Hooters turns to a new woman-friendly look

Facing ever-tougher competition, the 'breastaurant' aims to make its decor and offerings appeal to more than just one sex.

By Jonathan Berr Mar 8, 2013 1:36PM
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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17Comments
Mar 8, 2013 4:48PM
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They need to spend money on improving the food.
Mar 8, 2013 2:38PM
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Hooters has the worst hot wings ever.

Mar 8, 2013 3:25PM
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I went to Hooters once.  I looked every waitress right straight in the eye and enjoyed some of the worst food I've eaten in my life. 

 

I will never go back to one because the whole place just felt phony to me.  Not interested in some "young thing" to come up and attempt to engage me in idle conversation.

 

More than anything though, their food just plain sucked.  It was an awful experiance.

Mar 8, 2013 2:56PM
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Surprised they haven't come up with another place called B*ners yet.
Mar 8, 2013 6:43PM
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Wings have no flavor and they are the most expensive in my area. I go to a local dive on mondays for 50cent wings, even at full price still better than hooters!!
Mar 8, 2013 6:27PM
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Really? And how much of an insult and a slap in the face is this? ARE YA KIDDING ME??? Hooters wants more WOMEN to go there? HMMMM. Let's see: How about change the name, and GET RID OF ALL OF THE BIMBOS!!!!!!! First, this idiot restaurant chain trains the bimbos to intentionally ignore any stupid women with no self-respect who might go there, and to keep 'buzzing' around the men at the table and pouring their beer from their pitchers every 2 minutes, in order to get bigger tips, now they WANT women to go there? This proves they are in financial trouble. I hope they all close.
Mar 8, 2013 2:42PM
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So will they change thier name to Hooters and Honkers?
Mar 8, 2013 5:08PM
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What happened to the Hooter's Airline?  It had trained flight attendants and a few Hooter's servers in their outfits on board.  Many guys prayed for turbulence....heh, heh.  Oh well--not the greatest joke.
Mar 10, 2013 8:42AM
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I have never been there and will never go-unless they hire some sexy goodlooking young guys I can eyeball at--like they have at Buffalo Wild Wings!  hehehe
Mar 8, 2013 3:25PM
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My wife likes the breastaurant category. 
Mar 8, 2013 4:18PM
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Love the food and the atmosphere.  Its the only place I go for family birthday celebrations, including my wife's.  Wild Wing food cannot compair.
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