So on Saturday, I went to Hooters in Dartmouth with the family as sort of a going away party for my sister.
This Hooters was originally advertised in the Coast as opening on March 23rd (a Tuesday) but in fact did not open until Saturday…the day we were going. So there was a line to get in. The parking lot is in fact too small, as mentioned in some of the previous complaints about the building of the establishment, so we had to park across the street. After a few moments, we got a manager, got confirmed with our reservations and went inside. Despite the line, the inside was pretty empty, with maybe half of the tables filled up. It didn’t make too much sense on why there was a line, but I’m not too familiar with how a Hooters operates. Maybe they force people to wait 30 minutes, just to build a sense of anticipation…I’m jumping ahead.
So we get in and get seated, eventually we get a waitress to come take our drink order. The menus were on the table and there was enough discussion that it really didn’t seem like a long time for the drinks to come. A few drinks didn’t really come and some we had to re-order, but that was just the beginning of what was to come.
Eventually we ordered food. I ordered a burger. By now we had been there about 45 minutes, and I ordered my second beer. As we’re waiting for the food, natural tendency was to look around and there was a lot going on, with wait staff clapping and dancing, playing with hula hoops, encouraging patrons to stand on chairs while they sang. It was pretty cool until you realize that these wait staff were supposed to be…waitresses and be delivering meals and drinks and customer service and such. But hey, I’m not too familiar with how Hooters operates.
About an hour and a half after we arrive, they send some wings over to us, because our meals are taking too long. Around this time, I finally get my second beer. I watch UCLA lose on a TV, crushing my March Madness pool’s dreams.
Finally, about two hours after we arrive and a good hour and a half after we order, our food comes and I order my third beer. They have an interesting way of delivering food. Mainly, there’s a window that looks into the kitchen and when an order is up, there’s a girl (later on in the night it was a guy) standing on a box, who proceeds to yell for the appropriate Hooters girl to come pick up the meal. Usually, the Hooters girl is preoccupied with clapping or dancing or hanging around somewhere, so it takes a couple yells. Makes for a very loud atmosphere of people yelling at one another. But the food is pretty good. By now the whole group is pretty famished, so we polish it off quickly.
I made the decision to leave with my folks at that point instead of staying with my sister and her friends. So we ask for our bills. This takes a while too, culminating with the waitress returning to the table to ask us what we had so we can be billed appropriately. Finally, about three hours after we first got in there, we leave. I never got my third beer.
This is the first Hooters I’ve been to, and I’m no “restaurant” connoisseur so maybe I expected too much. It was their first day open and it was obvious that some of the girls were inexperienced or untrained. Maybe there was also some troubles in the kitchen, not expecting to have…orders…at all. Either way, some significant growing pains for sure. If they had been able to open on a Tuesday (like they planned with the 23rd) and sort of got used to the flow before being there on a weekend, then maybe things would have been better. I don’t know.
So, if you’re considering taking the trek to Dartmouth, I’d wait a couple of weeks, until they get a system of sorts in place. I don’t think I’ll be heading back anytime soon, frankly my experience wasn’t worth the buck-fifty to cross the bridge and back.