Hooters is revamping its brand image a little bit, in order to make the chain more friendly to female customers.
As much as I, a female, personally like Hooters crispy little wings, it is a bit misogynistic in there for my tastes. And before anyone accuses feminists of not having a sense of humor, I do eat there fairly often. Okay, maybe I like wings more than ideals. Not the point!
Hooters is, by and large, set up to appeal to the lowest common denominator of male-friendly culture, and visiting Hooters during a quiet weeknight dinner reveals, oftentimes, a clientele of sad, single men on laptops and a few dudebros ogling the waitresses. And aside from their wings, which are good in their own way, Hooters is no great shakes in the food department overall.
But while Hooters has been coasting on its rack-utation for some time, the restaurant is hoping that by expanding its scope, a larger share than 50% or so of the population will become fans of the joint. According to TIME, the brand is planning a reboot over the next few years, reforming its redneck boys’ club image with a newer, more gender neutral slant:
“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.”
The site quotes Darren Tristano of Technomic, a food consultancy, who explains:
“They’re taking a new approach to the marketplace… The brand has been very dominant, but they have set the stage for competitors to come in with a more contemporary concept… For years they’ve only been working toward Generation X, but now they need to try to get Millennials to come through the doors.”
The Hooters revamp will see about 25 stores remodeled per year, so the brand’s changes will be very gradual indeed — would a more female friendly Hooters make the restaurant more appealing to you, or is the dudebro vibe the main reason you patronize the wings joint?