Food & Drink International - Spring 2017 Volume 1 - 45
Original Hooters Group
The first Hoots location will open in February in Cicero, Ill.
With 75 seats, the store has a smaller footprint than a typical Hooters restaurant, but offers many of the menu items for
which the company is known. "Hoots will allow us to bring
our world famous wings and other items into smaller markets,"
The Hoots concept is also a way for Original Hooters to take
advantage of the growing popularity of its carryout offers. "In
the Chicago region, several stores have to-go sales in the 20 to
25 percent range of total sales," he adds. The Chicago market
generates the highest average unit volume (AUVs) for the
entire Hooters system. As such, it was a natural spot for the
company's newest full-service restaurant, which opened in
October 2016 in Gurnee, Ill.
The average Original Hooters location reported revenue of
$3.95 million in 2016. While many restaurants in the casual
dining space experienced declining sales in 2016, the Original Hooters Group stores reported a sales increase of 5.62
percent across all of its locations last year, and $100 million
total in revenue.
Kiefer credits the company's management team for its
success. In addition to Kiefer, who started with the company
full-time in 1992, the management team includes Chief Operating Officer Sal Melilli, who started with the company as a
back-of-the-house restaurant employee in 1991; Chief Marketing Officer Denise Williams, who has been with the company since 1985; and Chief Financial Officer Bruce Clark,
who has been with Original Hooters since 1994.
Other key management team members are Vice President
Bill Moore, a member of the Original Hooters team since
the early 1990s who today oversees the Florida and New
York City locations; and Vice President Steve Baldacci, who
joined the company in the mid-1980s and oversees the Chicago area operations.
Together, the team hopes to further expand both the Hooters and Hoots concepts. "As our territories get more saturated
with our full service units, we look to add more Hoots units
and will also be looking at potential new concepts," Kiefer
says. "We plan to make this a $200 million company."
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food & drink international * spring 2017 volume 1 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com