While Hooters, Twin Peaks, the Tilted Kilt and other chain restaurants that feature bodacious waitresses in skimpy outfits have been called "breastaurants" for years, the owner of the Texas-based Bikinis Bar and Grill is the first to make it official.
Doug Guller, CEO of ATX Brands LLC, which owns Bikinis Sports Bar and Grill, announced today he has trademarked the term "breastaurant" through the United States Patent and Trademark Office, meaning his company is the only one who can describe itself with the term.
"We're really excited about receiving this federal trademark," Guller said in a statement. "Our team has worked hard over the last seven years to offer a unique experience to our fans. It just further solidifies that Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill is America's ONLY breastaurant."
This isn't the first time Guller has made a bold statement with his restaurant chain, which now also has locations throughout Texas, North Carolina and Oklahoma.
Last July, Guller purchased the abandoned town of Bankersmith, Texas, in Kendall County, two hours driving distance from Austin, off Craigslist and made plans to turn it into a seasonal tourist destination.
Guller said his broker found Bankersmith for sale on Craigslist, but would not disclose the seller's identity or how much he paid for the unincorporated town. The deal was finalized last May, and Guller renamed the town "Bikinis" in honor of his restaurant.
The trademark is a major move in the "breastaurant" industry. As food franchises fight to stay afloat, there is a post-recession boom for restaurant establishments with added sex appeal.
Breastaurants are $1 billion-plus industry, and places like Twin Peaks, the Tilted Kilt, Bone Daddy's and others are in a heated fight to knock the reigning breastaurant king, Hooters, off its throne.
During the height of the recession, Hooters led the pack, bringing in almost $1 billion a year in revenue. Now, with the competition catching on to the winning formula of busty waitresses serving hot wings and cold beer, Hooters' sales declined 4 percent last year.
"Hooters should be very scared," said Drew Neisser of Renegade Marketing Group. "The category can only grow so much. Tilted Kilt and the others are stealing Hooters' customers."
Twin Peaks, a sports bar and grill chain that advertises "Eats. Drinks. Scenic Views," is like if Hooters had a mountain lodge. Waitresses serve appetites and egos while wearing red-and-black plaid cutoff shirts and short khaki shorts.
"We're looking for well-rounded females who can deliver a great experience," said Meggie Miller, the director of training and recruiting for Twin Peaks.
The chain, which had just seven locations in 2008, now has 31 locations across the country and plans to open two more a month through the end of the year.
Also competing is Canz, a New York-based roadhouse-themed sports bar that did what many would consider to be impossible. It successfully launched in the middle of the recession and the customers came flocking in.
"Our profits ranged a little over $2 million in our first year in 2008 and showed great signs of growth," said Canz owner Tim Lorito.
Three restaurants later, Lorito said, the formula or sports, beer and, of course, lots of young ladies -- waitresses wear tight black tanks and jean shorts -- is working.