How Hooter’s Shady Marketing Tactic Backfired Hard

A Hooters in Tokyo is dishing up more than just wings – it's also ...

Hooters is a popular chain restaurant that was founded in Tampa Bay, Florida.

They have 400+ locations and have inspired several copycat brands such as Twin Peaks.

The business model is pretty basic: hot girls, scanty clothes, bar food.

It’s tacky, but they own it. And they apparently have amazing wings.


Most managers are men and a majority of the employees are scantily clad women. So it probably won’t surprise you that they have “employee relations” issues from time to time.

Hooters managers have a lot of leeway in how they run their operations. They are empowered to build a profitable enterprise. Tangent to this, they can run promos and deals with both customers and employees.

Back in 2002, in Panama City, Florida, a local store manager did an internal promotion. He announced that the waitress who sold the most beer by the end of April would win a free Toyota. It was your basic sales contest, a generous one at that.

One employee, Jodee Berry, needed the money badly and worked her tail off that month. She worked long hours and lots of tables. In the end, she won the competition by a large margin.

Her day came to win her new Toyota. While she was in the restaurant, the manager blindfolded her. All of the employees gathered around to watch the unveiling.

The manager then escorted her outside and into the parking lot. He then took her blindfold off, and presented her with:

Image for post
Source: Flickr pic by Haro.MX (CC 2.0 Royalty Free)

A “Toy Yoda.”

She was then surrounded by laughing employees and had to face the reality that she’d been duped.

Jodee wasn’t amused. Nor was she about to roll over.

A Story About A Waitress Who Sued Hooters For Giving Her A Toy ...
Jodee with her “Toyota”

She hired a lawyer and went on to sue Gulf Coast Wings (the holding company), claiming a breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation.

They went to court where the manager claimed it had all been an April Fools’ joke. The defense was weak, at best.

The prank might have seemed cutsie-funny to some people. But the executives at Hooters HQ weren’t amused with their manager. It was terrible public relations. This court case drew substantial attention from local and national news media.

Jodee succeeded in winning her lawsuit. It was settled out of court where, per her attorney, she was given the right to choose a Toyota of her choice.

Humor and marketing are actually quite compatible — when used correctly.

However, any decent sales promotion needs to be aligned with the best interests of both parties. Even if your promo is absolutely hilarious, lying about the reward will rarely end well.

The Hooters manager in question no longer works for the company.

Could cutting interest rates save our economy?

Interest Rate Definition

The 2019 Coronavirus outbreak, which forced countries to go into lockdown and practice social distancing, has hit economies hard and the Malaysian economy has been unable to withstand it either. Bank Negara Malaysia has started cutting interest rates, up to four times this year and the overnight policy rate down to 1.75 percent, the lowest level since it was implemented as a policy tool in 2004. This level is also lower than the overnight policy rate of 2% during the 2009 international financial crisis.

The authorities hope that this ultra-low loan costs will revive the Malaysian economy. That’s because it will help ease the burden on loaners and reduce debt-relief cases, thereby mitigating the negative impact on the economy. This, if done right, will help to promote economic recovery if the outbreak is under control.

At the same time, low loaning costs will encourage other loaners to borrow aggressively, thereby stimulating economic activity. However, the positive effects will be delayed, as confidence in borrowing will only be restored when the economy is more stable.

Enterprises transition towards digitalization.

However, I believe that businesses that have weathered the crisis will seize the opportunity to invest and expand their businesses, especially those that are transforming their businesses into digital at a time of weak market demand and generally low operating costs.

On the other hand, the low interest rate environment created by the Bank of Negara has its drawbacks, such as the money that people borrow from taking advantage of the low interest rates may not be used to do business and stimulate economic activity, but may push up asset prices as a result of inflows into real estate and the stock market.

At present, as the domestic industrial market is not stable, it is expected that it will take some time to see if people have regained confidence, buy assets and push up asset prices. In any case, I think that the government’s resumption of the HOUSING Scheme (HOC) and the exemption of industrial profits tax will help the industrial market.

Increasing stock market risk.

At the same time, there are signs that low interest rates have improved the Malaysian stock market, as evidenced by the continued sell-off of bursa stocks by foreign investors, but by the surge in local retail investors. There have been stories that revealed that someone had asked his father why he offered his bank term deposit, and the answer was to transfer the money to the stock market. Shocking.

As more and more retail investors offer to invest in the stock market, they are exposed to higher risks. The higher the so-called potential risk, the higher the potential return, the lower the potential risk, and the lower the potential return.

The interest earned on keeping money in the bank is low, but the risk of losing the deposit is low. Investing in the stock market is the opposite, since the stock itself is a riskier investment vehicle, the chances of a return are naturally high.

Relying on interest on deposits.

Indeed, another drawback of low interest rates is the low return on deposits held in banks. This group will bear the brunt, especially those who rely on bank savings to cope with the cost of living. As a result, the Government has decided to sell Muslim bonds to help them get a higher return, but the amount of the bond is small.

Low bank interest rates have also caused many people in the past few years to invest their hard-earned money towards the “money game”, hoping to make quick money from it. However, many people have no return on such “investments”.

I hope you have learned from it, after all, there is no easy way to make money in this world.

This Is What Could Cause the Stock Market to Collapse

Could Record ETF Buying Be Setting The Stage For A Stock Market ...

The health crisis seems to be the common reason people are arguing over whether the stock market will go up or down.

There’s a hidden problem in financial markets that many people can’t see and don’t understand.

I am going to give you a simplistic overview after working in finance for so many years and being determined to make the complex, understandable.

The 2008 financial crisis was caused by CDOs (Collateralized Debt Obligations). Investopedia describes this complex financial product nicely:

A CDO is a box into which monthly payments are made from multiple [home] mortgages. It is usually divided into three tranches, each representing different risk levels.

When the homeowners had issues repaying their mortgages, the CDO product, along with mortgage-backed securities, blew up and caused The Great Recession of 2008. The issue was that the home mortgages were examined by ratings agencies who gave them a rating. They were also incentified to fudge those ratings for a fee.

Investors thought they were investing in mostly AAA quality mortgages when they were in fact investing in toxic loans that were taken out by people who should of never been given them because they didn’t have enough money to pay back the loan.

In 2020, another very similar financial product known as CLOs is making investors nervous, according to Law Professor Frank Partnoy.

Unlike CDOs that are associated with home mortgages, CLOs are tied to business debt. When businesses can’t pay back their debt, the same scenario as 2008 can essentially play out. (In the current environment, do you think businesses would have any issues paying back debt? How about hospitality or travel?) It all comes down, again, to whether the rating agencies rated the quality of the businesses taking on the debt effectively.

What you have to consider is whether the ratings agencies are being properly regulated this time. In 2008, human greed was stronger than regulation.

Will human greed be stronger than regulation this time around?

The challenge with CLOs is you can’t look up how many of them exist. The estimated total value of CLOs is over one trillion dollars, says The Wall Street Journal. CDOs and CLOs are part of the derivative family of financial investments and the challenge with them is they are incredibly complex.

Their complexity makes them risky not only for the investors, but for the financial system and the stock market many of us invest in both voluntarily, and involuntarily through our retirement accounts.

Insiders in the finance world are already leaking information that suggests, perhaps, the same issue as 2008 is about to transpire again. Popular Twitter personality and ex-investment banker Raoul Pal is all over the CLO problem too. The issue this time is we have a global health crisis to contend with, as well as a potential financial crisis due to the risk of CLOs.

Just as easy mortgages fueled economic growth in the 2000s, cheap corporate debt has done so in the past decade, and many companies have binged on it — Frank Partnoy

The challenge is that last time the government stepped in and threw cash at the problem. The idea investors have to contend with is whether the government will take the same action again.

Betting the government will save you is a risky assumption.

Even if you haven’t invested in CLOs, it’s all of our problem. The financial institutions that have invested in CLOs are public companies that are listed on the stock exchange. Those same institutions hold your savings, retirement money, and any stocks you have purchased. This means if they have a problem, then we all have a problem.

Every financial product is tied to each other — if one fails, it can affect another. The similarities between now and the 2008 Stock Market Collapse are uncanny. It feels like a repeat, plus the addition of the health crisis.

What Can You Do About This Problem?

I look at the billionaires. Warren Buffet is sitting on huge piles of cash.

George Soros has sold all of his banking stocks recently. These famous billionaire investors clearly know something that not everybody has come to terms with. The current environment is full of risk.

Too much risk makes you stressed.

When nobody knows what is going to happen because it has been so long since we’ve dealt with a health crisis like this before, cash can make you feel like a king or queen. At the very least, it’s worth furthering your financial education. Learn about the Spanish Flu of 1918 and its effects on the stock market. Delve into the 2000 Tech Bubble and the 2008 Financial Crisis to gain an understanding of what we might be facing.

The worst thing you can do is believe the hype, take what traditional media says is the truth, and continue to place money into the stock market when you don’t understand what is going on.

The stock market is fine until it’s not fine — that’s when financial literacy takes money from those who know nothing and places that money into the hands of those who know the game inside and out, or spent the time to learn it.

By Tim Denning

The Most Succesful Plane Ditch in History

Don't-Miss Video: Incredible Look at U.S. Airways Flight 1549 | WIRED

This is the story of US Airways Flight 1549 and the daring landing by  Captain Chesley Sullenberger and his co-pilot, Jeffrey Skiles in 2009.

It was just like any other day, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and his co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles exchange pleasantries, it was the first time either of the pilots had flown with each other. They were the first to board the plane, they then followed the standard procedure of doing internal and external checks on the plane they were about to fly, which was an Airbus A320. At the time, 57 year-old Sully had 19,663 total flight hours, including 4,765 in an A320; he was also a glider pilot and expert on aviation safety. First officer Jeffrey Skiles, 49, had accrued 20,727 career flight hours with 37 in an A320, but this was his first A320 assignment as pilot flying.

As there were no complications on the plane before takeoff, passengers were allowed to board, the plane was headed from New York City’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Charlotte Douglas (CLT). There were a total of 150 passengers and three flight attendants on board.

After conducting all checks on the plane and with them coming back clean, the plane was ready for takeoff. Initial takeoff was smooth and saw no issues.

At 3:25:51: The crew made its first report after becoming airborne as being at 700 feet (210 m) and climbing.

At 3:26:37: Sullenberger remarked to Skiles: “What a view of the Hudson today.”

Commuter Helicopter Crashes into the Hudson River in NYC

At 3:27:11: The plane struck a flock of Canadian geese at an altitude of 2,818 feet (859 m) about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) north-northwest of LaGuardia. The pilots’ view was filled with the large birds, passengers and crew heard very loud bangs and saw flames from the engines, followed by silence and an odor of fuel.

Realizing that they had lost power in not 1, but 2 engines, Sullenberger took control while Skiles worked the checklist for engine restart. The plane reached a maximum height of 930m before beginning a glide descent.

At 3:27:33: Sullenberger radioed in a mayday call to Air Traffic Control, informing them that they had lost thrust in both engines and requested for permission to return to LaGuardia Airport.

Air traffic controller Patrick Harten told LaGuardia’s tower to hold all departures, and directed Sullenberger back to Runway 13. Sullenberger responded, “Unable”. Followed by the harrowing words “We may end up in the Hudson”. Silence followed over the radio.

Sullenberger asked controllers for landing options in New Jersey, mentioning Teterboro Airport. Permission was given for Teterboro’s Runway 1, Sullenberger initially responded “Yes”, but then: “We can’t do it  … We’re gonna be in the Hudson”.

From Sully (2016)

Sullenberger then came over the intercom for the cabin, with the now infamous words “Brace for impact.” The cabin crew then started instructing passengers on safety procedures. Sullenberger then looked over at his co-pilot, they had both been operating the past few minutes almost in silence. He asked, “You got any ideas”? Jeffrey replied, “Actually none”.

Sully (2016)

The plane touched down on the Hudson River, in the middle of New York City. Boats came to the rescue and aid in the evacuation of the 155 people who were onboard.

Sully: the story of a hero or a fraud?

Some climbed out onto the wings, some got onto inflatable rafts, and others, fearing an explosion, swam away from the plane. The temperature of the water was about 5°C, as the plane was quickly submerged as the doors were opened.

Captain Sullenberger remained in the aircraft and double-checked the entire aircraft for any remaining passengers, before being the last person off the aircraft.

Captain Sullenberger, his co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles, and the cabin crew’s quick and noble actions saved every single life on the aircraft that day, all 155 passengers were saved, most of them only suffering minor injury.

Ever since that crash, pilots were then trained to perform water landings in the event that such a situation ever arises again.

The landing was rightfully nicknamed “The Miracle On the Hudson”.

Crew of US Airways Flight 1549
Captain Sullenberger pictured on the left, with his co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles on the far-right

Watch Captain Sullenberger describe the plane landing here:

Watch a reenactment of the landing from the movie Sully (2016)