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Hooters is closing several underperforming restaurants.

Hooters closes dozens of restaurants

Hooters is citing current market conditions for the closure of several underperforming stores.

Hooters is the latest casual dining chain to close a significant number of locations amid a challenging operating environment where costs remain high and consumers become more discerning. Reports of abrupt closures in markets from Louisville, Kentucky, to Bryan, Texas, to Lakeland, Florida, began spreading Sunday evening. About 40 restaurants around the U.S. have been shuttered, according to local news reports.

The company confirmed the closures to Nation’s Restaurant News Monday morning, sharing in a statement:  

“Like many restaurants under pressure from current market conditions, Hooters has made the difficult decision to close a select number of underperforming stores. Ensuring the well-being of our staff is our priority in these rare instances. With new Hooters restaurants opening domestically and internationally, new Hooters frozen products launching at grocery stores, and the Hooters footprint expanding into new markets with both company and franchise locations, this brand of 41 years remains highly resilient and relevant. 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.”

According to Technomic Ignite, Hooters finished 2023 with 293 restaurants, a -1.3% change from 2022. The company had 333 locations at the end of 2018, marking a -12% decline since then. Its categorical competitors all grew last year, per Technomic’s data, including Dave & Buster’s (7.3%), Miller’s Ale House (8.9%), and Twin Peaks (12%).

With this announcement, Hooters joins a growing list of restaurants that have retrenched throughout the past year and a half. Red Lobster may close over 100 restaurants on the heels of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, while Rubio’s shuttered 48 locations in California alone. In 2023, there were 17 chains that experienced a double-digit unit count retrenchment from 2022 to 2023. Nearly 33% of ranked chains in the Technomic Top 500 experienced a net decrease in locations in 2023 — an uptick in chain closure rates versus both 2022 and 2021.

Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]

TAGS: Finance
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