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Family restaurant chain Hooters is on a roll and looking for dynamic franchisees and masters to assist with its ongoing worldwide expansion
Hooters of America, LLC is the US-based operator and franchisor of over 430 locations in 27 countries. The privately-held corporation also owns and operates 209 locations corporately. The first Hooters opened October 4, 1983, in Clearwater, Florida.
During its history, the Hooters concept has remained true to its roots. The current logo, uniform, menu and ambiance are all very similar to what existed in the original store, albeit with some 21st century enhancements. This consistency is understandable given Hooters’ continued success and high ranking amongst the industry’s growth leaders.
Our guests are our first priority. From the moment you walk in the door, you’re treated like family. Whether it’s a business lunch or a group who came to watch the game, Hooters delivers its guests great-tasting food, our signature Hooters Girl hospitality, and a high-energy, fun atmosphere.
The casual beach-themed establishments feature music, sports on large flat screens, and a menu that includes seafood, sandwiches, burgers, salads, and of course, Hooters original chicken wings with Buffalo sauce favorites, ranging in heat from mild to 911, as well as additional signature sauces and rubs, such as teriyaki-style samurai, lemon pepper and chipotle honey.
Our centrally-located bar area is the perfect place to sit, offering a wide selection of cocktails, craft beers and wines. Others have arrived, departed, and even attempted to recreate our formula, but Hooters remains the genuine original.
During 2018, Hooters expanded with over 20 locations worldwide. Hamburg, Germany, Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and Puerto la Victoria, Mexico gained their own Hooters restaurants, just to name a few! Hooters is off to a great start with its global expansion in 2019, with two international locations already open in Moscow & Guadalajara. Hooters will continue development this year with 15 new locations opening and over 100 commitments for future franchise development worldwide.
Hooters plans continue its franchise growth in multiple markets across the globe, as well as continuing to ramp up its corporate development in the US. In addition to new restaurant growth, Hooters’ remodeling program continues on with an additional 18 remodels in 2019.
According to Chief Development Officer, Mark Whittle, Hooters is taking “a more proactive approach” when it comes to identifying the right candidates, rather than simply waiting for the right person or organization to look them up. Hooters continues to seek new franchisees throughout the world, as there are numerous opportunities for development with new partners in countries across the globe.
With 100% brand awareness in the US, and over 93% around the world, the Hooters brand is not one that needs a lot of introduction to the local consumers. “One of the great things about selling this concept is that you never have to overcome a brand-awareness hurdle,” says Whittle, “Whether here in the U.S. or abroad, everyone knows Hooters, and most people have a genuine fondness for the brand.”
Hooters ideal franchisee
The ideal franchisee is someone who’s operated multiple restaurants in a given market, or someone who’s entering the project with access to an experienced partner. Also key, in addition to financial wherewithal, is a desire to develop multiple restaurants. “The three common elements with our largest franchisee partners are a passion for our great brand, solid operational execution, and the financial capability to grow the brand in each of their markets,” says Whittle.
Hooters looks for potential franchisees with $1.5 million in available cash on hand, and a $3 million net worth, but these levels can vary depending upon the market. It’s not simply about the money, Hooters is first and foremost a people business. “We want our associates and our franchisees to be passionate about the business and the concept, and to have a desire to be with people,” Whittle says.
In terms of markets, Hooters is predominantly looking at markets with populations of at least 150,000 in five miles with a middle to upper middle income base, a high preponderance of daytime activity and a strong workplace population surrounding the site.
In addition, Hooters prefers sites that are within close proximity to regional malls, theaters and/or sports arenas to help drive evening and late night traffic. Hooters is always looking for new locations in corporate and franchise markets around the globe.
What about after you have become a franchisee? Hooters is proud of its commitment to franchisee support, which includes all aspects of the business from initial site selection, design and construction assistance, operational training, long term business development support, and marketing and menu guidance. “Ideally, a customer going into a Hooters should not be able to tell if its company owned or franchised. Regardless of ownership, every Hooters exists for one reason – to make people happy,” says Whittle.
AT A GLANCE
Name of franchise: Hooters of America
Number of franchised outlets: 223
Location of units: Worldwide
Investment range: $1.5 - $3 million USD
Minimum required capital: $1.5 million
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