The foreign direct investment of Hooters
hooters.jpg Jon Bonné reports in MSNBC that the Hooters restaurant chain is not only expanding to the skies and casinos — it is also busting out beyond American borders: With all those reports of call centers heading off to India, one U.S. brand intends to tap into the subcontinent’s growing prosperity. Hooters is exporting its ...
With all those reports of call centers heading off to India, one U.S. brand intends to tap into the subcontinent’s growing prosperity. Hooters is exporting its controversial brand of home-grown sex appeal. The Atlanta-based restaurant chain, known more for its scantily-clad female servers than its rib-sticking menu, this week announced it signed a deal to open several Indian franchise locations, though it has not said where…. “I am looking forward to the ‘recreation’ of this dining atmosphere,” Sunil Bedi, Managing Director of franchisee H.O.I. Pvt. Ltd., said in a statement…. Hooters’ expansion is the latest sign that U.S. businesses have awoken to the potential of the Indian middle class and its growing disposable income, said Jagdip Ahluwalia, executive director of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston. “We’ve got Domino’s there, we’ve got McDonald’s there, we’ve got all these brands out there,” Ahluwalia said. “There is a window of opportunity that’s open. And if we don’t grab that opportunity, Europe will.” Hooters already has a strong global presence with some 370 restaurants, including 26 overseas locations in such places as Austria, Guatemala, Singapore and Taiwan. This is its first location in South Asia, where more modest sensibilities often prevail. But it has aggressive plans for further expansion — including its first restaurant in China, due this fall, three restaurants in Thailand and elsewhere. “We’re going to continue to fill out Latin America,” said [vice president of marketing for Hooters of America Mike] McNeil.
I can already visualize the impending Naomi Klein column, heaving with brand outrage — of course, Klein has had her own problems as of late.
Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School at Tufts University and the author of The Ideas Industry. Twitter: @dandrezner
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