A buddy of mine just sent me an interview with the CMO from one of our nation’s premiere restaurants, and in the interview that CMO (Carl Sweat) discusses how the restaurant chain he oversees is now the world’s largest purveyor of Fireball Whiskey. Given that this CMO’s chain is in fact my favorite amongst all restaurant chains AND that I’ve been known to take up the Fireball Whiskey market share of 50 average men, I can’t help but think that I’ve played some minor part in Hooters becoming the world’s foremost purveyor of Fireball…But the amazing Hooters news doesn’t stop there: millennial chicks are also HUGE fans of Hooters (and Fireball Whiskey, but we knew that already).
In his interview with Digiday’s Tanya Dua, Hooters CMO Carl Sweat opened up about how Hooters’ appeal towards millennials, Hooters’ new Snapchat account, the changing image of the iconic ‘Hooters Girl’, and more! Here are a few excerpts from that interview:
How does Hooters appeal to the millennial generation?
The interesting thing is that we’ve been appealing to this generation pretty well for quite some time. They’re all about the experience, and that’s what we offer. Hooters is a great equalizer; it’s a fun place to be. There can be a judge sitting next to a college student, sitting next to someone who’s in the military, sharing a great sports experience or ice-cold beer or great food or a Hooters girl’s hospitality. That experience fits in with how the generation sees life.
Talk about dropping the world’s most obvious truth bombs. Everyone who’s anyone knows that Hooters is a fun place to be, and that sharing ice-cold beer and watching sports together is quite possibly the greatest of all American pastimes.
Really? But millennials tend to be so politically correct.
People might not think of Hooters as the quintessential brand for millennials, but our business has been growing rapidly among millennials. Millennials are coming in as groups, both male and female. They are not judgmental. They’re actually interested in the experience and understand that the Hooters girls make it fun, engaging, and there’s nothing more to it than that.
We’re the No. 1 Fireball purveyor in the world, which is a quintessential millennial staple, especially among millennial women. The fact that we are the No. 1 place in the world for sales of Fireball means that millennial women are coming into Hooters and enjoying themselves as a part of the social experience too.
It makes sense the greatest brand in cinnamon whiskey would want to partner with the greatest sports bar brand in America, right? Everything about this makes sense to me, they’re a match made in Heaven.
And last but not least, the CMO opened up about the changing image of the ‘Hooters Girl’:
So sex appeal is no longer the crux of your marketing?
A Hooters girl is much more than just an attractive young lady. That’s one of the things we’re bringing to life more in our advertising. Who the ultimate Hooters girl is, is really defined by that experience at the table-side. The personality that she brings, that level of engagement that she’s able to create in her interactions — that is what brings people back, according to consumer surveys.
Personality AND those dope ass wings they’re selling, it’s the harmony of those two components that bring the customers back.
I’ve spent hours if not days of my life trying to explain to people that my love of Hooters is not ironic, that I genuinely think Hooters is one of the greatest restaurants on the planet. Sure, I may be biased because I grew up just down the road from the first ever Hooters restaurant, and I spent an exorbitant amount of time there growing up (and as an adult) crushing wings and curly fries. But that doesn’t change the fact that at any point in my day I’ll take a break to debate with you on whether or not Hooters is the best around (it is), and I’ll spend as much time is needed to convince you that Hooters is the truth.
Don’t believe me yet? CLICK HERE to read the FULL INTERVIEW over on Digiday!
Hooters, if you’re reading this I’d love to interview the CMO some time and I think our audience would love to hear whatever he has to say about Fireball Whiskey, wings, and millennials.