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January 1, Iconic Sports Bar Chain Shuts Locations: Is Your Favorite Next?

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Hooters fans might need to find a new place for chicken wings and cold beer, as the iconic sports bar chain has experienced a sudden wave of closures. Dozens of locations across at least five states have reportedly closed in the past week, with some outlets estimating that about 40 Hooters have shut down for good.

In response to inquiries about the closures, Hooters didn’t confirm the exact number of restaurants that closed. They shared some insight into the decision: “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.”

Hooters is not alone in facing challenges in today’s tough restaurant industry. Changes in consumer preferences, struggling trade areas, and rising costs are impacting many iconic American brands. In response, some chains, like Hooters, have chosen to close struggling locations in hopes of improving overall company health.

For example, Bloomin’ Brands, the parent company of Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and Bonefish Grill, announced in February that it was closing 41 underperforming locations. Similarly, fast-casual Mexican chain Rubio’s Coastal Grill closed 48 California locations before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June.

Despite systemwide sales dropping nearly 15% since 2018 and its overall footprint shrinking by 12%, Hooters remains optimistic about its future. The chain stated it is still opening new locations in the United States and abroad. They have also launched a new line of frozen Hooters appetizers and snacks at Publix stores nationwide: “With new Hooters restaurants opening domestically and internationally… 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.”

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