Daily Show correspondents might see Hooters as a place "where everyone was always welcome," but it seems that wasn't the case for one man, who is suing a Queens Hooters for discrimination.
Philadelphia resident and Korean immigrant Kisuk Cha, 25, swung by the Fresh Meadows Hooters on July 1st to pick up some shrimp and chicken wings. But after he and girlfriend Dayoung Choi—who is also Korean—placed their order, they noticed employees "gawking and giggling at them," according to the suit. And when they were served their food, Cha saw that someone had allegedly typed "CHINX" into the customer name field. "I was shocked," Cha, who recently became a U.S. citizen, told the Times.
Cha, an unemployed information technology specialist, decided to take legal action and filed a suit in Brooklyn Federal Court on Monday. The suit is leveled against Hooters America, the Fresh Meadows franchise operators and two employees, one unidentified and one identified by cashier name "220 Shenika", seeking unspecified damages for the company's violations to Cha's federal, state and common law rights. The company says that a 17-year-old hostess has already resigned after admitting to being the culprit, and they have been investigating the situation. "It's very difficult, as you know, when you have employees that are very young," Ed McCabe, a lawyer for for the Fresh Meadow Hooters operators, told DNAinfo.
This is the second time this year a chain restaurant has been called out for anti-Asian racism, after a Papa Johns cashier was fired for writing "lady chinky eyes" on a customer's receipt in January. Meanwhile McCabe asserts that Hooters takes discrimination very seriously, writing in a letter to Cha's lawyer that the situation "does not reflect the manner in which the restaurant is operated." According to Hooters' mission statement, the chain is "committed to providing an environment of employee growth and development so that we can provide every guest a unique, entertaining dining experience in a fun and casual atmosphere delivered by attractive, vivacious Hooters Girls while making positive contributions to the communities in which we live."