The Hooters restaurant has been around since the 80’s. That is a long time in the world of sit down restaurants with a theme. To understand the menu better, taking a look at the history of Hooters and related matters is helpful. For example, Hooters theme. It is, well, pretty much based on Hooters. The name was taken from a Steve Martin sketch on Saturday Night Live and it is slang for breasts. We know the slang. No doubt. But we may not know the additions to the new menu or any other of the changes made. Below you’ll find the current Hooters menu explained, best I can, along with general Hooters info.
The Current Hooters Menu Explained by Me
Fresh and not frozen. That’s the direction Hooters was heading.
Concept, Changes, Explanations
When they wanted to change their menu and revive the whole concept back in 2013, they hired Greg Brickmann formerly with Wolfgang Puck. Talking about their reliance on frozen foods, he half-joked that the kitchen tool used most often “was a scissors — to open a bag.” He got them away from that.
Entree salads were put on the menu. At Hooters. Salads…plural. You know, more than one. In fact, Hooters added five entree salads to their menu. They started making a Chicken Garden Salad, a Taco Salad, a Chicken Caesar Salad, a Shrimp and Spinach Salad, and the Hooters Original Buffalo Chicken Salad.
Remember Hooters’ Burgers. Guess what? They decided to use only fresh beef. Not frozen. Fresh 100% American Beef. Sounds like a big deal to me. Everybody say, “Moo”.
How about a Philly Cheesesteak? Want a Pulled Pork sandwich. Yep, on the expanded menu at Hooters.
Bar only appetizers and appetizers that were only available at certain locations were finding their way on to the menu. They started to have later night food specials too.
In addition to fresh, not frozen wings, they added new sauces. Smoked wings too that had fewer calories. Choices, healthier choices, variety, and new flavors for their customers to savor. Seems to be what they were thinking.
Along with changes to the look of the Hooters’ Restaurants, more of what they called “localization” to give a unique local identity to the places, they continued to tweak the menu to see what worked best for them.
And, gradually, the current Hooters menu evolved over time as they rolled it out to more locations.
That is the best explanation of the Hooters menu I can offer. More fresh, less frozen, more variety, and a lets up the quality attitude.
Hooters and Success
Well then, what happened? Hooters restaurants relied for many years on the Hooters girls to drive the success of their restaurants. They also had pretty good wings. I think it was mainly the sauce that got people all excited about their wings. A closely guarded secret, you know. But the Hooters Girls (the original Hooters girl was Lynne Austin and future celebrities were Hooters girls too) and their friendly, flirtatious customer service, marketing appearances, and calendars really made the business stand out.
Face it, we men like attractive women in tight clothing who are friendly and approach us. In fact, we are suckers for it. I think it is in our DNA. And we like to eat. Put the two together and you’re on your way.
Why Hooters Started Losing
Times change. Sometimes even the tried and true loses steam. The quality of the food at Hooters restaurants was not keeping pace with what was happening in the world of restaurants. Quality and freshness were the trends.
Hooters was missing out. They were being left behind. They were still using frozen everything. Frozen wings. Frozen burgers. A pitiful, crappy salad. Fresh was happening. The only fresh things at Hooters were the comments made by some of the customers.
Plus, there was increased competition in the “breastaurant” category of restaurants. Other places offered better food and were racier. Hooters was too tame. At least that’s what their competitors like Twin Peaks thought. And they were growing while Hooters…not so much.
A Better Version of Themselves to Win Again
To get their game on again, Hooters decided to reboot the menu as I explained, embrace their history, and at the same time refresh themselves for now and the future. Hot wings, anyone?