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Coby Brooks leaves Hooters for Twin Peaks to head franchise group

Less than three months after Twin Peaks named former Hooters CEO Rick Akam as its COO, the rapidly expanding Texas-based casual dining chain announced today that an investment group led by top former Hooters executives has signed a series of development agreements to open 35 Twin Peaks restaurants throughout six states over the next 10 years.

The majority partner of the franchise group is Coby Brooks, who until last month had served since 2003 as president and CEO of Atlanta-based Hooters of America, LLC, (HOA). After leaving Hooters of America, LLC last month, Brooks decided to pursue the Twin Peaks opportunity. He will be joined by:
- Joe Hummel, former Executive Vice President of Operations and Purchasing for HOA
- Roger Gondek, former Vice President of Company Store Operations for HOA
- Clay Mingus, former Vice President and General Counsel for HOA
- Jim Tessmer, former Vice President and Controller for HOA
- Patti Frederick, who served 17 years as Business Administrator to Bob Brooks, owner of HOA from 1984 until his death in 2006, and with the Brooks estate for the past five years.

Hummel, Gondek, Mingus and Tessmer all resigned from Hooters of America last month.

The franchise group will open restaurants in Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee over the next 10 years. The first two will open within 18 months with three to four restaurants to be added each year after that. The agreement represents more than 2,200 new jobs and includes options for restaurant development beyond the first 35.

Named a 2010 “Hot Concept!” by Nation’s Restaurant News, Twin Peaks has 15 locations throughout Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Six more restaurants are slated to open this year in San Antonio, Odessa, Houston, Baton Rouge, Scottsdale and Denver. Each restaurant features made-from-scratch food and ice cold draft beer served by friendly and attractive Twin Peaks Girls in a mountain sports lodge setting.

For Twin Peaks co-founder and CEO Randy DeWitt, the agreement represents a major milestone in the chain’s franchise expansion strategy announced earlier this year.

“To have these proven industry pros recognize the potential of Twin Peaks and want to be a part of that growth speaks volumes about the foundation we have put in place,” said DeWitt. “There is no doubt that this will have a major impact on our expansion plans.”

Shannon Glaser, Director of Franchise Development, added that “their commitment sends a signal to others looking to enter the casual dining field that Twin Peaks offers a tremendous opportunity.”

The agreement reunites the last two Hooters of America CEOs under Twin Peaks.

Akam served as CEO of Hooters of America from 1995 to 2003 where he oversaw national expansion of the young chain before turning that position over to Brooks. He then served as COO for Raving Brands and First Watch Restaurants, helping those enterprises improve operational efficiencies and develop a franchising strategy before founding his own restaurant consulting firm in early 2009.

“I have great respect for Rick and his understanding of what it takes to build a national restaurant brand,” said Brooks.  “His decision to join the Twin Peaks management team made my decision to pursue this opportunity that much easier.  I have certainly been watching Twin Peaks over the years. I like their product, atmosphere and the overall experience they give the consumer.  The professionalism and passion that Randy and his team displayed during negotiations only strengthened my resolve to partner with them and become part of their family.  Unquestionably, the team I have put in place is poised to rapidly build the Twin Peaks brand in the southeast and make Randy proud of what he has created and cultivated.”

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11 Responses to “Coby Brooks leaves Hooters for Twin Peaks to head franchise group”

  1. Cyndi Quattrociocchi

    I wanted to leave a message for Coby Brooks and I hope he receives this message. I saw a program on TV from under boss when he was the CEO of Hooters. I worked in the health care field for 13 years so I don’t really know what the food industry is like. I went through a difficult divorce and have little time to visit with my children even though I have the right to. You impressed me so much with caring for those who worked with you in caring about their families and how important it was that they got the time to spend with their families. At one point with one individual your kindness even made me cry and I just wanted you to know I was touched by your kindness to others. I have remarried but we are both on disability and cannot afford a vehicle so I cannot afford to visit with my children except on rare opportunities so it really touched my heart. I am greatful for people like you who are so kind to their employees.


    Thank you Cyndi! We will pass your kind words along to Coby.

  3. Carlos Medina

    I just watched a TV program where Coby is an Under Boss. I want to extend my regards in order to give better quality ways to Work for his employes. Congratulations.

    Greetings from Mexico


  4. Travis Jackson

    I, like other posters, just watched Undercover Boss. I am disappointed to see Coby has left Hooters and am curious more about the story than I was before. I am an ISO coordinator for a tool and die maker and often try to bring our corporate level down to our local level with things like corporate sponsored purchases and events.
    The end of the show made me tear up with how touching it was that Coby was determined to bring a togetherness between corporate people and the local level employees.
    What he did for the people of the show (with the exception of needing to fire Jimbo) was touching. I wish you all well in your new endeavor and hope you get to realize the great potential in Coby Brooks.

  5. Donna Randon

    Just watched Under Cover Boss on the web. Just want to let you know, I would have be proud to have Coby Brooks as my CEO. I wish more people out there were like him. Good luck with Twin Peaks. Will check out Twin Peaks with my husband the next time we are in Scottsdale.

  6. Bruce

    I run a kitchen in VA, just saw “the show” everyone is posting about.
    Wanted to let Coby know that someday I hope to work for someone who would go through what their staff does for them daily, shuffling around to see the many forgotten aspects of whatever their industry. I hope you still benefit from that experience because some people forget; no matter the job, it’s a person doing it. The nod, the wink, sometimes it’s the world. Also, thank you for spreading opportunity and rewarding the hard workers on behalf of those who might not have been as lucky or deserving.
    All the best to you and your family.
    Thanks for your time.

  7. don

    we need a twin peaks in indianrock s beach fl theres a good location at the holiday inn there was a place there but no longer its on the water and I don’t have to tell how bussy the new port richey hooters is I think this would be a great location I do know the area I m small time contractor in the area

  8. FL

    I hope you people eventually open some Twin Peaks in Southern California. You would give Hooters, and Tilted Kilt a run for their money. BTW I was so inspired by Coby’s appearance on that Undercover Boss episode, that I complained to Hooters HR about a manager treating his girls badly. So bad that 40 girls quit in a 2 week period. And allot of them were really great gals, that took care of me well.

  9. sb

    Glad to see Cobys former HOA top notch executives go with him to Twin Peaks.

  10. Rob

    Hope Coby sees this. I am a huge fan of his episodes of Undercover Boss. I am someone who has had a life long dream to get into the sports bar business, but don’t know how to pursue or what to do to make it successful. I am wrapping up a Sports Management Bachelor’s degree soon. Anyway, I just wanted to say Coby, if I ever make my dream come true, I hope I can be 1/2 the man/boss you are. The things you did for the employees on undercover boss were incredible and you exemplified the reasons why you are so successful. I hope you guys would bring Twin Peaks to Buffalo and other areas of the Northeast, and I hope to one day get to meet you.

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