Controversial American restaurant chain Hooters is on its way to New Zealand.
The chain, which acknowledges that many consider its name "a slang term for a portion of the female anatomy", announced yesterday that it plans to open branches in all major cities in the country beginning next year.
Auckland is likely to be the first stop for Hooters, which describes itself as "delightfully tacky yet unrefined" and is renowned for its busty "Hooters Girls".
The company's website says an "element of female sex appeal is prevalent in the restaurants", with the Hooters Girl uniform composed of orange shorts and a white shirt. "Pantyhose and bras are required," the website says.
It does not divulge whether women hired meet particular measurements but says they must "fit the image of a Hooters Girl".
The company disputes claims it exploits women.
"[Such claims] are as ridiculous as saying the NFL exploits men who are big and fast. Hooters Girls have the same right to use their natural female sex appeal to earn a living as do supermodels Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell."
On its name, the company says: "Hooters does have an owl inside its logo and uses an owl theme sufficiently to allow debate to occur over the meaning's intent. The chain enjoys and benefits from this debate."
Hospitality Association chief executive Bruce Robertson said the concept would appeal to some but not to others.
"The market will determine whether there's enough demand."