Hooters’ Impending Train Wreck

Hooters’ Impending Train Wreck


For its entire existence, Atlanta-based Hooters has been mocked and reviled for its entire concept; from its double-entendre name, to its tight bright-orange short shorts, to its efforts to be a “family-friendly” restaurant. Hooters’ CEO is even appearing on CBS’ Undercover Boss to tout their new plan.

Why is Hooters trying to be family friendly? Come on, Hooters is what it is: a place for some guys to hang out. It was never meant to be more than that, and it never will be. Doing such a good job of selling their main “product” is what made Hooters a 450 store chain with a billion dollars in annual sales.

Now they want to move away from the very business model that made them successful and try to be all things to all people. Like many other attempts at this, Hooters’ attempt will fail. Hooters will destroy its core brand and fail in their attempt to become family friendly.

Five years from now, when they have closed 50-100 stores, they will make an announcement that they are returning to their roots: hot pants and skimpy shirts. Here’s the thing, Hooters could appeal to families. They just need to open a different chain. The human brain associates one word or phrase with a brand. We all know what word we associate with the Hooters brand. This is the brilliance of the brand. However, that same double-edged sword prohibits Hooters from being family friendly.

I won’t buy family-friendly vodka and I won’t take my girls to Hooters. Sorry.

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