Hooters Spreads its Wings Again Internationally

The chicken wing chain has opened four new restaurants around the world and has an appetite for more growth
Menu items from Hooters
Hooters is betting its bar-friendly menu has international appeal. Hooters photo

Hooters, the original chicken wing restaurant that started in Florida, has opened four international sites so far this year, and two more are in the works and will open by the end of the year. The well-known brand has made foreign growth a key part of its overall growth plan, and there is a lot of room for growth both abroad and in the U.S.

In January, Hooters opened a restaurant in Coacalco, Mexico, which is just outside of Mexico City. This was the start of a big year for foreign franchise growth. Soon after, stores opened in Durban, South Africa, another part of Mexico City, and Guatemala. Each of these sites has a different layout, with one being an “express” location. This shows how the franchise’s store models can be changed to fit different needs. These places are the center of all global groups, and each menu has items that are specific to the area.

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This news comes right after an exciting foreign development in 2022, when Hooters opened new locations in Mexico, Canada, and the U.K., making it the largest Hooters in the world.

“We have more than 27 years of international experience, let alone 40 years of being leaders within our industry,” said Michael Arrowsmith, Chief Development Officer of HOA Brands, parent company to Hooters & Hoots Wings. “Our unaided brand awareness is one of the highest in the restaurant industry – there is nobody who does it quite like we do. From being a sought-after destination, to offering flexible store models, and simple operations, our franchise opportunity is truly one-of-a-kind.”

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Since 18% of the Hooters brand is in other countries, global growth will continue to be a key part of the franchise development plan as a whole. When planning for the next phase of growth, the company’s leaders have set their sights on Europe, Southeast Asia, and India as well as other parts of the world where there is a high demand for well-known restaurant names.

Many of Hooters’ international franchisees own more than one location because they see the benefits of having a name that is well-known and the support of a business system that has worked for 40 years. For example, Gordon Jestin, who owns six places all over South Africa and has more than one franchise, is a big part of the growth there.

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“South Africa needed something special, a brand that would stand out against the rest, and that was Hooters,” Jestin said. “There isn’t a person in the world who doesn’t know what Hooters is. It’s been a winning formula since 1983, and now 40 years later, you know the brand is here for the long run.”

The original Hooters opened in 1983 in Clearwater, Florida. That first location is still open today off Gulf-To-Bay Boulevard.

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