Boxing fans who’d hoped to scarf some chicken wings while watching the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight will be able to do so after all.
Hooters of America LLC will show the match on Saturday at about two-thirds of its U.S. restaurants. On Wednesday, Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. said it wouldn’t air the bout at most U.S. locations because of the $5,100-a-store price tag.
“Without doubt, Hooters is airing The Fight of the Century!” Chief Marketing Officer Carl Sweat said in a statement. “While the investment is significant to make it happen, we want our guests to know that they can always count on Hooters.”
About 229 of Hooters’ 340 U.S. locations will show the match. Live sports events are a big deal for bar-and-grill restaurants because they attract customers who stay for a while, noshing on food and ordering drinks.
Hooters could use a lift from the fight. Last year, Hooters’ domestic sales rose 2.5 percent to about $848.8 million, following a gain of just 0.4 percent in 2013, according to restaurant researcher Technomic Inc. That trails the roughly 20 percent revenue gains Buffalo Wild Wings has posted the past two years.
Buffalo Wild Wings isn’t alone in passing on the fight. Chili’s Grill & Bar also won’t air the bout.
“It’s pay-per-view, and we do not typically subscribe to those type of events,” said Ashley Johnson, a spokeswoman for Chili’s owner Brinker International Inc.
Applebee’s, owned by DineEquity Inc., said franchisees will decide if they want to show the fight or not.
At Hooters, it costs $30 to reserve a seat for Saturday’s match. The admission comes with an appetizer of fried pickles and $20 in food coupons for future visits to the chain.
Closely held Hooters, based in Atlanta, has about 430 restaurants globally.