After Hooters recently opened in South Jakarta’s Kemang neighborhood, we posed the question, “Is Jakarta really ready to handle Hooters?”
So after much speculation and hype, Hooters has finally arrived in Jakarta. Will it survive? And how are the wings?
After much consideration, we answered – yes.
But now, in light of the apparent rise in Islamic conservatism overtaking Indonesia, a new question needs to be asked: Is Jakarta really ready to handle Hooters during Ramadan?
First, some context. Year after year, in the lead up to or during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, there will be stories about businesses (particularly restaurants and nightlife entertainment venues) being forced shut by law enforcement or hardline extremist groups like the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) – out of respect, they say, to fasting Muslims.
Even last year, one of the biggest stories to emerge during Ramadan was the forced closure of a tiny warung (hole-in-the-wall eatery) in Banten owned by a frail old lady. So, surely a chain as high profile as Hooters won’t escape the attention of our self-appointed “morality police”?
Well, it seems that Hooters Jakarta has reflected on incidents from Ramadans past as they announced that they are going to respect customs in Indonesia during the holy fasting month, particularly in regards to the way their waitresses dress.
“What will be different is the uniform, for example. The top will feature a higher cut, and we’ll wear skirts instead of shorts,” said Hooters Jakarta General Manager Sherry Suradji, as quoted by Merdeka yesterday.
Essentially, this means that nobody will get to see those famous orange Hooters short shorts during Ramadan.
As for the food, Sherry said Hooters Jakarta will offer more than just chicken wings during Ramadan, as they are going to incorporate staple Indonesian iftar (breaking of the fast) dishes like kolak.
This year, Ramadan is expected to start on May 26 and end on June 24.