Another Hooters Location Closes as the Company Circles the Drain

By: Stephanie Bontorin | Published: Jun 25, 2024

The well-known Beaumont location of Hooters has shut down amid dozens of store closures throughout the country. The restaurant chain doesn’t have the same draw that it once did.

Andrew Agan, a representative for Hooter’s corporate, said that the brand has been forced to close underperforming locations as they are struggling to keep up with bills in a cost of living crisis.

Many Restaurants Are Struggle To Perform Lately

It’s not just themed restaurants like Hooters or the Rainforest Cafe that have been struggling to attract customers lately. Many well-established restaurants and brands have failed to keep up with emerging trends and increasing business costs.

The exterior of an orange themed restaurant with a small patio with hanging plants

Source: Ildar Sagdejev/Wikipedia Commons

Agan remarked on the closures that, “Like many restaurants under pressure from current market conditions, Hooters has made the difficult decision to close a select number of underperforming stores. Ensuring the well-being of our staff is our priority in these rare instances.”

Dozens of Locations Have Closed in the Past Few Years

Although Agan did not detail how many of its restaurants have closed recently, reports show that more than 40 locations have closed across several states.

The exterior of a large orange restaurant with yellow walls and a HOOTERS sign in front

Source: Mike Mozart/Wikipedia Commons

Even stereotypically cheaper places like Kentucky, Texas and Florida have been forced to end operations.

Far From the End of the Hooters Brand

Execs at the restaurant chain think that even though they have been facing massive closures and bankruptcies, this is not the end of the legacy.

The entrance to a Hooters on the side of a small downtown street with a man walking past

Source: @WFLA/X

Instead, they plan on opening new stores in different locations and hope to gain the attention of a new audience.

More Plans to Launch Consumer Items

On top of the plan to open new locations in up-and-coming areas, the chain thinks that they might be able to gain success in the consumer-grocery department.

The exterior of a large hotel and restaurant with several billboards and neon signs

Source: Stuart Sevastos/Wikipedia Commons

Specifically, Again stated that, “new Hooters frozen products launching at grocery stores” will hopefully keep the brand image in the minds of their preferred diners. He also said, “We look forward to continuing to serve our guests at home, on the go and at our restaurants here in the U.S. and around the globe.”

Popular Chains Are Closing Around the Country

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, prices related to operating restaurants and businesses have increased dramatically. The cost of fuel, food, and transportation is one of the main factors restaurants must consider when setting prices.

A patio with chairs chained to tables

Source: Marcel Strauss/Unsplash

Several popular chain restaurants have been forced to file for bankruptcy amid pandemic closures, lagging customer bases, and high employee wages.


Customers Aren’t as Fond of Eating in Anymore

One of the ongoing challenges that businesses must face in today’s climate is the legitimate complaint of tipping fatigue.

The interior of a sports bar with wood booths, signs and people eating

Source: Cmasi/Wikipedia Commons

Customers feel like they’re being forced to tip at every turn: drive-thru’s, coffee shops, takeaways, delivery, and more. Many people on tight budgets have completely eliminated tipping from their daily life. This means no going to restaurants and only buying groceries to cook at home.


Many Big Businesses Are Struggling With High Employee Wages

In general, a full-service restaurant with a large kitchen and a stocked bar only makes around 5% %- 10% profit on its total sales. This small margin means that any change in normal operating costs takes a big hit to the bottom line.

Two men pose with three Hooters waitresses wearing all black

Source: Brett Marlow/Wikipedia Commons

Recent changes in several states relating to the minimum wage that servers and bartenders make has seriously affected corporate restaurant’s abilities to turn a healthy profit.


Sports Bars Are Loosing Their Draw

Hooters are known first and foremost as a sports bar with a laid-back atmosphere. They’re famous for their wings, beer selection, and pretty waitresses.

The exterior of a Hooters restaurant with open flags

Source: Lambroso/Wikipedia Commons

In recent years, many diners have swapped out the casual sports bar atmosphere for trendy breweries with outdoor seating or more upscale eateries for a fine dining experience. The sports bar model is lagging behind in most states in the U.S.


When Did Hooters Get So Popular?

The brand first made a name for itself in the 1980s in Florida. The first few locations were opened in well-known spring break and party cities.

A Hooters sign outside of a restaurant at night

Source: Barb Crawford/Wikipedia Commons

By the late ’80s, the brand had expanded throughout the state and part of the south when investors realized that they had a winner on their hands. At the time, it was a less stressful place to go and talk to women or for college kids to get cheap eats.


Substantial Losses for Hooters Corporate

At the end of 2023, Hooters still had 293 locations worldwide, showing a 1.3% decline from the previous year.

A Hooters sponsored race car at a track event

Source: Michael Barera/Wikipedia Commons

Overall, the company’s sales have declined roughly 12% over the past few years despite once making millions in sales at each restaurant.


Many Think the Brand Is Simply Stuck in the Past

On top of ongoing issues with the cost of business, high employee wages, and changing trends, many people say that they don’t want to revisit a Hooters restaurant because they simply refuse to update the menu, waitress uniforms, or theme.

The interior of a sports bar with orange wood and several TVs

Source: BrokenSphere/Wikipedia Commons

Millenials are simply not interested in what Hooters has to offer. Greasy wings can be obtained anywhere, and the “breastaurant” concept doesn’t capture the attention of more “woke” generations. With failing sales and closed locations, the brand will now be forced to adapt or lose even more.