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Hooters Thinks Home Delivery Might Make Its Brand Less ‘Polarizing’

Grub Street logo Grub Street 1/12/2018 Clint Rainey
a group of people sitting at a table in a restaurant © Provided by Grub Street

Hooters has decided, in our current cultural moment, that it should probably push delivery as a way to covertly eat the chain’s acclaimed food without the baggage of having to physically enter one of its breastaurants. Hooters’ sales have slipped in recent months, and apparently CEO Terry Macks feels that by focusing on delivery, hungry but suddenly sheepish wings-eaters will warm to the chain.

In fact, according to Macks, there’s no telling how much this plan might help their business: “Many people wouldn’t step foot in our restaurants, but they want our product,” he said at a retail conference this week, according to the New York Post. Delivery therefore solves “the polarizing issue the brand has had” — or, well, at least one of them. It still ignores the dicier problem of whether it’s okay to support an atmosphere where workers sometimes get photographed without consent, groped, or even stalked because you can now order the products anonymously.

But data supplied by Hooters shows that the delivery push is kind of working: Orders are up by almost a third this year, and the number of locations with delivery has climbed from 7 in 2016 to 96. Just so everyone’s clear: The delivery people aren’t Hooters Girls. That job will typically fall on GrubHub, DoorDash, or UberEats.

The Post adds that Hooters is also cleaning up brick-and-mortar restaurants, perhaps as a backup plan. They offer a “smoked” wings option now, have more craft beers on tap, and sport renovated exteriors. The façade’s drab old strip-club look has given way to walls of glass windows. Macks says that’s so people passing by who’d ordinarily roll their eyes will now see “how much fun” everyone inside is having.

Related gallery: We visited America's most famous 'breastaurant' for the first time — and what we found shocked us (provided by Business Insider)

a plate of food on a table: Hooters is the most famous "breastaurant" in America. As two Hooters dilettantes, we went in expecting to be disappointed. Instead, we found a pleasant atmosphere, good wings - and even some tasty oysters. As two 20-somethings who had made it this long without ever visiting Hooters, we were both at peace with perhaps never dining at said establishment. But as chain restaurant reporters and connoisseurs, we knew the omission of the nation's most famous "breastaurant" would not stand.  Since its founding in 1983, Hooters has become something of a pop culture icon synonymous with buxom waitresses and... wings. There's a "bro-culture" vibe attached to the brand; in our minds, it seemed to have the stench of toxic masculinity, even from afar. However, what we found upon venturing inside the chain was vastly different from our preconceived notion. Here's why everyone should give Hooters a chance. We visited America's most famous 'breastaurant' for the first time — and what we found shocked us
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