Mies Contatiner, a new restaurant in Seoul, South Korea, is catering to female customers by flipping the Hooters model on its head, hiring an all-male staff and designing the eatery's interiors to look like a factory construction site.
Journalist Steven Kim says Koreans are famous for not waiting in line. So, when word spread that people were waiting 30 minutes or longer for a table at the new Mies Container, Kim looked for an explanation:
Around nine out of ten of the customers queuing around the building were young women in their 20s.
When a good-looking young waiter with a hip-hop scarf tied around on his head appeared and called out in a booming voice that a table for five was available, I began to understand why so many women were waiting in line.
And indeed, most of the rumors about Mies Container are about the restaurant's young, hot, male waiters and the "macho" atmosphere, which has proven to be a hit with the impatient young Seoulites who would never wait the 30 minutes in line anywhere else.
Customers are even given hardhats with their order numbers. And the walls are adorned with notes from appreciative notes to the male staff, such as, "Dear hot waiter, please marry me!" The owners of Mies Container have also embarked on what might be considered a hipster marketing campaign, forgoing social media outreach and even now-traditional forms of marketing like a company website in favor of a strict word-of-mouth approach.
When asked about the comparison to Hooters, an unidentified manager of Mies Container replied that it's mostly true:
By simulating the concept and design system of a male-only working space of a construction site, and showing a very masculine enthusiasm and passion we wanted to appeal to young women who comprise an important consumer base. We don't discriminately hire staff based on their looks but we are focusing on hiring those with energy and masculinity. We agree to some extent about the comparison to Hooters.
But perhaps unlike the restaurant it drew some inspiration from, Mies Container has been winning rave reviews for more than its attractive servers. Customer's reviews say the food is actually quite good--and the construction site themed interior design even recently won the prestigious German Red Dot design award.
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