Hooters was founded in 1983 by 6 businessmen in Clearwater, Florida, Lynn Stewart, Gil DiGiannantonio, Ed Droste, Billy Ranieri, Ken Wimmer, and Dennis Johnson.
Waitresses at Hooters restaurants are primarily young women, usually referred to simply as “Hooters Girls”, whose revealing outfits and “hooters” are played up and are a primary component of the company’s image. The company employs men and women as cooks, hosts (at some franchises), busboys, and managers.
The menu includes hamburgers, sandwiches, steaks, seafood entrees, appetizers, and the restaurant’s specialty, chicken wings. Almost all Hooters restaurants hold alcoholic beverage licenses to sell beer and wine, and where local permits allow, a full liquor bar. Hooters T-shirts, sweatshirts, and various souvenirs and curios are also sold
In 1984, Hugh Connerty bought the company. Connerty was, in turn, bought out by a group of Atlanta investors led by Robert Brooks. Brooks would purchase the majority stake in the company in 2002.
By 1991, there were 50 restaurants in the Atlanta area. By 1993, there were 100 locations.
In 2011, Terry Marks replaces Coby Brooks as CEO.
In 2013, the company announced plans to remodel every restaurant in the chain.
Today, there are 420 Hooters restaurants nationwide. About a quarter of them are company-owned and the rest are franchised.
The company is owned by Chanticleer Holdings, an investment firm. Chanticleer plans to do a reverse merger with Sonnet BioTherapies, Inc., in a statement dated October 10, 2019.
Due to the coronavirus, many Hooters were forced to close, but they are slowly reopening, including the Las Vegas Hooters.