Hooters-style bars broadening appeal in US
25 June, 2012
Hooters-style restaurants with scantily-clad waitresses are one of the growth sectors of the bar and restaurant scene in the US, says Associated Press.
It points to examples of so-called ‘breastaurants’ like the straightforwardly-titled Twin Peaks (pictured) that are following the template of Hooters—though several of them claim to be going beyond their most obvious attractions in efforts to build a market. “Instead of relying on lust alone, the new crop of restaurants is growing by offering new themes (think: rustic lodges and Celtic pubs) and varied menus (think: pot roast and shepherd’s pie instead of just burgers and wings). In other words, they’re hoping maybe people really are coming in for the food.”
Data from Technomic suggests that ‘breastaurants’ still account for less than 1% of the US’ top restaurants, though they are increasingly rivaling mid-market options like Applebee’s and Bennigan’s. AP reports visitors at Arizona’s Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery including women and children. “Prices and the food—if those are good, I don’t care what anybody’s wearing,” said one female diner. Tilted Kilt grew sales by a third last year and plans to have 95 locations by the end of the year.
Hooters is meanwhile responding to the fresh competition and its own declining sales by revamping some of its locations with upgraded TVs and outdoor areas. It has also broadened out its menu and tried to showcase stories of its staff to update perceptions. “The public can be misinformed about what we do. They jump to their own conclusions,” said chief marketing officer David Henninger. But some women’s groups remain opposed to the concept. Mona Lisa Wallace, president of the San Francisco chapter of the National Organisation for Women, said: “If it’s an adult entertainment business, that’s fine. Where they’re crossing the line is when they expose young children to the objectification of women.”
For the full story, see Hooters-style restaurants experiencing a mini-boom.