The Hot Waitress Economic Index: A Primer

I was looking up some financial terms on Investopedia the other day when I came across an interesting item: the Hot Waitress Economic Index, which posits that the worse the economy, the hotter the wait staff at your favorite restaurant will be.

The theory is that in good economic times, hot people have no problem getting work: as models, for example, but also as salespeople, clerks, and -- let's be honest -- most everything that involves interacting with people. This applies to men as well as women, to the extent that they're hired based on an eye-candy factor.

But when the economy tanks, those higher-level jobs are cut, and all the beautiful people are pushed to look for work in the service sector, where they'll earn tips by smiling seductively as they refill your water glass.

But here in South Florida -- a booty-shorts-crazed restaurant zoo that makes Hooters look tame and conservative -- do the same metrics apply?

Take a place like Brick House Tavern + Tap, which amps up the Hooters theme into strip-club-like personal attention, or Capone's on Himmarshee, where bartenders don't really wear pants, or the bartenders in tiny black dresses at the Funky Buddha or any number of bars in Boca, West Palm, and beyond. Not to mention Miami, where there's probably a bar where they wear just pasties.

Our tourism economy is dominated by the mythical idea of free-flowing booze and not-so-subtle flirtation, and it's not so common to see well more than half of the person bringing you your drinks or dinner. Personally, I've lived here only while the economy was shit (since late 2010), so I wouldn't know if these joints switch over to homely staffers when markets are booming. I imagine not, though. And in a bid to compete with other struggling businesses, owners would probably place a priority on hiring even hotter people to lure in those last straggling customers.

New York
magazine says
the Index is a leading indicator, which means that hot people getting hired in a particular industry happens on the early end of a recovery or downfall. With each ugly waiter, there's a glimmer of hope.

Have you noticed a trend one way or the other? If you get one more bacon foie-gras chipotle bacon jam bleu cheese kobe truffle burger served by a gorgeous specimen, are you going to have to sell your yacht? We're here to listen.

Stefan Kamph: Follow on Twitter | 

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ted anthony inserra
ted anthony inserra

as a member of "in the bizz" this is very true, some places Art Bar, clevender (roof top) just wear upper body paint, and also i think the look of a heavy server , owners think, reflects on the is a business where looks count, hot girls and guys bring people in, i have seen it.  


why do your posts for cpc always have something to do with sex?


A dissent: hotness brings them, but service keeps them. The people I know who make a living in the biz are those good enough to develop and keep regulars. Tips make rent, not looks, and no one tips an incompetent.

Rj Petrucci
Rj Petrucci

 NJ R -- correct as customers we like em hot and able to remember our order and to check on us a couple of times. Glad we cleared that up NJ R

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