Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Hooters in India?

Via Dan Drezner, I came across this MSNBC story that Hooters were planning to open franchise locations in India. As David Letterman would say, WHAAAT?

"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. They'll be in charge of hiring local waitresses (a 1997 settlement allows Hooters to keep an all-female serving staff, at least in the United States) and choose the menu, with ultimate oversight from the Atlanta headquarters. Between five and 10 Indian locations are initially planned, with the first opening next year.

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.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.

Well, if this report is accurate, the custodians of middle-class morality (and, I guess, the anti-globalisation crowd) in India will be operating at full-employment levels the next few months.

Source: Zoo Station

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