Call it the “Hooters” model but more and more restaurant chains are taking on to the idea of a more robust kind of dining experience.
According to Entrepreneur Magazine, “breastaurants” are steadily becoming one of the fastest segments of the dining industry. Serving up burgers, steaks and other delectable items alongside scantily clad women is raking in big bucks for several new businesses that are looking to expand and take down the empire of the mighty orange owl.
The concept has grown in spite of the recession by focusing equally on upscale comfort food, full bars with extended beer choices, a full menu of sports on TV, and waitresses in tight shirts and short shorts. But the most important aspect of these restaurants is the same element that powers most successful eateries: customer service.
While “breastaurant” owners say they are providing good old fashioned comfort food, many see the expansion of such establishments during the current recession as a nostalgic throwback. Not only has the trend given rise to catchy names like “Twin Peaks,” some say its being led by male business owners and investors looking to capture the days of the lady in waiting (except where this “lady” has a cup size above the letter C and is willing to show her cleavage while making the rounds).
While Entrepreneur calls the segment one of the fastest growing, putting a real tangible estimate on their revenue is hard to do. Many of the chains are still counted in the general category of casual dining. But they all have the benchmark in mind, beating out Hooter’s $1 billion annual earning a year.
One of the new chains to open up is Titled Kilt, a bar where women in plaid open button ups tied at the waist and half past pelvis skirts serve customers ranging from low to upper income men and boys. Ron Lynch, the company’s CEO says that its success has been achieved by breaking out of the box, saying:
“Friday’s, Chili’s–those kinds of concepts came to be very similar in menu and look because they were chasing the same dollars. When we sprang up, people were looking for something different. We sell on sex appeal, but we are sexy classy, sexy smart or sexy cute. Not sexy stupid or sexy trashy.”
While Lynch says his brand offers a classy type of service, there is definitely an appeal that stems from the suggestion of something more. Tempe’s waitresses practice what they call “touchology” by using physical contact with their clients. Say what you want about the touchy feely technique keeps patrons coming back. Lynch even prides himself in the practice, noting regular customers even request their favorite waitress by name.
“Why do regular customers come in three times or more a month? What more could a guy ask for: great food, sports, beer and a cute girl to look at. We don’t go real deep.”
What’s your take on the rise of “breastaurants”- are they a recessional repercussion or timeless sexism? Weigh in and tell us what you think!