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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Wing concept from Hooters looking to open North Texas sites

A seasoned group of food franchise operators are looking to bring the hoots wings concept to North Texas.

Dallas-based AE Restaurant Group, led by Cary and Jackie Albert, have signed on to open 60 hoots wings locations in Texas, specifically targeting the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Austin. This is the first franchise agreement since the wing concept from Hooters launched its franchise opportunity in 2020.

The Alberts, through their company AE Restaurant Group, plan to open at least six hoots wings locations in 2021, and 8 to 10 locations each year thereafter. They anticipate opening initial locations in northern Fort Worth and suburban Dallas. Cary Albert will handle real estate, development, and build-out, while Jackie Albert will be hands-on in every restaurant, handling operations, marketing, training and hiring.  

“Hoots Wings is an attractive franchise option to Cary and I because we get to be on the ground floor of an emerging concept on the fast-track for growth, while benefiting from all the perks of having a national brand backing us,” said Jackie Albert. “The more we dug into hoots wings‘ food and finances, the more appealing it was. The smaller prototype means we can build out fast and furious, and we are eager to start bringing the best-you’ve-ever-had breaded bone-in, naked bone-in, boneless, smoked and roasted wings to Texas.”

The Alberts are no strangers to multi-unit franchise development; the duo has been franchise owners of dozens of Schlotzsky’s since 1994, and have a real estate arm of the business as well. Albert Enterprises and its 525 employees operate 30 Schlotzsky’s throughout Texas, and have more than 250,000 square feet of retail, office and restaurant space. Cary also spent four years in the United States Air Force and founded and ultimately sold a successful electronics test and measurement company.

“Jackie and Cary are top shelf operators, and we are proud to call them our first franchisees,” said Mark Whittle, Chief Development Officer at HOA Brands, parent company to hoots wings and Hooters. “We are looking for experienced, sophisticated, multi-unit operators and the Alberts are top tier. When you look at how they run their restaurants and how they treat their staff and guests – that’s what we want the hoots wings experience to be. Having personally known Cary and Jackie for over 13 years, I have total confidence they will be outstanding stewards of the hoots wings brand as they buildout their markets.”

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