Tuesday, June 25, 2024

[ALERT] "Breastaurant" Chain Hooters Goes Through Store "Reduction," Georgia Restaurants Affected

Hooters is the latest casual dining restaurant chain to close dozens of locations amid a challenging operating environment.  Reports of abrupt closures in markets from Charlotte to West Palm Beach began spreading Sunday evening.  About 40 restaurants around the U.S. have closed, according to local news reports.  Texas was hardest hit with fifteen closures.  

The company confirmed the closures to Nation’s Restaurant News Monday morning, sharing in a statement:    

Like many restaurants under pressure from current market conditions, Hooters has made the difficult decision to close a select number of underperforming stores. Ensuring the well-being of our staff is our priority in these rare instances. With new Hooters restaurants opening domestically and internationally, new Hooters frozen products launching at grocery stores, and the Hooters footprint expanding into new markets with both company and franchise locations, this brand of 41 years remains highly resilient and relevant. We look forward to continuing to serve our guests at home, on the go and at our restaurants here in the U.S. and around the globe.”  

Hooters of America, LLC was established in Clearwater, Florida in 1983 and is today based in metro Atlanta, not far from Truist Park.  Then company President and CEO Coby Brooks went "undercover" in the second ever episode of the hit CBS show "Undercover Boss" in 2010.  (Making a cameo appearance in the episode was Kat Cole, then an executive with the chain, who would go on to hold several President and COO roles with FOCUS Brands [now GoTo Foods] and is now COO and President at Athletic Greens - AG1)

Hooters closures in Georgia included full-service restaurants in Hiram, McDonough, and Brunswick, where a ground-up restaurant debuted June 17, 2019.  

The company also closed its Hoots Wings by Hooters (originally Hoot's Righteous Wings) at Madison Yards in Reynoldstown.  The spinoff restaurant debuted during the second half of 2019 and was the first of three the company once had in the market. The company also had locations in Peachtree Corners Town Center in Peachtree Corners and North Decatur Station in Decatur with neither lasting very long - the former now occupied by Knuckies Hoagies and the latter now home to Touchdown Wings.  The Hoots website indicates that just six locations - in Illinois, Michigan, and California - remain open.  

According to Technomic Ignite,a restaurant research firm, Hooters finished 2023 with 293 restaurants. The company had 333 locations at the end of 2018, marking a 12% decline in the five year period.  A decade ago the company operated 430 restaurants.  

Its chief competitor in the so-called "breastaurant" category, Twin Peaks, grew last year by 12%, per Technomic’s data, and according to company executives, plans to grow even more aggressively in the years to come.     

Twin Peaks owner Fat Brands confidentially filed in May to take both it and sibling brand Smokey Bones public.    The company expects to end the year with 125 Twin Peaks lodges after opening an anticipated 15 to 18 units, for a total increase in unit count of about 51% since Fat acquired the chain in 2021.  Over the next five years, Twin Peaks plans to double its unit count, and has 125 franchise deals signed and committed to be built during this time frame, Wiederhorn told Restaurant Dive in May.  (Former Hooters President Coby Brooks is today one of the largest Twin Peaks franchisees.) 

Fat is also in the process of converting Smokey Bones restaurants, which it acquired in 2023, to Twin Peaks, as part of its expansion. More than half of Smokey Bones’ 61 restaurants will be converted to Twin Peaks locations with a handful of these conversions expected to be completed this year, and the bulk to occur in 2025 and 2026.  Twin Peaks currently has just four locations in Georgia including those in Buckhead and Kennesaw.  For its part, Smokey Bones also has four units in Georgia: Lithonia, Columbus, Peachtree City, and Buford in the Mall of Georgia.  

Hooters is the latest in a growing list of restaurants that have retrenched in recent years as elevated food costs and increased labor costs have brought significant headwinds to operators.  Red Lobster closed about 50 restaurants in May and announced plans in June to potentially close about 50 more on the heels of its May Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.  

Following the closures, Hooters operates sixteen locations in Georgia including restaurants on Holcomb Bridge in Roswell, Cobb Parkway near Smyrna, Peachtree Street in Downtown Atlanta, and perhaps their newest in the metro, a ground-up building in an outparcel of Mall of Georgia which opened in late 2015.  

Are you surprised to see Hooters close so many restaurants?  What would you like see open in place of Hoots at Madison Yards?  When was the last time you patronized a Hooters restaurant? 

Please share your thoughts below.  

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Things are bad when boobs won't even sell.

Ham said...

Never understood this place there are better dining options and better places to see scantily clad women. The few times I went guys were acting like jerks and it just seemed weird to me.

Anonymous said...

A straight man might lose his job and be labeled a sex predator just for dining at Hooters in today's climate. Too risky. Will probably be replaced by a Chuck E. Cheese where all the characters are drag queens who grind on the children.

Anonymous said...

Most the women that would have been working at Hooters 15 years ago are now on Only Fans etc. Why work at a Hooters when you can work on the World Wide Web?

Jane said...

this headline is a hoot.

Anonymous said...

Couldn’t be anymore homophobic than that.

vespajet said...

Back in the early 1980s, my mom worked for Eastern Foods (Which was later rebranded Naturally Fresh Foods after the line of salad dressings) and Coby was considered to be the "black sheep" of the family even as a kid. He wasn't the one being groomed to take over the company, but that changed when his brother Mark died in a plane crash back in 1993. He sold Naturally Fresh about a dozen years ago and the new owners eventually killed off the retail distribution of the salad dressing.

Anonymous said...

I believe that naturally fresh salad dressings actually started at Hooters in form of the honey, mustard and ranch, Blue cheese dipping sauces, I believe I read that they were using so many that they started to manufacture their own. I very much remember there was a time I guess in the 90s where the naturally fresh dips were in many many retail restaurant establishments throughout the country. All kinds of restaurants in many states had them, from the north to the south to the Midwest. They did very well at brand recognition and distribution. Then suddenly they all disappeared. I wonder if they still exist.

Anonymous said...

I heard that so many hooters locations were closing because their sales were “flat “!!

Pigfish said...

I used to get free VIP passes to the Hooter's Cup Racing series from a lady who worked at Naturally Fresh. They had 2 cars sponsored, a "Naturally Fresh" car and a "Jackaroo BBQ sauce" car. Great times !!!!

Anonymous said...

Atlanta's favorite rappers have said much worse even though most are on the DL lol.

Anonymous said...

Coby Brooks is no longer with the company, he started Twin Peaks which is a similar gig.

JF said...

It's sad when Eli allows comments like the one posted on 6/25 at 7:51 AM to spread hate and misinformation.

A quick check of anything factual will reveal that you should hide your children from church leaders, not the LGBTQ community.

I continue to realize a good chunk of the members on here are all pearl-clutching, homophobic racists.

JF said...

Hoots is also still open in Reynoldstown. Drove by there yesterday.

Alex said...

Sorry to hear about this. Thanks for the mammaries.

Anonymous said...

Apparently not since Twin Peaks is expanding

Anonymous said...

Love the Chucky Cheese comment! We need more of that. Tired of their damn "celebrate our queerness" bullshit.

Anonymous said...

It’s actually a funny comment and speaks to how messed up society is today, pushing drag queens and sexual immorality on children

vespajet said...

@Anonymous June 26, 2024 at 1:43 AM

Eastern Foods created the Naturally Fresh line of salad dressings in 1980; the first Hooters didn't open up until October of 1983 and it was a few more years before Robert Brooks and a group of investors bought the rights to the concept. For Eastern Foods, it made sense for them to own a restaurant chain, as they had long been in the foodservice business providing products (not just salad dressings) to not only national/international chains and smaller mom and pop restaurants, but also to airlines (Eastern Foods started up in the 1960s to sell non-dairy coffee creamer to airlines and added other product lines over the years.).

Anonymous said...

@JF, grow up and/or get a life. You're taking the fun out of a joke. Or maybe you work at Chuck E Cheese? I preferred Showbiz myself.

JF said...

@Anon 11:12,

Of course you would post anonymous as a keyboard warrior.

Wouldn't be funny as a joke considering the hate some get for being drag queens for no reason.

There is no agenda being pushed to kids minus the religious one where pedophile religious leaders attempt to groom children under the guise of things in a book that never actually happened in some fantasy land.

Wonder if you would find a joke funny if someone said something personal about you or someone you knew.

It's quite obvious what kind of person you would be and that's obvious it's a disappointment to society.

Alex said...

Eli embraces free speech. All points of view are welcome here and that's part of the reason I come here. If you want censored speech and content because you can't cope, stick with Reddit.

Anonymous said...

I don't get draq queens at all. As for Hooters, I've only ever been once. The scenery was nice but the food was mediocre at best.

Anonymous said...

I’m pretty sure he doesn’t embrace hate speech. There’s a difference, Al.

James said...

It's always the anonymous ones who post racist or homophobic things.

Anonymous said...

They're closing because the Hooters food isn't good. So much heavy food, fried and greasy items.

Anonymous said...

What are draq queens? Are they from Iraq? Are they fans of Shaq?

Anonymous said...

They’re closing because the Hooters aren’t any good anymore. Too small and too saggy.

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