Hooters Casino Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev., on January 30, 2006 (© Ethan Miller-Getty Images)
Can Hooters make people forget that its name has nothing to do with owls? The privately owned Atlanta-based restaurant chain hopes so.

As Today.com recently noted, Hooters has revamped its menu and spruced up the decor of its restaurants to make them more appealing to women. The reason is simple: Hooters' old focus on the physical attributes of its servers as opposed to the quality of its food no longer made good business sense. A consultant quoted by Today notes that revenue "flattened out" -- pardon the pun -- at $1 billion in 2007 and was $850 million last year.

Part of the reason is the heightened competition in the so-called "breastaurant" category, from rivals such as the Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery, Twin Peaks and Mugs N Jugs.   According to the Associated Press, the top rivals to Hooters each had sales growth of 30% or more in 2011, a remarkable statistic given the state of the economy. The rise of Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) probably hurt business at Hooters as well. A company spokesperson couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Hooters plans to remodel about 20 to 25 of its more than 430 restaurants over the next few years to make them look less like a man cave or a frat house, and all new locations will be built according to the updated design, according to a 2012 article in Nation's Restaurant News. The chain also is improving the quality of service provided by the "Hooters Girls" to their customers and has added more health-oriented options such as salads to its menu.

The changes appear to be working. As Today notes, both men and women now think better of Hooters. That new attitude was apparent in the Yelp reviews for a Hooters in Atlanta.

"Regardless of how you feel about the tight shorts and tiny shirts, if you like wings and want something that will reliably be good... this is your (spot) in downtown Atlanta," wrote user Len P.

--Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.


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