If restaurants like Hooters have taught us anything, it’s that great things come in pairs; wings and a ball game, great service and a smile, and of course, lawsuits and alleged corporate espionage.
The lawsuit hit Georgia Federal Court this week where a former Hooters VP and current Chief Operations Officer of La Cima Restaurants — the franchisee company of Hooters competitor Twin Peaks — Joseph Hummel is being sued under allegations that he took “sensitive business information” when he defected to La Cima. That information, according to the lawsuit, included plans related to management, distribution of sales and recruitment. If that weren’t enough, Hummel’s departure also coincided with several other high-ranking Hooters executives’ withdrawal from the company according to the lawsuit.
The coincidences don’t stop there either. Both Hooters and Twin Peaks seem to share a lot in common. Both feature a scantly-clad all-women wait staff serving up delicious comfort food underneath massive hi-def TV’s that exclusively broadcast sporting events. But according to a statement by Twin Peaks co-founder and CEO Randy DeWitt released earlier today, he claims that the lawsuit is “frivolous and baseless.”
The entire rebuttal comes off as confident, full of subtle jabs and not-so-subtle ones at that.
Finally, some reports have left the impression that Joe Hummel was involved in the development of Twin Peaks. Scott Gordon and I founded Twin Peaks in 2005. Joe was not a founder. Scott and I have never worked for Hooters and only went there a few times as customers. We did not think the food was very good and the brand was stuck in the 1980’s, but not in a cool retro way. The fact that they employ an attractive all-female service staff is hardly a secret. — Randy DeWitt / CEO of Twin Peaks
Seems like as much as Hooters loves serving up things in twos, this is one pair the company simply won’t abide.