Hooters closes some struggling restaurants, citing a difficult market

The sports bar chain abruptly shut its doors in parts of Texas, Florida, Kentucky and Virginia. A local media outlet put the total number of closures at 40.
Hooters restaurant exterior
Hooters sales rose just 0.8% last year. | Photo: Shutterstock

The Hooters sports bar chain has closed a number of underperforming restaurants across the country, saying that difficult market conditions are to blame.

The closures include stores in Bryan, Wichita Falls, Seabrook and McAllen, Texas; Lakeland, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; and Manassas, Virginia; according to local media reports.

Hooters confirmed the shutdowns Monday but did not provide an exact number. Texas news outlet Texoma reported that 40 Hooters have closed nationwide, citing restaurant employees.

The 293-unit chain known for its chicken wings and scantily clad waitresses has been struggling for years. Since 2018, U.S. systemwide sales are down nearly 15%, and its domestic footprint has shrunk by 12%, according to Technomic data.

Last year, Hooters U.S. sales rose just 0.8% year over year and it closed four restaurants, per Technomic.

Despite the latest wave of closures, the chain said in a statement that it remains “highly resilient and relevant” after 41 years in business. It pointed to new restaurants opening in the U.S. and abroad as well as a new line of frozen products for grocery stores.

“We look forward to continuing to serve our guests at home, on the go and at our restaurants here in the U.S. and around the globe,” Hooters said.

Atlanta-based Hooters is one of a number of legacy casual-dining chains in crisis amid rising inflation and changing consumer habits. Similar struggles pushed Red Lobster into Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month, and TGI Fridays, O’Charley’s, Fuddruckers and California Pizza Kitchen all closed dozens of locations last year.

Virtually the entire restaurant industry is facing declining guest counts this year as consumers pull back on their spending. Casual dining has felt the traffic pressure most acutely due to its higher price points.

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