05 July 2011

I Love My Regulars

My Regulars are way cooler than these guys.  CREDIT.
Side note: why is that man pouring his own beer?
Naughty Hooters Girl!
One of the many things I love about my job are the many regulars I get to deal with on a daily basis.  There is almost nothing better than seeing one of those familiar faces walk through the door and plop down in their favorite stool at your bar.  You know what they drink, their favorite wing sauce, that their dog is at the vet and that their sister is expecting.  And they in turn know about you.   With that all that familiarity it doesn’t take long before regulars are considered friends and not people who just happen to frequent the restaurant more often than most.

Now I don’t think this is a Hooters specific phenomenon, what I do think is that the conversational and relaxed atmosphere promoted at Hooters lends itself to creating a regular crowd.  It of course doesn’t mean the regulars have to be totally awesome.  Sucky regulars exist too.  That’s just luck of the draw.  And trust me, at my Hooters we’re very lucky.

We have the fun couple from out of town that adores mango margaritas.  The trivia fanatics haven’t missed trivia night in well over nine months.  There’s the preteen daughter who follows us as a “Hooters Girl in training” as her mom happily talks your ear off.  There are the Pepsi distributors who kindly bring us cases of Rockstar lemonades – the favorite beverage of the Hooters Girls.  We have candy bringers, beer drinkers, families and bikers who all come us see us regularly.

Then there are people like Talladega.  Though we may not have started off on the right foot, Talladega is probably my favorite regular.  He’s the guy that I hope and pray walks through the door when I’m having a shitty day.  One glance his way while helping a particular annoying customer will result in a reassuring smile that says, “I know that dude is being a total asshat.”  And that I love and appreciate.

Before Miami, I was faced with daunting task of moving.  It’s no secret that – even if it’s just across town – moving is a huge pain in the ass.  It’s even more of a pain in the ass when you own a’97 Subaru Legacy.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m not complaining about my car, it’s just not built for heavy moving.  Believe it or not you can’t fit a bed or a couch in a Subaru.  Who knew?

Naturally, at work I was relaying my moving woes one day at the bar when without hesitation Talladega offered not only his truck but also his services as a mover.  Before I knew it he was singlehandedly hoisting my couch above his head so Dreamy could pull it over the railing into the new apartment.  All of that with a bad back that he’d recently aggravated.  I yelled at him to be careful the whole time.  I doubt he was really listening.

The help was much appreciated and unexpected.  Yes, Talladega and I are friends, but how often do you think restaurant patrons help their servers move?  I have a feeling it’s not too common.  And that was what impressed me.  And continued to impress me when but a week later Ariel fell into an awful situation.

One morning, ready to head to work, Ariel found that her Jeep wouldn’t move.  Well it moved, but not very well.  Something wasn’t right and upon inspection she found that three of her tires had been slashed overnight.  Let me digress for a moment to interject that men can be effing crazy.  And creepy.  And stalkerish.  Anyhooters, it was apparent Ariel wouldn’t be getting to work anytime soon on that Sunday morning.

Working her bar shift as she tried to remedy her most unfortunate situation, I relayed Ariel’s story to Talladega and he immediately began making calls.  Talladega is a car man that knows people.  He was going to figure it out – awkward tire size and all.

Once again, I was warmed by Talladega’s generosity and noted it to another bar Bud Light drinking regular a bit later.  This was followed by, “Well I have a spare set of Jeep tires from that model year.  She can have them and the rims too.”

“Well I’ll help you put them on,” added Talladega.

I went from warmed to utterly flabbergasted.  A regular had just offered Ariel a free set of tires with free installation courtesy of himself and Talladega.  Now that doesn’t happen everyday.

Half an hour later Ariel’s Jeep was sitting on a brand new set of non-slashed tires.  I thought she might cry as she hugged them both and thanked them profusely.  They had saved her time, energy and hundreds of dollars and expected nothing in return (they got cards, cupcakes and beer anyway).

This is why I love my regulars.  Not because I make lots of money off them or because they’re good connections, but because they are generally good people.  They are the type of people who brighten your day not because they want something, but because it’s what they do.  They are the type of people that make you feel that there’s hope for the world.  It’s just nice to feel that sometimes.

Here’s to all my Hooters regulars.  One day I hope to repay you.  For now, thank you.


  1. Hooters regulars are certainly a different breed. I had some at the location I managed that were creepy as hell, but most were really kick ass guys. It wasn't so much that they were there for the orange shorts as a place where the server would sit down and talk to them. We made a bigger deal over our regulars than any other restaurant I have ever worked at. They even had seat cushions with their names on them. I was just the manager (and a guy at that), but they helped me pick up furniture and a number of other things that you wouldn't expect. If something broke at my restaurant, there was always a regular who would fix it for a plate of wings. If someone needed to be asked to leave, there was always a handful of regulars keeping an eye on me.

    My favorite regular story was a couple who came in M-F like clockwork. He would come by at 5:10 on the dot. His wife ran a daycare center out of their house and it allowed him to relax after work. She would come in once all the kids had been picked up. They were like the entire staff's mom and dad. With Thanksgiving approaching the husband asked what I would charge him to fry up his turkey. I told him I wouldn't think of taking his money for it. (No one from corporate reads this right?) Thanksgiving morning he came in with not one, but two trurkey. His wife came in a little later with two big bags. The second turkey was for us and she brought a big helping of all of the dishes she had prepared for their meal. When the staff got there, we had an entire thanksgiving dinner at our jumpstart. A few other regulars who didn't have family to celebrate with came in for lunch and we fed them too. It didn't feel like working on a holiday, but spending it with our second family.

    That is the thing that people who have never worked at Hooters will never understand. It isn't about orange shorts or tank tops. It is about hospitality and treating people like family. No company in the industry does this better or with more sincerity. That is why people become Hooters regulars and that is why they are the best regulars in the industry.

  2. That's so awesome, it's good to know there are still really genuine awesome people out there that will help others just because.

  3. I wish there was a Hooters near enough that I could be a Regular! But I have now visited all 3 UK branches.

    Hopefully a very generous tip cheered up the Bristol Hooters Girl on Sunday when everything was going to pot for her - her boss screeching at her as she walked in, the beer going flat (something wrong with the gas?) and there only being 3 girls on an extremely busy night. Plus my b/f spilling his beer on the floor - it was an accident and we practically flung oursleves at the floor to try and mop the worst of it up so she wasn't stuck with it. She latched onto us for conversation, sitting down for a few minutes exhausted but still kept up the fabulous Hooters Girl attitude, getting us free replacement beer and rounded up the others for a photo.

    Hope the nice tip made her evening a little better! Her face just lit up. :)

    Shame it's too far for me and b/f to be regulars - but we're dedicated! We'll travel!

  4. It's pretty awesome being a regular at a place like that, too. I speak from experience. I've made some damned good friends--I mean people who have gone through the fire with me--when I was a regular at a place like that. So, the awesomeness goes both ways!

  5. Just remember, friends help you move -- REAL friends help you move bodies. ;)

  6. What a wonderful story. The regulars make my life as a restaurant manager pleasant, and at times, down right awesome. Thanks so much for sharing this story!

  7. That's awesome. I have some regulars at my job now that are really cool as well. One guy once fished the keys out of my car with a coat hanger (thank god the window was down slightly) in exchange for a gin and tonic. haha. He's great.

    Also, Rockstar Lemonade is good, but have you tried the new Orange flavored one? It's the "Rockstar Recovery" just like the lemonade but it's soooo good. Tastes just like Orange hi-c!

  8. Apparently we have regulars at my place too. I just really don't like people enough to remember them.


    My job makes me a pretty good actress but I think that its not just cos I'm the size of a Mastadon (small really the largest size? wtf?!) that would stop me working at Hooters!

  9. I've been going to Hooters for 17 years. Due to the military I moved around a lot and never really got to be the regular at a place for more than a couple of years. Now I'm moved to Raleigh, N.C. and have been here for 5 years. Unfortunately, perhaps because its a college town, the vast majority of the ladies here treat their regulars with suspicion unless they're obviously mentally challenged or a lovable, always drunken elderly man. It's a bit insulting. Times certainly have changed.



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