Hooters is about to open a new location here in Abilene and some people are freaking out over nothing.

As a matter of fact, our local newspaper recently wrote a story about the opening of Hooters and took to Facebook to shed a negative light on the franchise. My guess is they only did it as click-bait because they're desperately seeking pageviews.

Hooters, the chain restaurant known for its scantily clad waitresses and serving hamburgers and wings, is set to open its Abilene location. [Abilene Reporter News Facebook]

They knew that tease, on their Facebook page, would feed the conservative beast and get people talking smack about Hooters.

I'm not bashing ARN, just pointing out one of the many examples of how people view Hooters and their impact here in Abilene. Actually, others have done the same.

Before we talk about the impact Hooters will have on our economy, let's dispel a couple of myths.

Scantily clad is defined as "inadequately clothed. half-clothed, underclothed. unclothed - not wearing clothing", according to TheFreeDictionary.com. If we are to believe that definition is true, then we'd have to apply that same description to most people jogging on local tracks during the summer, most people attending public pools, many people seen strolling the mall and so on. Heck, I've seen high school volleyball outfits more revealing than that of Hooters.

If you've seen a Hooters waitress lately, you'll notice they wear a white tank-top (with the franchise logo), orange shorts, and the famous Hooters pantyhose, which is a thick (leggings-like) hose that comes in a variety of colors. Yeah, the shorts are short, but the overall outfit is way less revealing that most yoga pants that women wear these days.

Heck, some people shouldn't be wearing yoga pants at all, but you still see them in your local grocery stores, retail stores, and more - yet no one is freaking out.

Oh yeah, I've seen much more revealing clothing on personnel at some local bars and restaurants. You're just freaking out more over the name as you are the attire.

OK, the second myth is about ACU owning the rights to the Hooters franchise to keep them out of Abilene. Not true. Never has been. Stop that nonsense.

Now, let's move on to the economic impact Hooters will have on Abilene.

Abilene tourism is a $400+ million dollar industry. That's a lot of money, so that must mean lots of people visit Abilene.

So, when people visit Abilene, for whatever reason, they seek out franchise establishments to spend their money. Be it hotels, restaurants, retail and more. The more "big name", familiar accommodations we have, the better the chance these tourists spend more money here.

Heck, other businesses that look at coming to Abilene research the environment to ensure it can accommodate with said hotels, restaurants, and more.

Oh, let's not forget that the new Hooters is located just off I-20. While that side of town is growing, it can still grow much more. Those traveling down I-20 don't have a ton of options to stop for food - Hooters is another option. I'd much rather those people stop in Abilene than other cities on either side of us.

Hooters, overall, annual revenue exceeds $850 million. I'm sure Abilene would like a small piece of that pie. Heck, maybe some of the money that Hooters brings to our economy can fix the damn roads here.

But yes, at the end of the day, Hooters is still known as a "breastaurant". If you're one of the few that have a problem with Hooters and the attire of those that work there, then a magical solution has been devised.

Don't visit Hooters. It really is that simple. You have places that you patronize that I can't stand, but I'm not complaining - I just spend my money elsewhere. You can do the same.

Oh yeah, one more thing - Hooters is deeply committed to helping many causes like:

  • Jimmy V Foundation
  • Breast Cancer Awareness
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • U.S.O.
  • Special Olympics
  • American Diabetes Association
  • Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association

I'm sure most of you won't even read this far, but in closing, Hooters - I welcome you to Abilene.

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