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January 21, 2022

Hooters trying its hand at family-friendly dining

Earlier this month, in an interview with Business Insider, a former Hooters waitress offered an intriguing answer to the question, "Did families ever come in" to the restaurant?

"Oh, yeah," she said. "We had families all the time. It's a very kid and family-friendly environment. Wives, girlfriends, kids. Not all the customers are men."

Um, what's that, former Hooters waitress? Are we talking about the same restaurant, the breasty, scantily-clad server environment with a nod to boobs right there in its name?

It would appear that we are, and the restaurant itself has made that clear. This week, Hooters will debut a new layout concept that's supposed to be more accommodating to family dining.

On Wednesday, Hooters, known not as much for its food but its waitresses, what with their painted-on orange shorts and skin-tight white tanks, will test a new look at one of its Texas locations.

*Bing: Find the nearest Hooters to you

Check out pics of the remodel here, but that Hooters is turning its focus to family-friendly dining is an interesting play for a restaurant that's so long catered to testosterone-fuelled customers.

"Hooters is turning 30 this year, so it seems only fitting to refresh and modernize our restaurants during this milestone anniversary," Dave Henninger, Hooters' chief marketing officer in the U.S., said in a statement.

"Based on initial feedback from our local Hooters customers, they are celebrating this remodel as the ideal environment to kick back and relax after work, get together to watch their favourite sports team and enjoy a delicious meal with their family."

That last point is what brings us here today. No doubt there's more money to Hooters in catering to entire families, not just dudes sitting around gawking at waitresses.

But really, are you talking your wife and kids to Hooters for dinner?

Most Canadians know Hooters only by proxy. There aren't too many locations north of the border, despite the chain's high-profile from its waitresses' infamous wardrobe.

Though given the chance, perhaps Canadians looking for a quick meal on the town aren't so much interested in improved restaurant decor as they are restaurant ambience. That is to say, the ramped-up sexual atmosphere of Hooters may just prevent it from ever becoming a family restaurant of choice.

Would you eat at Hooters with your family? Why or why not?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...