Hooters announces partnership with DraftKings

Sports Betting

Hooters of America has reached an alliance with DraftKings, Hooters guests receive special offers via a QR code or can simply visit the Draft Kings site and use a promotional code.

Appealing to the increasing number of sports bettors across the country presents “an opportunity to drive new customers into our restaurants,” explained Sal Melilli, CEO of Hooters of America, based in Atlanta, Ga., a veteran of 31 years with the company who was named CEO in June 2020. In the US so far, thirty states have legalized sports gambling.

Hooters’ boasts 379 restaurants with 314 domestic locations, across 37 states, and is augmented by 65 international locations in 18 foreign countries. Of that number, 200 are company-owned and 179 are franchise-owned.

“We’re still in the early innings of gaming,” Melilli explained, so deals with other companies such as Fan Duel or Barstool Bets could take place in the future.

Establishing alliances with sports betting companies is boosting Hooters’ appeal with its core customers and soon could lead to more partnerships.

To make it easier for its sports-betting clientele, each of the Hooters involved offers dedicated televisions that provide daily sports betting game schedules and betting odds.

And Melilli expects the number of states to legalize gambling to grow. Hence, its restaurants, both corporate and franchisees, are primed to add sports betting to more Hooters nationwide. “The model is set. As fast as they become legal, the footprint is in place,” he said.

Melilli added that “experiential dining is at the core of our brand,” and the emergence and growth of sports betting blend right into that theme.