Dallas gets more wings via Hoots Wings, a new fast-casual concept launched by the Hooters chain specializing in chicken wings but no breasts. Has someone already made that joke? Because it's going to be fast-casual and there will be no half-clad servers, see.
Bringing Hoots to Dallas as well as Austin is AE Restaurant Group, a Dallas-based franchise group that plans to open its first locations in northern Fort Worth and "suburban Dallas," although they have not yet signed a lease.
Cary Albert will handle real estate, development, and build-out. Jackie Albert will handle operations, marketing, training, and hiring. The couple currently owns 30 locations of Schlotzsky's.
Hoots was launched by Hooters' parent company HOA Brands in 2016, with the idea of doing a fast-casual version of itself, with a menu of its best-selling most popular items. Hooters has been doing wings since 1983.
Hoots' menu includes five wing options — breaded bone-in, naked bone-in, boneless, smoked, and roasted wings — plus sauces and rubs, Buffalo shrimp, chicken sandwiches, and waffle fries.
There are currently seven Hoots Wings locations, in Illinois, Georgia, and Florida.
In 2020, the chain let it be known they were seeking franchisees. AE Restaurant Group signed on and plans to open at least six locations in 2021, according to a release.
Stores use a small amount of ingredients, and kitchens use two pieces of cooking equipment. Hoots Wings is also partnered with third-party delivery platforms like Uber Eats and Grubhub, and units include a designated area for takeout orders to reduce friction.
In a statement, AE Restaurant Group's founders say they're enthused because they'll be on the ground floor of an emerging concept on the fast-track for growth, while benefiting from all the perks of having a national brand.
"The more we dug into Hoots Wings' food and finances, the more appealing it was," Jackie Albert says. Sounds yummy.