The claim to fame of Hooters — namely, hiring waitresses with ample bazooms — would seem to be a promotional no-brainer. The big surprise in the food world, therefore, is not that the chain (which currently boasts 455 locations nationwide) is about to have company. The surprise is what took the competition so long.
The Sun Sentinel reports on the South Florida debut of two national “breastaurant” chains. The Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery open next month. It will be followed soon after by the more aptly named Twin Peaks, which is to have a mountain sports lodge theme, with service provided by scantily clad “Lumber Jills.”
Joe Sloboda, a Twin Peaks franchisee, explains that breastaurants don’t hire their employees so much as audition and cast them. That makes perfectly good sense (not to mention dollars), says Mark Hanby, Tilted Kilt’s vice president of development. “Initially, customers are drawn in for the girls,” he notes. “But what keeps them coming back is the great food, the selection of drinks and the unbeatable atmosphere.”
The approach is to make sure guests coming in enjoy themselves, whether it’s a bunch of guys, couples, someone celebrating a birthday or watching a football game.
Considering that Hooters generates $900 million in sales annually and that the new breastaurants are expected to more than double that revenue stream, not to mention create jobs, it would seem there is little to find fault with. Yet some have managed.
Meredith Ockman, president of the Palm Beach County chapter of the National Organization for Women, complains that “they’re selling sex.” She adds, “I don’t blame anyone for making a dollar, but don’t think objectifying someone is the way to do it.”
Fabio Caro, owner of the upcoming Tilted Kilt franchise in Hallandale Beach argues that Tilted Kilt Girls “are treated professionally and with respect.” Besides, he notes, “sex-appeal sells.”
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