Here's a revelation... The real estate market is a bit off here in Florida. Duh.. That being the case, my bride Judi's real estate investment career is essentially on hold. So, in order to augment our family's income, she has been scanning the local St. Petersburg TIMES for part-time employment opportunities. I know what you are thinking...she applied for a waitress position at Hooters. Although she still maintains a figure that would certainly do a Hooters' polo shirt proud, those tight bright orange short-shorts is just not her style...at least not in public. No, that particular option was never considered.
However, she did run across an advertisement in the paper for a "Secret Evaluator." This is where a person partakes of the services of a particular commercial establishment, unbeknown to the proprietor of the establishmet that their operation is being very finely scrutinized and exhaustively evaluated. Her assignment...one of the local Hooters restaurants. I got to go along and was secretly pleased that she hadn't been asked to evaluate something decidely unexciting as a Tune & Lube.
This evaluation process isn't just your lick and a promise, once around a block, and exit. The package of evaluation documents was several pages, and also required the reviewer to submit at least a full page detail narrative of comments on all that had transpired and was observed during the visit. Things like was the parking lot well lighted, free of potholes...was the landscape attractively well maintained...was the deck clean...were the chairs neatly arranged around the tables...was there one more menu than there were chairs at the table... were the windows clean...was the ketchup placed behind the other condiments...the list of things went on ad nauseam. Judi asked me to assist her in making mental notes. What was in it for me...a free meal...and obviously the unspoken opportunity to observe those female accouterments that have made Hooters the unique branding icon it has established over the past twenty-five years.
Our order for beverages, appetizers and the entrees were promptly taken, prepared and delivered. Judi had a Cuban sandwich with a side of potato salad and I had a fish taco. I was suppose to receive coleslaw with my meal, but it was omitted from my order. Strike one. I did instead receive a side order of potato salad for which were were not charged. Good thing...the cup in which it was served hardly had room for more than a couple of bites. Judi ordered a soft drink that did not appear on the final bill. Strike two. The final bill was corrected. Overall...this particular Hooters performed according to Hooter's corporate expectations. I won't order the fish taco again. Not that it wasn't well prepared and tasty. It just wasn't enough to quell my appetite.
Upon arriving home from the restaurant, Judi set about filling out the evaluation forms and writing her narrative while I retired to the living room with a plate full of chocolate chip cookies. Frequently Judi would call out to me to include my observations on a particular question. I was most forthcoming on those items which involved the appearance on the Hooters waitresses. Did each waitress have her shirt tucked neatly into her shorts? "Yes." Was each waitress wearing suntanned stocking free of runs and snags? "Yes." Were their orange shorts properly fitted? An unequivocal "Yes." Were the waitresses "buttocks" exposed? "Define 'exposed.'" She did. "No." Were their white socks, athletic shoes and shoe laces clean? "They were wearing shoes?" Judi dismissed me from further requests for "on-point" in-put.
I like being a secret evaluator. I told Judi I'd be willing to do it again and that she should be keeping a watchful eye out for businesses such as massage parlors and lingerie shops. I don't think she took me seriously. Pity...