'Breastaurants' Booming as Economy Tanks

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2009 5:23 PM CST
'Breastaurants' Booming as Economy Tanks
Hooters a success, even in China.   (AP Photo)

Many restaurateurs are struggling these days, but Hooters and a new crop of imitators are seeing their clientele increase, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Hooters revenues went up 2% from 2007 to 2008, and while the chain is secure—“We’re not looking over our shoulders,” said exec Michael McNeil—savvy entrepreneurs are taking a page from the Hooters playbook.

“It’s a guy’s world,” said the owner of a Texas franchise that features cute servers. “You can’t get it at home. But you can get it at Twin Peaks." Meanwhile Ruby Tuesday, a 950-store chain that lacks scantily clad waitresses, saw sales drop nearly 11% last quarter. "One of the easiest things to cut is eating out," said McNeil. One analyst concurred: "Fantasy goes a long way. Sex sells." (More franchise stories.)

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