LAS VEGAS, Nov. 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — HOA Brands, the parent company of both the Hooters® & Hoots Wings® restaurant® systems, has agreed to a test market and explore expanding a strategic relationship with Sam Nazarian’s C3 (Creating Culinary Communities), which has quickly become the fastest-growing global food tech platform today.
C3 is re-imagining the food service industry by tapping into the power of exceptional culinary talent, digital brand IP, and bringing its portfolio of more than 40 culinary brands to C3 established shared kitchens and mobile delivery with the next-gen GO by Citizens app.
HOA Brands is the operator or franchisor of close to 400 Hooters® restaurants in 38 states and 20 countries and is known for its famed chicken wings and popular All-American Hooters Girl® waitstaff. Hooters® Restaurants have long been among the most well-known neighborhood destinations for food, fun and sports viewing. For nearly forty years, Hooters® has been an iconic player in the casual dining segment, focusing on timeless, craveable food. HOA Brands is expanding on that success by franchising a new brand, Hoots Wings®, which offers a fast-casual wings concept designed to compete head to head with Wingstop® and others. Already there are 9 Hoots Wings® in operation, with over 120 franchised locations under development deals.
Working with food tech, Hooters® Restaurants have agreed to test market the C3‘ Unami Burger menu item at select Hooters® restaurants. Based on results, the parties may more broadly expand the relationship. The parties expect C3‘ renowned Umami Burger to be a great addition to the Hooters® menu, as it was voted “America Best Burger” by GQ Magazine. The expectation is that C3‘ items may be offered through Hoots Wings® as well.
Having developed a cult following across the world for its irresistible Umami Burger, C3’s Unami Burger brand has been serving up the ‘fifth taste’ for over a decade. Most recently it was announced that Chef Alvin Cailan, one of the most revered chefs in America, would take the helm as the new face of the brand. Cailan’s revamped menu includes new takes on Umami Burger’s popular menu items and features favorites for the ultimate foodie and burger aficionado.
An early trendsetter of the digital restaurant industry, C3 has more than 40 culinary brands, serving more than 2.3 million meals during the last twelve months. Popular brands include Umami Burger, Sam’s Crispy Chicken, Krispy Rice, Kumi, Cicci di Carne, Cindy Lou’s Cookies, Soom Soom Fresh Mediterranean as well as new concepts El Pollo Verde, Plant Nation and Sa’Moto. The food tech platform’s omnichannel approach to harness the ordering power of Gen-Z and Millennials may prove to be an attractive asset for both Hooters® and Hoots Wings®.
Any expansion of the C3 / HOA Brands relationship is expected to also provide Hooters® and Hoots Wings® access to C3’s’ proprietary Go by Citizens app, which provides a one stop shop digital culinary market experience where consumers can order from multiple digital restaurant brands in one transaction and with no hidden delivery fees. The parties expect the Go by Citizens market to eventually offer both popular menu items from Hooters® and items form HOA Brands’ fast-growing new concept, Hoots Wings®.
Commenting on the test relationship and opportunity for expansion, Sam Nazarian, C3s Founder and CEO said, “We are thrilled for this opportunity to further expand C3‘s reach, coupling our growing food tech eco-system with HOA Brands’ global kitchen infrastructure. Through this potential new relationship, we expect to work together to further the digital kitchen revolution, offering in-demand, quality food offerings and innovative recipes to customers around the world.”
Adding to this sentiment, Sal Melilli, CEO and President of HOA brands, said “As an American institution, Hooters® continues to pave the way. Through a relationship with C3 we will aim to further build on the exceptional experience that Hooters® is known for. In addition to offering the iconic and exciting Hooters® in restaurant, our goal is to further empower both Hooters® and Hoots Wings® customers by offering quality made food that is created in a timely and convenient way for an on-the-go lifestyle.
The parties anticipate that the Umami Burger menu offerings will begin rolling out at select of Hooters® restaurants and ghost kitchens this winter. In addition to the potential expansion among Hooters® and Hoots Wings locations, C3 products are being offered in over 800 digital brand locations across the U.S, through brands such as TGI Fridays, PF Changs, and more. Adding to its prospects, C3 reports an expansion location pipeline to well over 1,000. To date, the global food tech platform reports it has hired more than 3,500 employees across the U.S. with plans to hire another 5,000 employees domestically and internationally with offices in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, London, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
C3 (Creating Culinary Communities) is re-imagining the food service industry at a time when change is needed most. Founded and led by visionary Sam Nazarian with minority investors Simon, a global leader in the ownership of premier shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations, and Accor, the world-leading augmented hospitality group, C3 is simultaneously, systematically and broadly bringing together technology, underutilized retail, hotel and kitchen spaces and world-class culinary talent. C3‘s array of culinary brands coexist to disrupt the food & beverage industry by capitalizing on rapidly evolving customer preferences through C3 established shared kitchens, mobile delivery with the next-gen Citizens Go app, and Citizens food halls. Current C3 brands include Umami Burger, Krispy Rice, Sam’s Crispy Chicken, Sa’Moto, EllaMia, Cicci di Carne, El Pollo Verde, Kumi, Plant Nation and partner brands Soom Soom Fresh Mediterranean and Cindy Lou’s Cookies. The first Citizens food hall opened in New York City at Manhattan West this Fall. Most recently, C3 operates 800 digital kitchens across the U.S. To learn more, visit c3sbe.com.
HOA Brands: Hooters® and Hoots Wings®
HOA Brands through its subsidiaries and affiliates serves as the franchisor and operator of close to 400 Hooters® restaurants in 38 states and 20 countries and 9Hoots Wings® Restaurants in 4 states with development deals for over 100 more. HOA Brands also operates the Hootie’s Burger Bar®, Hootie’s Bait and Tackle®, and Hootie’s Chicken Tenders® virtual burger, seafood and chicken tenders brands through Hooters® restaurants. Known for its world-famous chicken wings, the first Hooters® restaurant opened its doors in 1983 in Clearwater, Florida. Hooters® restaurants are one of the most well-known neighborhood destinations food and fun, sports viewing and betting (offered across many of its markets), world-famous chicken wings, sandwiches, and seafood, and service provided by the All-American cheerleaders, the Hooters Girls®. For more information about Hooters visit www.Hooters.com, www.instagram.com/Hooters, www.twitter.com/Hooters, www.YouTube.com/Hooters or www.Facebook.com/Hooters www.hootswings.com
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