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Quick Hits: Breastaurants Offer Service with a Smile, Cut-off Shirt


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

Hooters restaurants' sales ballooned in 2008; now, several other franchises that cater to a man's fancy have been springing up across the country. Informally dubbed "breastaurants," chains like Twin Peaks and Bone Daddy's have placed the friendly young waitresses at the forefront of their appeal.

And men will continue to tell their wives and girlfriends they go for the wings.

Opening a new location this week in Bedford, Texas, Twin Peaks combines the sexy server pastiche with a mountain lodge decor. Waitresses are bedecked in flannel shirts tied at the waist and shorts. On the walls are mounted trophy animals. CEO Randy DeWitt describes the layout as a "guy's world."

"You can't get it at home; you can't get it at your workplace anymore. But you can get it at Twin Peaks," DeWitt contends, seemingly suspecting the common workplace once boasted scantily clad women beside dead animals.

Despite some consumers who find the concept eye-rollingly tacky, the idea is a continued success. Hooters defied sluggish economy numbers and accumulated $997 million in 2008, which was 2% higher than the previous year.

Most impressive is the chain's ability to market itself as a family restaurant. In fact, among Hooters patrons, the ratio of male to female customers in 1991 was 80% to 20. It's now roughly 68 to 32%.

On the other hand, some family restaurants -- like Olive Garden (DRI) -- choose to distance itself from those sporting money-making curves.

In the face of a growing number of babe-based restaurants, Hooters remains unafraid. Marketing Vice President Michael McNeil asserts, "We're not looking over our shoulders."

McNeil apparently leaves that to the men visiting the establishments.
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