Reading the Mayor of Wingville’s blog lately, I couldn’t help but notice the increasing amount of news regarding Hooters restaurants closing
Now I realize that our currently economic climate leaves a lot to be desired. As a college graduate of the class of 2008, I – along with many of my friends – will be the first to tell you that our economy is in the shitter. After searching endlessly for a job within my major, I ended up at Hooters with an eye toward seeking a law degree. Basically, I decided, after unsuccessfully job seeking with a resume filled with all the right internships, G.P.As and references, that I had to do something above and beyond to distinguish myself. Enter law school.
That brings me back to Hooters. What makes a successful Hooters with staying power? Just as I need to differentiate myself as a job seeker, Hooters needs to differentiate as a restaurant. And this is the very basis of Hooters, differentiation. Everyone knows that Hooters is not Hooters because of the food; I mean lets be honest here, the food at Hooters is certainly not stellar. Hooters is Hooters because of its distinct environment and wait staff. These very distinctions allow Hooters to have continued success as a chain. Simply put, Hooters has found what’s it good at and stuck to it.
So why the sporadic closing of Hooters restaurants around the nation? Yes, there are certain environmental and economical factors that vary from place to place but for a minute lets ignore that. This Hooters Girl is of the opinion that these restaurants have forgotten what they’re good at. Think for a moment about the Hooters you’ve visited and what they were like. There was lots of fried food and pretty girls, but there was so much more. That so much more was personality. It was the snarky yet flirty attitude of your server as she sat at your high top table. It was the dancing and singing that erupted spontaneously. It was the fun you had.
Now imagine a Hooters where it’s just the food. Yeah the girls are pretty but they’re boring and offer the same service as the Applebee’s across the street. There is no dancing and most certainly no singing. So my question is, in a Hooters like that, what makes it Hooters? I’ve been to a few Hooters and my first experience with the place was in a restaurant like I just described. It was late March and the restaurant was just as cold and uninviting as the weather. My reaction was to never go back.
My whole point returns to the fact that Hooters has recognized the importance of differentiation. Unfortunately, some restaurants in the Hooters chain simply fail to deliver on what makes Hooters special. Maybe they can’t find staff with the right combination of looks and personality. Maybe the managers are too busy looking at the bottom line. Maybe they’ve been open too long and simply got lazy. Whatever the case it very well could be that these restaurants failed because they are no longer Hooters, but rather just another greasy spoon with crappy food. So here’s to keeping Hooters, Hooters and realizing that you don’t really go for the wings, but rather the experience.