Randy Dewitt Interview (Owner of Twin Peaks Restaurant)
Founded in 2005, Randy Dewitt is the owner of Twin Peaks Restaurant, or as some people refer to it, Twin Peaks “Breastaurant”.
We’ll let owner Randy Dewitt provide the details.
Q – Randy, is Twin Peaks part of a franchise?
A – Well, myself and a guy named Scott Gordon started it. That was four and a half years ago, and we are now franchising. We have eleven locations and we are starting to sell franchises right now.
Q – And where would the franchises be located?
A – We just sold the Houston market. They’re negotiating their first site right now. It’ll probably open in April (2010).
Q – So, primarily in the Texas area?
A – Right, but we have a store in Tulsa and Albuquerque also.
Q – Where did you get the idea to have good-looking women serve as waitresses for your restaurant? Did you get your inspiration from Hooters?
A – Yeah. We were obviously inspired by Hooters. Scott and I had been in the business quite some time and had developed other concepts. We had this location that was a seafood restaurant that I happened to own. We liked the building and the lease we had on it. The seafood concept wasn’t working out. It was a chain that we had called Rockfish Seafood Grill. The chain was successful. We had a couple of locations that were not in the right demographics for that concept. We were gonna close it down, but we thought rather than just let the lease expire we would come up with a new concept for that building. When we studied the trade area there, the Hooters up the street was pretty successful. Most of the restaurants in the immediate area were experiencing negative comparable store sales. The highway was under construction and there were too many restaurants in general in the area. So, we thought, gosh, that Hooters is continuing to do well and we started studying the business. We thought that Hooters had definitely pioneered that segment of female sex appeal service and were very successful at it, but, their concept is extremely downscale. So, we thought there might be people not unlike ourselves who like the idea of beautiful girls, cold beer, good food and t.v’s but probably would want a little better atmosphere, a little higher quality food. So, we thought this restaurant is definitely gonna be a man-cave of some sort, so what would the theme be? We thought us, as guys, we like to hunt and fish, so we’ll create a hunting lodge theme and everything just kind of fell into place around that idea.
Q – Was it expensive to launch Twin Peaks?
A – Not relatively speaking. Each one of the eleven stores is a re-cycled former restaurant, but, even so, we still spend close to a million dollars per store with re-modeling and re-opening costs. I mean, it’s not inexpensive but, you can certainly spend more and I have on other concepts on other restaurants, that’s for sure.
Q – Did you get a lot of applicants for the Twin Peaks waitress positions?
A – Not initially. It took some time to develop the reputation as a good place to work. From the girls perspective, if you’re very attractive, physically fit, a young gal that’s gonna wait tables somewhere, Twin Peaks is a great option because they’re making I’m just guessing, on average about 50% more than a typical waitress at another casual dining restaurant would make during the same time frame. Our restaurants are busy and the customer tends to tip a little more in our environment than they would in another restaurant.
Q – There has to be something else you’re looking for in a waitress other than physical attractiveness. Maybe personality?
A – Yeah, absolutely. We use the acronym Peaks-Playful, Energetic, Attentive, Knowledgeable and Sexy. That’s straight out of our training materials.
Q – How do you know where to locate a Twin Peaks Restaurant?
A – Well, you look for traffic generators that attract our target customer. So, a Best Buy store or a Home Depot are good places. If our customer is a married guy and a lot of ‘em are, they need what we call a Hall Pass, so we want to intercept them home. It’s much more important to be closer to the work environment than the home. We also look for upscale apartment complexes where single, affluent guys would live. We also look for sporting venues where a lot of guys would be out with their buddies and looking to be spending a little bit of leisure time.
Q – How big would you like to see Twin Peaks?
A – Well, one restaurant at a time, but, we don’t see any barriers to it being a national concept even an international concept on the scale that Hooters is.