Make us your home page
Instagram

'Breastaurants' expanding rapidly in U.S.

Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery server Aileen Suseck waits on Rick Paulk, left, and Peter Buell at the Orlando restaurant recently. Suseck initially had some reservations about her uniform but said she finds the atmosphere fun. 

Orlando Sentinel

Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery server Aileen Suseck waits on Rick Paulk, left, and Peter Buell at the Orlando restaurant recently. Suseck initially had some reservations about her uniform but said she finds the atmosphere fun. 

ORLANDO

Sandwiches with a side dish of sex appeal were on the menu when Peter Buell and Rick Paulk stopped for lunch recently at an Orlando Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery. "I like the waitresses and the uniforms, obviously," said Buell, 50, as a young woman served him wearing a short plaid skirt and matching pushup bra under a midriff-baring white shirt.

The Tilted Kilt is part of a dining sector known in the industry as "breastaurants." The edgy establishments with scantily clad servers are rapidly expanding throughout the United States.

The allure is simple:

"Being able to freely gawk and leer at young women in scanty clothing," said Chris Muller, a hospitality professor at Boston University. "That's no longer socially acceptable, so we institutionalize it and give it a venue."

While the outfits are skimpier, these days "breastaurants" — such as Twin Peaks, Brick House Tavern and Tap, and Hooters — say they are offering more than titillation, with unique themes and better food.

Rapid expansion has fueled growth at these small chains, which fall into a category that market research firm Technomic euphemistically calls "attentive service."

Twin Peaks plans to almost double its number of locations this year to about 50. In 2012, sales doubled to $97 million. From 2010 to 2011, according to a Technomic estimate, Tilted Kilt's sales grew 33 percent to $124 million.

The notable exception is Hooters, which first made the concept mainstream in the 1980s after opening its first restaurant in Clearwater. It had 365 restaurants in 2011, down from 400 in 2008, according to Technomic's estimates. It has shut down restaurants as it has struggled to stay relevant. Last year, the chain said it wanted to lure more women with new decor and more salads. Hooters executives wouldn't comment on how that effort is going.

Twin Peaks, on the other hand, unabashedly oozes testosterone. The mountain-lodge-themed chain's logo features two slightly curvy snow-capped mountains.

It bills itself as "the ultimate man cave" that "feeds the stomach and the ego at the same time." Busty waitresses usually dress in shorts and skimpy tops, except on special occasions, when they don lingerie.

"We don't pretend to be a brand that is going to have a super-broad appeal to families and girls night out," chief executive officer Randy DeWitt said.

Other companies are more subtle. Brick House's website focuses on food, its servers in shirts with plunging necklines almost an afterthought. And at the Tilted Kilt in Orlando, manager Edward Schoenleber said women make up about 15 percent of customers now. He said he even has a children's menu.

Sandy Luicana of Boyertown, Pa., recently ate lunch at Tilted Kilt with her husband, Don, and 23-year-old son, Nathaniel. A fan of sports bars in general, Luicana liked her lunch — "probably one of the best hamburgers I've ever had" — and the Scottish-pub theme.

And the staff?

"I'm okay with their boobs hanging out," she said. "They're not flaunting them in your faces and all that. They're being very respectful."

Server Aileen Suseck, 22, said the customers are courteous and tip well. Suseck initially had some reservations about her uniform but said she finds the atmosphere fun.

The restaurants want women who entertain as much as serve.

"Twin Peaks Girls" are trained to be "superfriendly" and "complimentary toward our guests," DeWitt said.

At Tilted Kilt, servers often sit down and chat with the customers. One server gave Buell a friendly side-hug on his way in.

"You become friends," said Suseck, an aspiring actor who got a job with Tilted Kilt after graduating from the University of Tampa. "It's not, you know, sleazy."

'Breastaurants' expanding rapidly in U.S. 02/08/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 8, 2013 8:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Judge throws out $458,000 condo sale, says Clearwater attorney tricked bidders

    Real Estate

    CLEARWATER — Pinellas County Circuit Judge Jack St. Arnold on Monday threw out the $458,100 sale of a gulf-front condo because of what he called an "unscrupulous" and "conniving" scheme to trick bidders at a foreclosure auction.

    John Houde, left, whose Orlando copany was the high  bidder June 8 at the foreclosure auction of a Redington Beach condo, looks in the direction of Clearwater lawyer and real estate investor Roy C. Skelton, foreground,  during a hearing Monday before Pinellas County Circuit Judge Jack St. Arnold.  [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times ]
  2. Pasco EDC names business incubator head in Dade City, will open second site

    Business

    Pasco County economic development officials are busy reigniting their business start-up resources following the departure earlier this year of Krista Covey, who ran the Pasco Economic Development Council's SMARTStart business incubator in Dade City.

    Andrew Romaner was promoted this summer to serve as program director of the Dade City SMARTStart Entrepreneur Center, a start-up incubator service of the Pasco Economic Development Council. He succeeds Krista Covey, who relocated to Texas for another startup position. [Courtesy of Pasco EDC]
  3. Proposed Tampa tax increase prompts second thoughts about Riverfront Park spending

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park has a $35.5 million price tag with something for everyone, including a rowers' boathouse, a sheltered cove for beginning paddlers, an event lawn, a community center with sweeping views of downtown and all kinds of athletic courts — even pickleball! — when it opens …

    Expect the $35.5 million redevelopment of Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park to be a big part of the discussion when the Tampa City Council discusses Mayor Bob Buckhorn's proposed budget and property tax increase this Thursday. LUIS SANTANA   |   Times
  4. Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer

    Nation

    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  5. Superior Uniform acquires Los Angeles-based PublicIdentity

    Corporate

    SEMINOLE — A subsidiary of Seminole-based Superior Uniform Group has acquired Los Angeles-based branded merchandise company PublicIdentity Inc.

    Superior Uniform Group CEO Michael Benstock
[Courtesy of Superior Uniform Group]