Hooters opening new fast-casual concept Hoots, with male and female servers

As Chipotle, Panera and similar restaurants advertising higher quality at a faster pace continue to gain popularity, Hooters, the long-time chain known for wings, short shorts and table service, is dipping its toe into the fast-casual waters. The Clearwater-based Hooters Management Corp., the smaller of the two companies that operate Hooters restaurants around the world, announced Tuesday it will open Hoots, A Hooters Joint, outside of Chicago next month. Hoots will feature an abbreviated, one-page menu with some of the most popular items from full-service Hooters restaurants, including its classic chicken wings, in a new, scaled-down concept that’s part of the fast-casual trend, a news release said. The initial Hoots, located in Cicero, Ill., will be 2,800 square feet, with 75 seats and a full-service bar, but will rely on counter service for both take out and dine-in customers, rather than having servers come to guests’ tables. It’s expected to open in mid-February. One thing customers won’t be seeing at Hoots: the iconic Hooters uniform of orange shorts and tight white tank tops that helped earn the chain distinction as a “breastaurant.” Spokeswoman Lizz Harmon said that the Hoots concept will eschew the revealing outfits, and will also feature both male and female servers at the counter. Hooters Management Corp. CEO Neil Kiefer is part of the group that opened the original Hooters restaurant in Clearwater on Gulf to Bay Boulevard in 1983.

It’ll be interesting to see if this idea catches on..

Surprising facts about Hooters

In a world where just about every restaurant is on the hunt for ways to market themselves as family-friendly establishments, one type of restaurant chain is flying in the face of convention: the “breastaurant.” In recent years, this decidedly child-inappropriate format has exploded in popularity, but Hooters is the one that started it all. Hooters was founded by six Clearwater, Florida, businessmen with no previous restaurant experience in April 1983. The first location opened later the same year on the site of an old rundown Clearwater nightclub. The next few years saw a couple changes in ownership, and today the chain is actually two privately held companies: Hooters, Inc., which owns the restaurants in Tampa Bay, Chicago, and Manhattan; and Hooters of America, which owns or franchises all other locations. Altogether, this amounts to about 460 locations total, in 25 countries. It didn’t take very long for Hooters to work its way into American pop culture after beginning its expansion, largely thanks to its double-entendre name, suggestive logo, and scantily-clad waitresses, who sport short orange shorts and low-cut white T-shirts. Today, it’s a household name and a PG-13 alternative to other chains (the brand has even been extended to a Hooters Casino Hotel in Las Vegas), but it’s facing some serious competition and beginning to show its age. The combination of wings, beer, sports, and cleavage is a winning one; the “breastaurant” category is currently a $2 billion industry. Over the past year, sales at similar chains like Bikinis, Tilted Kilt, Twin Peaks, and Brick House have all increased substantially, with some growing at a double-digit pace, according to food market research firm Technomic. Hooters, however, has experienced a slight decline in sales over the past few years — necessitating the closure of about 50 locations — and those numbers have only just begun to improve. The chain is in the process of renovating all Hooters locations worldwide (adding outdoor dining areas and more windows), the menus now feature salads and other healthier foods, and fresh burgers and wings have replaced the frozen versions served up until now.

Gotta love Hooters!  To read these “surprising facts about Hooters,” click on the text above.    Cheers!!   🙂

Breastaurant business is booming as other chains struggle

While casual sit-down restaurants like Olive Garden and TGI Friday’s are struggling to attract new business, diners are flocking to chains like Hooters, Twin Peaks and Tilted Kilt. So called breastaurants—named for their scantily clad wait staff—are growing at a double digit pace over the last year, according to data from Technomic, a food market research firm.

Hooters wings DO sound really good right about now…   🙂

Veteran’s Day food freebies and deals

Businesses and restaurants are honoring veterans on Tuesday, Nov. 11 with specials and freebies for active duty and retired military personnel.

Here are a few of the many freebies out there tomorrow for vets.  As a vet myself, I always look forward to taking advantage of some of these fun deals.  In addition, I usually take advantage of getting my Mustang washed for free.  But, seeing as its snowing and 14 degrees outside, I’ll probably have to skip that this year.  Oh well..  To all you fellow vets out there, a very Happy Veteran’s Day!  Hope you find some of these deals beneficial!   🙂