But according to Bloomberg Businessweek, CEO Terry Marks believes that by tweaking the menu with more salads and fresher ingredients, lightening up the beach shack decor, and adding space for a bit of nightlife, the company can at least make its franchises an acceptable destination for more wives and girlfriends. As of now, about two-thirds of their patrons are guys. …

What to make of this? Bros aren’t the reliable customers they once were, and that it would be a bit daft to keep catering almost exclusively to their tastes. “Face it, females are 51 percent of the population,” says John Gordon, principal at Pacific Management Consulting Group, told the magazine. “They’ve enjoyed more employment growth, and you can’t ignore them.” …

Rather, this might be more about evolving gender norms. Plenty of men don’t want to feel like they’re at a stag party, and getting more women in the door might help convince guys that, tank tops and all, Hooters is a socially acceptable place to get a beer (As Businessweek puts it, the company would like to “remove the Hooters stigma.”) Or take entertainment. One of Hooters’ initiatives is to start buying pricey pro sports television packages for each restaurant. The company’s chief marketing officer seems to suggest that’s part of their female-friendly tack, pointing out that NFL games, for instance, are a “huge draw” for couples. And indeed, at least one survey has suggested 42 percent of the the league’s fan base is female. But the fact that football fandom is now a co-ed pastime means that to make their investment count at all, Hooters needs to have a menu and vibe that will lure women on game day along with men. Otherwise, those couples will just head to another sports bar.