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.

A very rare Lamborghini Sesto Elemento turns up in Hong Kong

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Getting your hands on a Lamborghini in general is no easy feat for most. Getting your hands on a Lamborghini that’s a one in 20 is near impossible. However this mission was a possibility for one lucky buyer in Hong Kong who managed to cop the very rare Lamborghini Sesto Elemento — a car originally conceptualized in 2011.

The car comes with a set of impressive specs, as to be expected from both the maker and its limited production run. The Sesto Elemento is encased in a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, carbon fiber bodywork and carbon fiber wheels, making the automobile something of a solid structure to say the least. The Sesto Elemento also boasts advanced glass-ceramic matrix tailpipes, as well a carbon-ceramic breaking system which adds to the overall ultra-lightness of the car that totals only 2,202 pounds.

As for power, this Lambo comes strong with a 5.2 liter V10 engine that’s naturally aspirated, and houses an impressive-for-its-weight 562 HP and 398 pound-feet of torque.

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Disney to open first mainland China resort in Shanghai in June

Image: Shanghai Disney Resort

NBC News:

China‘s very own Happiest Place on Earth will be enchanting visitors as soon as this summer.

The Shanghai Disney Resort is slated to throw open the doors of its Magic Kingdom on June 16, becoming the first Disney destination on mainland China and the third in Asia following Tokyo Disneyland‘s debut in 1983 and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort opening in 2005.

The estimated $5.5 billion resort is a joint venture between Disney and Shanghai Shendi Group, a state-owned enterprise that is holding 57 percent of the project.

The resort reflects Disney’s legendary storytelling along with China’s rich culture, and showcases some of the most creative and innovative experiences we’ve ever created,” Disney CEO Robert Iger said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to showing it to the world and sharing it with the people of China for generations to come.”

Disney is hoping to capitalize on China’s massive economic growth in recent years, although forecasts this year have sent the world’s second-largest economy into a tailspin.

The new resort broke ground in 2011 and will encompass more than 960 acres. It will include an Enchanted Storybook Castle, being billed as the largest, most technologically advanced of Disney’s fabled castles.

The park will also be home to different themes, and include Marvel and Star Wars characters owned as part of Disney’s other properties.

Hong Kong’s ‘McDonald’s Next’  concept elevates ‘Create Your Taste’ dining

McDonald's Hong Kong Create Your Taste burger menu

Brand Channel: (by Abe Sauer)

Dubbed ‘McDonald’s Next,’ the fast food titan reveals a striking new restaurant concept with the launch of its latest Hong Kong location.

McDonald’s first opened its doors in Hong Kong in 1975. Fast-forward 40 years and McDonald’s is pioneering a new dining concept it’s calling McDonald’s Next in the bustling city on the South China Sea.

Billed as a “food bar,” the open-concept eatery is located in the city’s Admiralty area, a major shopping hub (and hang-out for youths) near the main Central district on Hong Kong Island.

McDonald's Next Hong Kong digital create your taste ordering kiosk touchscreen

While a handful of McDonald’s in Hong Kong already offer Create Your Taste digital ordering, the McDonald’s Next location in Admiralty (taglines include: “What’s Next is Now” and “Your creation. Made by us. Worth the wait”) is offering a whole new level of personalization and customer experience for the brand.

McDonald's Next Hong Kong Create Your Taste theater kitchen

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In addition to being open until 1:00 a.m. and offering free mobile device charging and table service after 6:00 pm, what makes the Admiralty location unique is the personalization, interactive design and social nature of the dining experience.

McDonald's Next personalized Hong Kong table service Create Your Taste

Almost like a sushi bar in appearance, customers sidle up to the counter (which McDonald’s calls a theater kitchen) to design and order on touchscreens their customized salads and burgers from the DIY “Create Your Taste” menu that launched in Hong Kong in 2014.

McDonald's Hong Kong Next Create Your Taste #createyourtastehk

McDonald's Next Hong Kong customer #createyourtastehk #cyt

As in other CYT locations, the food is served on a wooden plank with a toothpick flag impaling the burger bun and the fries in mesh wire baskets.

The integrated McCafe menu also includes gourmet coffee in smartly designed packaging, such as premium Ethiopian Sidamo coffee beans bagged in a style that would make third wave coffee snobs swoon.

On the tables, customers will find various makes of charging cords for mobile devices to rejuice their ever-present smartphones.

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Coffee beverages served with latte foam art depicting characters in a marketing tie-in with the new Peanuts movie and a gingerbread man design, part of the local “Hug the Moment” holiday campaign.

McDonald's Next Hong Kong DIY salad Snoopy foam latte

Is this new Star Wars promotional poster from China kinda racist? It certainly seems so

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RocketNews 24:

The promotional poster for the new entry in the Star Wars franchise appears to omit or downplay non-white actors.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will apparently be the first entry in the venerated franchise to see wide release in China. Chinese audiences’ growing clout in Hollywood almost certainly has something to do with that, with the Chinese movie market recorded as the fastest growing in the world in 2014 and expected by some to overtake the U.S. movie-going public in terms of butts in chairs by 2020.

But it appears that, in Disney’s zealous pursuit of Chinese box office money, the company has allowed a potentially serious PR gaffe in the form of Chinese promotional posters for the new Star Wars film that are similar in nearly every way to the promo posters of other regions except for the glaring omission of several non-white characters.

Hong Kong-based columnist Ray Kwong compares the English-language and Chinese promo posters

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Actor John Boyega’s character Finn – a major protagonist in the film who is also black – is shrunk wayyyyy down in size and pushed down near the bottom of the poster. At a glance, the character appears to have been erased entirely in favor of a more sprawling shot of dogfighting spacecraft. Missing entirely are Oscar Isaac, a Guatemalan-American actor portraying resistance fighter Poe Dameron, and Lupita Nyong’o, a black actress who plays a character named Maz Kanata.

At least one Chinese news outlet says Chinese analysts are brushing off the changes, denying that they’re discriminatory and arguing that the edits aimed for maximum appeal to the Chinese audience and just happened to coincidentally eliminate or downplay all non-white characters. This logic, though, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, considering that, this being the first Star Wars film to see wide release in China, Chinese audiences would presumably have no affinity with the returning characters from the earlier films – who seem to be emphasized and enlarged here.

Inexplicably, Chewbacca the Wookiee – who we presume needs no introduction on this site – has also been eliminated from the Chinese poster, along with some other subtle changes such as turning villain Kylo Ren more towards the viewer.

Discrimination is rampant in many parts of East Asia, including Japan, and there are many accounts of people of African descent experiencing harsher discrimination than white and Asian foreigners in these countries. In light of this, it seems that – even if the changes to the poster were made purely in the name of economic gains rather than outright prejudice – the idea of the Chinese marketing arm for Disney making these unfortunate changes by sheer, innocent coincidence would be astronomically far-fetched.

Regardless of the exact process that enabled these changes to see the light of day, it seems inevitable that Disney, notorious for carefully curating its reputation worldwide, will pull the posters in favor of something less polarizing.

A first look at the new Rush Hour tv series on CBS

 
Angry Asian Man:
CBS recently released the first trailer for its upcoming Rush Hour TV series, based on the mega-popular Jackie Chan/Chris Tucker movie franchise of the same name. For the small screen adaptation, the one-hour action drama comedy stars Jon Foo and Justin Hires as by-the-book Hong Kong detective and a maverick LAPD detective who knock heads they they are forced to partner together.
CBS: “Detective Lee (Jon Foo) is a reserved, honorable master martial artist with lightning-fast moves who comes to L.A. to avenge his sister’s alleged death and learn more about her connection to a Chinese organized crime ring. Detective Carter (Justin Hires), on the other hand, is a wisecracking cop who plays by his own rules and has never wanted a partner. As exasperated as Carter’s boss, Captain Cole (Wendie Malick), gets with him, she knows he’s a brilliant detective who gets results. Attempting to help the two get along is Sergeant Didi Diaz (Aimee Garcia), Carter’s friend and former partner who doesn’t hesitate to call him out on his antics. But even as cultures clash and tempers flare, Carter and Lee can’t deny they make a formidable team, and grudgingly admit that sometimes an unlikely pairing makes for a great partnership.”

 Rush Hour is set for a mid-season premiere, so look for it on the airwaves in early 2016.