staff even if that's not officially part of their marketing game. So yes, people go to Hooters for the eye candy, but they also go because, for a lot of guys, it's the same kind of place they'd be going to anyway, doing the same kind of thing (beer, sports, etc). A sexpresso stand is different to me because it seems like it's there only to give a guy a 90-second thrill as drives through. Not that that's wrong, necessarily. But it is different.

    One way to see the difference is that at Hooters, you'll definitely see female customers - they're a minority obviously, and not all of them enjoy it, but a lot of times women have fun there as much as guys. A sexpresso stand? I'm thinking not as much.

  4. A great point about the Hooters dress up days. We don't do those days at my store however so I can't really offer much insight regarding them. What I can say is that in those circumstances girls get a lot of freedom within the theme so they certainly aren't forced to wear lingerie - which I believe is the major difference.

  5. I don't think Louisville has one of these places yet. If one opened near where I live, I might check it out -- mainly to see if they had free wi-fi or not.

    And for the record, I would rather look at the nylons that are part of your uniform than something that has to be pixillated for family viewing.

  6. I see your point, particularly in the NAME - however, I think the fact that the coffee stands don't serve alcohol or have the personal interaction of hooters allows them to push the "line" a little further. For instance, if they were serving in a pub atmosphere like hooters dressed like that, than obviously it would be way past the playfulness of hooters.

    But if a coffee shop had girls dressed like hooters working there, I doubt anyone would blink at anything other than the appearance requirements for hiring. I think adding the personal attention of table service, sitting with your guests and serving alcohol pushes hooters further towards lingerie than it would based on uniform alone.

    If that makes sense? I had trouble putting that into words...

  7. Hooters girls dress no different than half the girls you see in public. The coffee stands are much different. I stop every day on the way to work at one;)

  8. Sauce, I choose to work at Hooters and, therefore, CHOOSE to wear the uniform. The girls who work at the "sexpresso" stands also CHOOSE to wear lingerie. They aren't forced to.

  9. I think I made it pretty clear that I am all for personal choice. I never said they were forced to wear lingerie. What I did say is that I personally wouldn't want to wear lingerie...which is why I don't work their. I take no issue at all with others working there. That would not only be hypocritically, but I'd be forcing my beliefs on others and I've always opposed that. Just because I don't personally like it does it mean that I think they are forced. That certainly wasn't the tone of my entry.

  10. honestly, hooters girls may have scantily clad outfits but they still have clothes on. i don't see how it can be hypocritical on your part. any girl wear shorts and tank tops. you don't see many of us wearing lingerie to work or outside. i would rather work at hooters than at a cafe place wearing lingerie with my butt showing.

  11. "in those circumstances girls get a lot of freedom within the theme so they certainly aren't forced to wear lingerie - which I believe is the major difference."

  12. I have talked to MANY women about this issue. The complaint is not about using women in sexy clothing for your business.

    The MAIN complaint is this: Why do businesses keep targeting men using women in sexy outfits (like hooters)and not catering to women. Women like to see men in sexy outfits as well.

    In other words, one sex is getting something over the other. When BOTH parties are satisfied, you will not hear about these complaints.

  13. Anonymous, you're really taking my comments out of context. I'm saying that Hooters Girls aren't forced to wear lingerie on theme nights as was insinuated by a previous commenter. It was in no way a comment meant to imply that the girls are forced to wear lingerie at these coffee stands. Clearly it's a choice. My point was there is also a choice on Hooters theme nights.

  14. I'd like to highjack this lively discussion in response to BK's assertion:

    "Women like to see men in sexy outfits as well."

    I'm sure they do. But seriously...does anyone think that this kind of marketing strategy would be as successful with women as it is with men? This is America, after all - if someone thought they could make a buck by turning the tables, so to speak, they probably would have by now. This reminds me of years ago when Playboy decided to put out Playgirl, and the main audience for Playgirl turned out to be...gay men.

  15. In response to Chris:

    In Adult Entertainment, women is the FASTEST growing market. Research has shown that women spend MORE money on Adult Entertainment than men.

    The thing is: Who has the GUTS to go after that market.

    "if someone thought they could make a buck by turning the tables, so to speak, they probably would have by now"

    True, but they might have went about it the "wrong way".

    "This reminds me of years ago when Playboy decided to put out Playgirl, and the main audience for Playgirl turned out to be...gay men."

    How Playboy went about it, yes it did attract gay men and so what. Gay women look at Playboy too so whats wrong with that?

    Playboy is currently going after women very aggressively right now in order to stay in business.

    Women is considered the "Blue Ocean Market" in Adult Entertainment.

  16. actually, there was a male-themed version of the sexpresso stands in Seattle a while ago, where the whole phenomenon started - it didn't get very far, but then the regular (female) versions of the stands have been dwindling as well

  17. I live in a tourist trap in the middle of nowhere that doesn't even have inernet cafes, let alone anything like this.

    I like Hooters because of the subtle sexuality (if that's what you like). Hooters is playful and fun, kind of frisky, overall I think it's universally appealing. You could take kids there and the girls are pretty but not oozing skankiness and I'd imagine that female guests at Hooters are more comfortable since the staff is not oozing sex (what's sexually charged about a plate of wings and ranch dressing?)

    But I can't say that I really like the double entendres combined with the less-than-subtle suggestive attire. It's just a little too specific (demographically) and it looks like they should really be carding at the door.
    "Sorry sir, you can't come in here with your son to buy a chocolate milk."

    Now Baby's badass burgers, on the other hand, I am in love with. We don't have them around here but I've been to a couple. The girls are sweet and universal like the Hooters girls but just skanked up a little. The menu is awesome too. I don't eat meat, but they make any of the popular dishes with a veggie patty instead and it's delicious.

  18. Honestly these stands are the same thing as Hooters, the only reason you draw a distinction is because at some level you view these women as whores, and don't put yourself in the same category as them. Thus, you create some artificial distinction that allows you to preserve a harmonious worldview.

  19. Don't you think that's rather over the top, anonymous? I certainly don't think these women are whores. It takes a whole lot more than job to be a whore - unless you really are a professional whore of course. You asserting that I am creating an artificial distinction is really no different than you believing that I have one. At some level, you seem to imagine that I believe I'm above sexpresso baristas. That's certainly not the case and no even close to the point of this post.

    While I appreciate your view, I don't appreciate your totally inaccurate representation of my reasons for writing this post. You're over thinking it.



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