Hooters' off-menu items are hottest
on entering a Hooters restaurant, customers are greeted by a chorus of young women shouting "Welcome to Hooters!".
Dimitri Lingris, the general manager of Hooters, which has opened an outlet in Fourways, its second in South Africa, insists that this is a family restaurant. But he admits that the establishment is often mistaken for a strip club.
The waitresses, called Hooters Girls, are scantily clad in white tank-tops with the famous Hooters logo of an owl, and short orange, tight-fitting runner's shorts.
"It's a jogging suit," Lingris says. "Everything about this place is fun. We've got enough TVs in here to start a cinema and we're always playing sports and good music."
The girls' attire wouldn't seem so strange in summer, but bitter cold weather makes the girls' cheery mood seem somewhat insincere.
They have a distinct look; all rather young, similar height, impossibly attractive and often carry a pair of "Big Boys", two 1ldraughts of beer.
The two-week Hooters training is clearly in full effect and the Hooters Girls go the extra mile when serving customers, mostly male, during the early afternoon.
They serenade customers and play a variety of games such as gyrating hula-hoops.
The Hooters chain was started in 1983 in Atlanta by a Robert H Brooks and a group of businessmen called the Hooters Six. It is now under the control of Brooks's son, Coby.
Soon after launching, the Six were charged for "impersonating restaurateurs", according to the Hooters Saga, printed on the back of the menu. While they beat the charge, the stigma has remained.
Yet Hooters has attracted international success for various initiatives, including bikini contests, magazines and Hooters Girls calendars, making some of the women famous.
However, Hooters has attracted other legal action, including job-seekers frustrated by the group's hiring practices. In May, the Michigan Hooters was sued by an employee who was told in a performance review that her "shirt and short size could use improvement", a reference to her weight gain.
Last year, Hooters settled out of court with a man who could not get a job as a waiter - not the first legal action by men.
In California, job applicants were secretly filmed undressing, prompting a law suit in 2004.
Lingris said staff turnover at Hooters was usually high during the first few weeks but stabilised once the women settled.
"After about six months to a year, every girl has her 20 or 30 regulars who only want her to serve them," he said, "We've seen it in Durban already."
Considering their unconventional duties, the girls would be expected to earn more than run-of-the-mill waitresses, but Lingris is evasive about pay. "It's not about the money, but they make fantastic tips," he says. "I can't talk about anything financial, but we are doing very well."