Hooters® Kicks Off Coast-to-Coast Wing-Eating Competition

World Champion to be Named During Finale Event in New York City

ATLANTA, April 10, 2012 // PRNewswire // -- Chicken wing expert, Hooters of America, LLC, announced that it has engaged Major League Eating (MLE) to sanction and produce a circuit of wing-eating contests across the United States that will conclude at the Hooters Wing-Eating World Championship in New York City. The finale will take place in late July as part of a weekend celebration of National Chicken Wing Day.

"For nearly 30 years Hooters has been known for our original, world-famous hot wings and it's only natural that we establish this inaugural coast-to-coast wing-eating competition," said David Henninger, chief marketing officer, Hooters of America, LLC. "At Hooters, we're all about great food, great fun and this competition exemplifies that spirit."

Chicken wing eating has never previously been a championship circuit to identify and crown an official world champion. This tour will allow Hooters wing-eaters to test their skills against Major League Eating superstars like Joey Chestnut and Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas.

"We are thrilled to be working with this iconic American restaurant," said Richard Shea, president, Major League Eating. "While each contest will feature well-known Major League Eaters, I am confident we'll find Hooters wing lovers with amazing wing-eating talent in each host city."

The Hooters Wing-Eating World Championship tour kicked off in Augusta, Ga., host city of the Masters Golf Tournament, on April 5 with Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas. Weighing in at a mere 100 pounds, "The Black Widow" is the world's top-ranked female eater and current five-time National Buffalo Wing-Eating Champion.

Hooters will go on to hold 9 additional wing-eating contests across the country including events in Baltimore, MD; Detroit, MI; Indianapolis, IN; Jacksonville, Fla.; Mesquite, TX; Oklahoma City, OK; San Diego, CA; St. Louis, MO; and Miami, Fla., with the tour concluding in New York where the first Hooters wing-eating world champion will be crowned.

Hooters wing fans can follow each contest, keep track of the local winners and see a schedule for future events through Hooters' Facebook page.

Major League Eating will register competitors at www.IFOCE.com. All competitors must be at least 21 years old.

About Hooters

Hooters of America, LLC, is the franchisor and operator of over 430 Hooters restaurants in 44 states and 27 foreign countries. The first Hooters opened in 1983 in Clearwater, Florida. Hooters is well-known for its brand of food and fun, featuring a casual beach-theme atmosphere, a menu that features seafood, sandwiches and Hooters nearly, world famous chicken wings, and service provided by the All-American cheerleaders, the Hooters Girls. For more information about Hooters visit www.Hooters.com, www.twitter.com/Hooters, www.YouTube.com/Hooters, or www.Facebook.com/Hooters.

About Major League Eating

Major League Eating (MLE), the world governing body of all stomach-centric sports, conducts more than 80 events annually, including the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, N.Y. and the CP Foods Biggest Eater Championship in Bangkok, Thailand. The competitive eating community is made up of more than 8,000 veteran and rookie gurgitators who travel the world in search of top titles and the glory that they provide. For more information, visit www.IFOCE.com, www.facebook.com/eatfast or Twitter @eatingcontest.

SOURCE Hooters of America, LLC

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