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Hooters opens ‘Hoots’ concept without skimpy outfits

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Hooters is hoping people really do like it for its food.

Hooters Management Corp., a licensee of Hooters of America, says it opened a restaurant Monday that doesn’t feature waitresses in tight tops. It says the “Hoots” restaurant outside Chicago has people ordering at the counter rather than at tables, from male and female employees. Neil Kiefer, CEO of Hooters Management Corp., says the restaurant in Cicero, Illinois, is a test and it will serve only about a dozen menu items, including chicken wings.

The move comes as the restaurant industry faces flat customer traffic, though fast-food places are expected to steal business from sit-down chains, according to The NPD Group.

The U.S. had 337 Hooters restaurants in 2015, down from 340 in 2014, industry tracker Technomic said.

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