Sarasota Hooters Employee Sarah Magda Will Compete in the Hooters International Pageant

Magda will face off against 29 other contestants for the chance to win bragging rights and some major prize money.

By Lauren Jackson July 10, 2024

Sarah Magda was surprised with the news of her selection to the Miss Hooters International Pageant while working a shift at the Sarasota Hooters.

Sink your teeth into this news: Sarasota resident and Hooters employee Sarah Magda will compete in next month's Hooters International Pageant, representing the greater South Florida area. Magda, 25, has worked for Hooters for nine years, seven of which have been in Sarasota, and was surprised with the news of her selection while working a shift at the Sarasota Hooters on the South Trail.

To participate in the pageant, which is now in its 27th year, Magda will travel to Fort Worth, Texas, on Aug. 22 to compete against 29 other contestants for the chance to win $35,000 and the title of Miss Hooters International. 

Magda's no stranger to being in the spotlight: she was also selected as one of the 2025 Hooters calendar girls and will make her debut representing the month of January. The calendar was photographed in the Bahamas earlier this year.

We had to know more about her upcoming adventure. Magda chatted with us about working for Hooters, participating in pageants and how she really feels about chicken wings (spoiler: her favorite flavor is garlic habanero). This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

Why did you want to work at Hooters?

"My mom was a Hooters girl and met my dad while working there. I like to say that I literally wouldn't exist without Hooters. My older sisters started working there before I did, and when I turned 16, I applied because I saw how much fun they were all having."

Why did you choose to enter the pageant competition?

"Growing up with Hooters as a big part of my life. I watched the company's pageants on a livestream. My best friend went to the pageant last year, and I heard about her experience with all the other women. I learned that you make friends forever through it. Those connections are so valuable. This will be my first pageant and I'm so excited."

Magda will compete on Aug. 22 in Ft. Worth, TX.
Magda will compete on Aug. 22 in Ft. Worth, TX.

What are you doing to prepare?

"I have pageant practice in Ft. Lauderdale at the end of July. During the practices, we’ll go over walking, interviewing and learning about how to hold yourself and how to speak. I have no idea what to expect.

"In terms of physical preparation, I do Pilates and was a gymnast. Being active is part of my lifestyle. I love how I look right now and I don’t want to change anything. Because self-care is important, I'll also be making time to give myself mental rest."

What is the wildest preparation tip you’ve gotten from a former pageant participant?

"So many girls have said to get a spray tan twice before I take the stage. I'll get one a few days before and then another the night before. Apparently, it shows up really well on stage and is a poorly kept secret!"

During the interview portion, are there any questions you're hoping you get asked?

"I hope one of the questions is, 'What is your favorite thing about being a Hooters girl?' I'd also like them to ask how to change the perspectives of people who think of Hooters in a negative way."

While shooting for the 2025 Hooters calendar, Magda worked with school children in Bimini, Bahamas.
While shooting for the 2025 Hooters calendar, Magda worked with school children in Bimini, Bahamas.

How do you change people's perspectives who think of Hooters in a negative way—like that it might be exploitative?

"I try to explain to them that there's so much to it than just being a restaurant. We do philanthropic work for Self Help International, which empowers women in Nicaragua. And while shooting for the 2025 Hooters calendar, we worked with kids in Bimini in the Bahamas. You never get over the feeling of giving back—it’s so heartwarming.

"In addition to the charity work, there are the friendships and the positive, fun outlook on life. I hold my connections with other girls so near and dear to my heart. It’s amazing."

Is there anything that scares you about the competition?

"I’m an outgoing and bubbly person and I’m so excited to meet everyone. I guess I’m a little worried about rehearsals, which don’t happen until we get there. Making sure I have all my footing down and hitting my marks is a little scary, but I’m excited to get out on the stage and have fun with the girls."

How do you really feel about chicken wings?

"I love the wings! I love our garlic habanero rub the most."

Blue cheese or ranch?

"Ranch, for sure."

If you had to be one item on the Hooters menu, what would it be and why?

"Oh, good question! I would be a buffalo chicken wrap because it’s kind of cool and crunchy. It doesn't always make sense to eat hot food when it's also hot outside, but a wrap cools things down. Like a wrap, I’m a level-headed, go-with-the-flow person, and I love to keep it cool."

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