We met the smartest Hooters girl in the world, who has a maths degree and wants to become a pilot
She used to live on Harlaxton
Lydia Hipkiss is not your typical Hooters girl. Aside from being a Nottingham grad with a 2:1, she’s a globetrotting model who has dreams of flying commercial planes.
Lydia took a job at the restaurant chain five years ago, while studying for her Mathematics with Engineering Bsc. The 24-year-old, who graduated with a 2:1, recently landed a coveted spot in Hooters’ 2016 Swimsuit Calendar, beating competition from thousands of girls worldwide and becoming the only Briton to feature.
Lydia, who was also impressively crowned Miss Hooters World in June this year, told The Tab: “When you’re at uni you’re always really skint, everybody always needs money.
“I’d always worked since I was 14 and I had quite a lot of free time, so I applied for Hooters.
“I got the job when I was 19, it was the beginning of my second year, just for a bit of extra money.
“Everybody was fine with it, my housemates loved it and were always asking me to bring some food back after work.
“My parents thought it was great I had a job and was supporting myself at university, they didn’t mind at all.”
As a fresher, Lydia lived off-campus in St. Peter’s Court, moving to Harlaxton Drive for second and third year.
She took a gap year after her graduation, volunteering as she travelled the world, teaching in the favelas of Peru and contributing to housing projects in Guatemala.
She said: “I was originally on a four year masters course but after three years I decided I’d had enough.
“I worked for about six months at Hooters full-time, then I went travelling for a year around Asia and Indonesia, then I went to Central and South America.
“After that I came back and have been working here and for different promotional companies.
“I know at some point I do have to get another job, but for now this is working for me, I’m enjoying myself at the moment.
“I get to go away loads with work, I’ve probably been away every other month this year and in a two weeks I’m going to South Africa for a month.
“I’m literally all over the place at the moment but I’m really enjoying everything so I might as well make the most of it while I can.”
Nottingham’s branch is the only Hooters restaurant in the UK, and Lydia insists the raunchy reputation of the brand is misunderstood.
She said: “In England especially there’s a massive misconception of what Hooters actually is.
“Outside of Nottingham no one really knows what it is, or they come in expecting something different from the reality.
“We’re trying to spread the word, even in America, that it’s very much a family restaurant.
“Most people come in for the food, and we have lots of promotions such as all you can eat wings on a Monday and kids eat free on a Sunday.”
As well as landing the Miss February calendar spot, Lydia won the crown of Miss Hooters World, a title only available to waitresses from outside of America.
Lydia, who competed against more than 100 hopefuls at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, said: “All the stores in the world do a bikini contest every year and the winner competes in a swimsuit pageant.
“The final was hosted in Vegas, where I was crowned Miss Hooters World.
“Obviously it’s a lot bigger in the states than here, the winner from America tours the whole country for the year after she wins.”
Although she is in high-demand for work, the Notts grad is currently single, but sadly claims she wouldn’t date a student.
Lydia said: “I’m too old for uni students I’m afraid.
“I don’t go out as much as I did when I was at uni, but I like to just go into bars and stuff now, I love going to Bluebells.
“I go to bars all the time, I don’t think the clubs in Nottingham are great.
“I cannot imagine going to Ocean now, no way.
When asked whether she still hated Nott’s poly neighbours Trent, Lydia joked: “I don’t know, it feels like it was so long ago, maybe I should just let it go.”
Lydia is happy with her current job but has her sites set on a high-flying career in the future – as a commercial pilot.
As for the future, she said: “Basically I really want to be a pilot, I’ve had that dream for ages.
“I’m trying to get one of the airlines’ training schemes next year.
“It costs loads of money to become a pilot but they sponsor you to do your course and give you a job as a co-pilot afterwards.
“So I’ll still be travelling around the world, just in the cockpit, it makes sense with my degree.”