Hooters restaurant chain, long the “man cave” away from home, is trying to turn declining sales around by attracting more female customers, according to NBC News today. Known for branding the term 'breastaurant', thanks to its curvaceous waitresses, Hooters sales have “flattened out” and now they’re trying to turn things around by wooing female customers. The Atlanta-based chain is revamping their menu and remodeling stores in an effort to make themselves more mainstream.
“Traditionally, when you want to appeal to more women, you’re going to bring in issues that have to do with diet. It will be salads, things that are fresher”, said Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst at research firm NPD Group.
The intent is to counter the “veto vote”, since “Women are the driving force behind our everyday eating patterns”, Balzer added. CEO Terry Marks told Nation's Restaurant News last August that, “The food had not kept pace over time”.
In terms of remodeling, the chain is hoping, “a more open and brighter appearance”, thanks to higher ceilings and lighter colors, will also broaden their appeal to women.
Executive V.P. at research firm Technomic Darren Tristano warns the move could be a risky one. “I think they need to stay true to their brand”, he said.
“To try to make Hooters more female-oriented will move away from what has attracted men to the concept…It may be as harmful to target them as it is helpful to bring them in the doors”, Tristano added.
What do you think, is Hooters’ move a boom or a bust?