Hong Kong’s first Hooters is already causing controversy

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FoodBeast/Next Shark (by Ryan General):

American restaurant chain Hooters, known for its skimpily dressed female servers is about to open its first restaurant in Hong Kong. A month before its launch, however, the sports bar that bills itself as “delightfully tacky yet unrefined” is already attracting controversy.

Set to occupy a prime location in Hong Kong’s Central district along Wyndham Street, Hooters Hong Kong will be just one of the 30 branches that Bangkok-based Destinations Resorts will be bringing to Asia on behalf of Hooters Asia.

While preparations are all well under way for the Hong Kong opening, Hooters Asia general manager Mike Warde is also fending off criticisms about the company’s image and hiring processes.

We’re a sports bar, a family-oriented, fun-loving, entertainment outlet. We have standards for our service and food,” Warde told South China Morning Post in an interview.

For Warde, the Hooters girls who he calls the chain’s “brand ambassadors” are not dressed provocatively but are simply wearing sportswear. He also denied that breast size is a factor in the company’s recruitment.

That’s a myth. That was 30 years ago,” he said while showing a photograph of Thai Hooters girls with small breasts. “The reason they don’t look flat chested is because they are wearing Wonderbras.”

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A friend of one Hong Kong applicant, however is refuting his claim. Scarlet (not her real name), an applicant herself, said her friend who applied didn’t pass because of her breast size.

Her boobs are smaller, so of course they won’t hire her,” she said.

The recruitment process has been going on for months and so far 12 Hong Kong women, one Japanese woman and two European women are being considered for the job.

Aside from normal food-serving tasks, Hooter girls are also expected to perform two-minute dance numbers at certain intervals.

They stop whatever they are doing, wherever they are, and dance every 45 minutes,” says Warde. “In Thailand guests pay them to do hula hoop and the money goes to charity. We have pom-poms and we take them to the rugby pitch to support teams.

To stay in shape, they are also required to attend three kickboxing classes per week.

We teach the girls to be a lot more respectful of themselves, have more confidence in themselves. They have a fit body and fit mind and we bring out their characters because we put them all over social media,” he added.

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They said, ‘This is the largest size’ – I think that was true. But it’s crazy that the largest size is extra small. My boobs were exploding and my ass was half showing out,” the 24-year-old said.

When I went for the uniform fitting they said I’m the only girl with boobs. They want to hire locals, but most local girls are really skinny.”

Scarlet also found the salary disappointing and realized she could earn more as a beauty therapist. The HK$15,000 ($1,932) per month offered for a five-and-a-half-day week is barely above standard.

They said I would get good tips, but in Hong Kong I don’t think the guys would pay a lot. There isn’t the tipping culture here,” Scarlet said.

Back in the U.S., the company has closed about a dozen stores in recent years, with observers saying the concept of “breastaurants” is outdated.

Warde believes that it will be a different story in Asia. “In Asia we are a new brand. And in America they’ve been closing the ones that haven’t been performing and reopening others. Over the last four years it’s growing, they are on the up again,”he said.

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In the next five years, the aggressive expansion plan of Hooters Asia will also see restaurants opening in Indonesia, Thailand, Macau, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Myanmar, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Calbee teams with gourmet French chain for uni and dried roe potato chip flavor

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RocketNews 24:

Calbee and the casual-gourmet French chain Ore no French will release an “Uni and Dried Roe Kyokujo Cream Saucepotato chip flavor on March 21.

The “Ore no” series of restaurants boasts a unique concept: By doing away with all the niceties of typical gourmet restaurants, such as spacious dining areas, unfailingly polite and classically trained servers, and chairs, the chain serves up gourmet meals devised or prepared by renowned chefs at just a fraction of the price you’d typically expect to pay.

It’s this exact dynamic of delicious and kind of crusty that sort of makes “Ore no French” — the company’s French fusion lineup of restaurants — and Calbee, the Japanese potato chip maker, a match made in heaven. And in fact, the two entities have just announced their third release in a collaborative potato chip series, this time introducing “Uni and Dried Roe Kyokujo Cream Sauce” potato chips due to hit shelves on March 21.

The flavor was specially conceived by the head chef of the Kagurazaka area location of Ore no French, Yousuke Yamazaki, and contains real powdered uni and mullet roe.

 

What proper table etiquette looks like in East and Southeast Asia…

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Mashable (by Chelsea Frisbie):

Whether you’re planning an international trip or you’re headed to a local cultural experience, it’s important to learn about the eating habits of the folks you’ll be dining with. What might seem silly to you could be incredibly important to someone else, so don’t judge.

Langford’s silverware shop has compiled a collection of the dining “Do’s” and “Don’ts”…

Here is an excerpt of East Asian and Southeast Asian countries’ dining etiquette.

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Gaijin Tips: “Eat all your rice in Japan”

Check out this Gaijin Tip from video/blogger kanadajin3, who is actually named Mira and is “a girl who moved from Toronto, Canada to Tokyo, Japan.”

Eat all your rice in Japan. Leaving food behind is rude esp if it is rice bits. When you scrape food off your rice cooker, you need to take everything, leaving little bits is ruder than leaving a lot. If you just can’t finish your food that you got at a restaurant then you can leave some behind, but try to finish everything at home and at your friends house.

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Inside one of New York’s finest Chinese restaurants located in the Waldorf Astoria

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 4.57.46 PMNext Shark (Laura Dang):

A new, glitzy Chinese restaurant has opened its doors in the renowned Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan, New York, and the food looks fantastic. The restaurant, La Chine, is in the running to be one of New York’s finest Chinese restaurants, according to Luxury Travel Magazine.

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La Chine was a collaborative effort of Waldorf’s culinary director, David Garcelon, and executive chef, Kong Khai Meng.

Garcelon hand-selected a team of international chefs including famed Chinese culinary master Jereme Leung. The culinary director said:

“It was our primary focus to develop La Chine as a must-visit destination for high-end foodies, experientialists, New York City locals and international visitors alike.”

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Kentucky Fried Chicken set to open all-you-can eat buffet restaurant in Japan

RocketNews 24 (by Casey Baseel):

If you’re walking into a branch of KFC, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re there to eat fried chicken. You could even argue that the whole process of ordering is partially redundant, since the question isn’t whether you want some of the Colonel’s deep-fried bird, but simply how much.

And if your answer to that query is “All of it,” then head on over to Osaka, where the first all-you-can-eat Kentucky Fried Chicken buffet is about to open.

Actually, KFC and Osaka go way back. Not only is the local baseball team, the Hanshin Tigers, said to be cursed following some of its rowdy fans tossing a statue of Colonel Sanders into a river 30 years ago (which was also the last time the Tigers won the Japan Series), in 1970 Osaka hosted the Japan World Exposition. Inside the event’s United States pavilion was a Kentucky Fried Chicken trial restaurant, the very first to operate in Japan.

45 years later, the Expo City entertainment complex is set to open in the Expo ’70 Commemorative Park, and from November 19 one of its tenants will be a buffet-style KFC restaurant.

For 90 minutes, diners will be able to enjoy all the Colonel’s original recipe chicken they can eat, along with roughly 60 other menu items. In addition to standards such as fresh-baked biscuits and cole slaw, the restaurant will also serve rotisserie chicken, soup, salad, and macaroni and cheese made according to a recipe from Colonel Sanders himself. For dessert, there will be a selection of fruit, cake, and other sweets.

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KFC is also promising an atmosphere of Southern hospitality, which in addition to piles of fried chicken means a woody interior and Colonel Sander’s actual suit on display, since the late chicken mogul’s iconic duds are now in Japan.

Adult prices range from 1,880 to 2,480 yen (US$16-$21), with weekday afternoons being the lowest-price dining time and weekend evenings the highest. Children between the ages of 4 and 12 eat for reduced prices, and those under 4 dine for free.

Restaurant information
Kentucky Fried Chicken Lalaport Expo City /ケンタッキーフライドチキン ららぽーとEXPOCITY店
Address: Osaka-fu, Suitashi-shi, Senribanpaku Kouen 2-1
大阪府吹田市千里万博公園2-1
Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m.