‘I work at Hooters but don’t stereotype me – one customer wanted to put me in his will’

Declarations of love and a would-be benefactor – it’s all in a day’s work for a Hooters girl.

Liana Pirraglia admitted she had “negative expectations” before she started working at the famous restaurant chain two-and-a-half years ago, but she needn’t have worried as it turned out to be “super fun”.

Known for its waitresses’ iconic, figure-hugging uniforms, Hooters is something of a US institution.

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But Liana urged people to steer clear of unfair stereotypes, insisting there’s much more to her and her colleagues than meets the eye.

The 21-year-old, from Long Island, New York, works at Hooters in Farmingdale.

Within weeks of starting, she was asked to feature in a glamorous ad campaign and has since appeared in the famous Hooters calendar, which sold out at her restaurant.

Liana is no stranger to modelling, though, having starred in TLC’s Toddlers in Tiaras, when she was just eight.

Liana was regularly asked by customers to sign copies of the Hooters calendar, which featured her

More recently, she took part in a ‘where are they now?’ feature on the controversial reality TV show, currently airing on Discovery+.

Talking about her role at Hooters, Liana exclusively told the Daily Star: “When you’re hired it is considered an acting and entertaining position, so I love that aspect of it.

“I was also really interested in the modelling aspect.

“I actually started to post a little bit on my Instagram account, and I would tag the official Hooters account.”

'I was really interested in the modelling aspect'
‘I was really interested in the modelling aspect’ (Image: Liana Pirralia)

“Just around two or three months after starting at Hooters they saw my post, and they loved the post and how I looked, and called me and said they wanted me to come photograph in Atlanta, Georgia, for a campaign shoot.

“It was called the New Beginnings campaign.

“So that was amazing to be working a few months and have them already want me in their advertising.

Liana's calendar pose - photo by Volume Visuals
Liana’s calendar pose – photo by Volume Visuals (Image: Liana Pirralia)

“It was also really appealing to be part of the Hooters calendar, I was really happy to be a part of that as well.”

She added: “When I started working there I didn’t know that to expect, I had negative expectations, like I was kind of bracing myself.

“But people were really nice, you get a few interesting characters once in a blue moon, that are really strange, but I think that’s the same anywhere you work.

“I have a lot of fun working with girls that are all in my age group, all super fun.”

'I have a lot of fun working with girls that are all in my age group' photo by Rob Klein
‘I have a lot of fun working with girls that are all in my age group’ photo by Rob Klein (Image: Liana Pirralia)

“I feel like I have made some really good friends from working there,” she added

“Sometimes we like to talk about experiences we’ll have with different customers, and we’ll just laugh about it.

“A man asked me if I would like to be named as a beneficiary in his will.

“Also sometimes we receive gifts, once I received was a nice necklace that was engraved with the text ‘I love you forever & always’.”

Liana said that the fact that most waitresses only work part-time gives them time to have opportunities outside the restaurant.

'A man asked me if I would like to be named as a beneficiary in his will' photo by Rob Klein
‘A man asked me if I would like to be named as a beneficiary in his will’ photo by Rob Klein (Image: Liana Pirralia)

“For me I like to do acting jobs, I do commercial work, I do modelling work,” she said.

“I do dance, I’m a professional ballet dancer, so I love to do dance work, I like to sing, whatever comes my way.

“Part time is good for that so I have time to explore the acting field, and have time for both.”

She said she is currently thrilled to be part of a film that’s coming out soon.

'In the future I see myself doing a lot more in the acting field, singing' - photo by Rob Klein
‘In the future I see myself doing a lot more in the acting field, singing’ – photo by Rob Klein (Image: Liana Pirralia)

“I’m excited for that and where it’s going to take me as it’s been one of the biggest projects I have done,” she said

“It’s going to be called Stream, it’s going to be a horror movie.

“I’m a big scaredy cat, so it’s a little different for me, but I know that people like that kind of stuff.

“In the future I see myself doing a lot more in the acting field, singing, and just staying with what I’m doing, just to a new heights.”

Reflecting on the unfair stereotypes she and some of her colleagues get, Liana said: “I do hear some interesting ones that I don’t always agree with.

'In the future I see myself doing a lot more in the acting field, singing' - photo by Rob Klein
‘In the future I see myself doing a lot more in the acting field, singing’ – photo by Rob Klein (Image: Liana Pirralia)

“At the end of the day, I know that every girl is different, everyone has their own story and I think that’s what makes all the Hooters girls really special.

“And I think that the Hooters company themselves, when I did the New Beginnings campaign.

“They did try to break their own stereotype to show that Hooters girls have a different personality that makes the restaurant special.”

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