With a valuation of $20 billion, WeWork is one of the most baffling startups in the tech world. It’s a glorified landlord with an app and some kegs. It’s pretty damn expensive and the spaces it offers are as generic as they come. But if you’re in Tokyo, Hooters has a better flexible workplace solution.
Hooters, the casual dining establishment which is best known for the skimpy, skintight outfits that its waitresses wear and the bad puns about boobs that it scatters throughout its locations. But it’s 2018, and things are changing. Last month, it opened its first spin-off restaurant, Hoots, which is just like Hooters but it doesn’t intentionally objectify women. And now, as SoraNews24 first pointed out, Hooters just got into the coworking space game at its Tokyo location.
Hooters knows chicken wings and breasts, not apps. So, the way this works is, anyone who wants to work at Hooters can use a Japanese service called Spacee that specializes in connecting digital nomads looking for a table and some wi-fi with Tokyo eateries. The fact that there’s a press release focused just on the Ginza branch of Hooters makes this pretty clear that Spacee is pulling off a publicity stunt here, but don’t be too quick to dismiss it.
Hooters is offering 20 seats from 1-7 PM, times when it isn’t particularly busy. A 30-minute work block can be booked through Spacee, which requires no sign-up or membership fees. And each 30-minute block is only 50 yen or about 48 cents. If you need a workspace for the full six hours a day, five days a week, that’s only 60 bucks a month. Plus, you get discounts on drinks, so when the day is done, you don’t even have to relocate to a bar to unwind. On top of that, if you’re a student, it’s free.
In its Google-translated press release, Spacee encourages people to keep an open mind. “By working in an environment different from usual, we believe that each worker finds new discoveries, such as work progresses, innovative ideas are born, and so on,” it writes. Although I can barely focus while listening to ambient music on headphones, surely there are some oddballs out there that might benefit from a little screen-time at Hooters.
A “Hot Desk” at one of WeWork’s spaces starts out at $220, and I’m sure Hooters can argue with wagging-eyebrows that its desks are hotter. Plus the blaring volume of a sports game mixed with old Bob Seger hits is still better than listening to the rando next to you go on about his blockchain idea.