Controversial ‘breastaurant’ chain Hooters shuts dozens of stores

Hooters has abruptly closed dozens of “underperforming stores” across the US as cost-of-living pressures continue to affect spending habits.

The chicken wings brand, best known for its skimpy uniforms, cited “pressure from current market conditions” for its decision to close an unspecified number of diners.

Roughly 40 of the 300 restaurants worldwide were shut, including in Florida, Kentucky, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.

“Like many restaurants under pressure from current market conditions, Hooters has made the difficult decision” to close select locations, a spokesperson told the publication.

The number of Hooters locations has declined by 12 per cent since 2018, according to restaurant consulting firm Technomic. Meanwhile, competitors Twin Peaks and Dave & Busters have all seen increases since then, CNN reported.

Despite admitting some restaurants were struggling, Hooters maintained firm that the “brand of 41 years” is still “highly resilient and relevant”.

The company has been opening new locations both in the US and internationally, as well as adding Hooters-branded frozen food to American grocery stores.

“We look forward to continuing to serve our guests at home, on the go and at our restaurants here in the US and around the globe,” the spokesperson said.

Outrage as Hooters girls reveal uniform charge

The controversial “breastaurant” chain, infamous for its scantily clad waitresses dubbed “Hooters girls”, struggled to take off in Australia, with its last remaining restaurant in Parramatta closing its doors in January 2021.

Restaurant spending has slowed amid high dining costs, falling in four of the past six months, according to US Census data as reported by NBC.

Experts have warned that in Australia, hospitality is the most vulnerable industry to current economic conditions as consumers’ disposable income dries up and businesses are being hit by huge prices increases.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics also revealed profits in the accommodation, food services and hospitality sectors have barely grown during the first quarter of the year, rising by just 1 per cent between January and March.

Meanwhile, 41 per cent of consumers said they plan to spend less on restaurants this year, according to a survey from consultant group KPMG.

That’s a stark contrast from last year, when consumers said they planned to spend more on restaurants.

— With the New York Post

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