202 Ed Droste: The rise of the Original Hooters, um, wings! PODCAST INTERVIEW

Lynne Austin, the original Hooters Girl

Lynne Austin, the original Hooters Girl

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The first contact I ever had with Ed Droste was when I spotted a wreck of a boat along the north side of the Courtney Campbell Causeway in Clearwater, Florida. I had seen the wreck before, but this time, someone had painted “Hooters” on the hull in bright orange paint.

Hooters Restaurant – the original – had opened near the apartment in which I lived and it was already the talk of the town, thanks to its scantily clad, smart-mouthed waitresses, delicious chicken wings, ice cold beer and casual atmosphere.

The Original Hooters Six (minus one)

The Original Hooters Six (minus one); Ed Droste, far left

That, and it’s single billboard across the street, featuring future Playboy Playmate, Lynne Austin.

I was a correspondent for the St. Petersburg Times back then, a cub reporter, and I convinced my editor that we should write about these Hooters guys, of which Droste was one of the six founders.

It’s a story I have gone back to again and again over the years because it’s never gotten dull. The company which passed $1 billion in revenues last year and has hundreds of restaurants in dozens of countries, will celebrate its 25th anniversary in October. And nobody understands what gets the media’s attention better than Ed Droste.

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About Mr. Media® Interviews-Bob Andelman

Bob Andelman is the host and producer of Mr. Media® Interviews. He is also the author or co-author of 15 books, including The Wawa Way with Howard Stoeckel, Building Atlanta with Herman J. Russell, Fans Not Customers with Vernon W. Hill, founder of Commerce Bank and Metro Bank UK, Mind Over Business with Ken Baum, The Consulate with Thomas R. Stutler, The Profiler with Pat Brown, Built From Scratch with the founders of The Home Depot, The Profit Zone with Adrian Slywotzky, Mean Business with Albert J. Dunlap, and Will Eisner: A Spirited Life. Click here to see Bob Andelman's Amazon Central author page. He is a member in good standing of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (member page).