Hooters’ Big Experiment: New Menu, New Decor, and a New Target Audience

Over the past several years, Hooters’ sales have been on the decline. So the “breastaurant” is now undergoing a three- to five-year revitalization plan, which will include an updated menu, renovated restaurants, and an attempt to attract a demographic that has not historically patronized Hooters in large numbers: women.

In 2008, Hooters had 400 restaurants bringing in revenue of about $960 million. But the recession, plus the rise of competitors like Twin Peaks and the Tilted Kilt, began chipping away at sales — and at Hooters’ decades-long dominance in the male-driven sector of restaurants featuring wings, beer, and shapely women. By last year the number of outlets had dipped to 365 and revenue had fallen to $858 million, according to industry analyst Technomic. The only growth Hooters has seen over the last few years has been outside the U.S.
So Hooters will spend the next several years trying to update its brand. It started by changing its tagline to “Feed the dream.” It hired HBO’s “Eastbound & Down” creator Jody Hill to direct new TV spots that include ESPN football analyst Jon Gruden. It unveiled a revamped menu that includes salads, burgers and an “expanded line” of chicken wings. And it plans to remodel about 25 stores each year. Read More