After unveiling its newly resigned interiors, Hooters is feeling pretty confident these days. Enough so that it's taking potshots at Chipotle, the untraditional fast food Mexican grill that no American diner has ever put in the same category as the "tacky, yet unrefined" wings bar.
In a new 30-second commercial, a set of latex-gloved hands slaps together a burrito and wraps it in foil. Amid a drab and colorless decor, a thirtysomething musters up the strength to take the first sad bite. There's no Chipotle sign, but that trademark corrugated metal on the wall is a dead giveaway.
Then bam! The man's imagination takes control and transports him to another culinary dimension where waitresses wear bright orange short shorts, sneakers with white socks and cleavage-hugging T-shirts.
"Welcome to Hooters," a server says, smiling, as our friend enters with two coworkers, one of whom is a woman who appears to find nothing odd about the restaurant choice.
The sun is shining, and the iced tea is flowing. Plus, it's Wings Wednesday.
But try as it might, Hooters can't seem to make those generic burgers and chopped Cobb salads come to life. And no amount of sunshine and smiling faces will even help that sad bundle of crab legs.
Perhaps Hooters should rethink this rivalry.