Hooters restaurant "" which will open in Guam in January or February "" will offer locally sourced management positions as well as 65 to 75 jobs "front and back."

John A. Weber executive president of franchise operations; told the Journal "We will fly people from here to Atlanta to be trained "" for a 12-week course." Hooters also offers optional training to franchisees he said in "legal and HR issues "" that sort of thing."

Hooters is in growth mode around the world he said. "Five years ago there were 17 restaurants in seven countries; today there are 43 restaurants in 20 countries."

Hooters Guam investors are Bryan Y. Suhr president of South Pacific Petroleum Corp.; Michael Hahm vice president of SPPC; Kazunari Endo president of Inhouse Creative Inc.; Woo Jong Kim of Korea; and Charles Isgar of Los Angeles. Hooters Guam was awarded the franchise for Guam and the Philippines. That franchise does not include the Northern Mariana Islands or other locations in Micronesia Weber said.

Weber was on Guam to view the location of the restaurant. "We have to approve the site. They have shown me three. It costs about $1 million to a million-and-a-half to build a restaurant. We have blue prints; we have all the specifications." Hooters prefers local franchisees he said. "We need owners that know their markets and labor laws and building codes " he said.

Typically Hooters restaurants are about 5 000 square feet some with patios. Hooters developed a smaller model of restaurant for smaller population locations that it is testing in Cancun in Mexico. "It’s doing very well " Weber said.

Locally-hired restaurant staff will be led in training by a top staff team that will fly in to Guam staying until the grand opening early in 2007. "The trainees will learn from them. It will be four guys in the back and six girls in the front." Hugo Moran director of franchise operations for Asia; would attend the grand opening Weber said.

Staff will wear the chain-wide uniform of orange dolphin shorts tank tops and white socks and sneakers. "They should be not too tight and look good " Weber said of the outfits. Employment at Hooters offers opportunities for advancement he said. "We like promoting from within. Our vice president of training was a Hooters girl 10 years ago."

The restaurant has business potential for local suppliers. "The only thing we bring in is the breading and the wing sauce; everything else is purchased locally."

The Guam restaurant will be one of several opening as Hooters continues international expansion. Five years ago there were 17 international restaurants in seven countries now there are 43 in 20 countries Weber said. The chain will be expanding in Asia "" into Japan Korea Spain the United Arab Emirates and South America where restaurants will open in Panama Columbia and Paraguay.The chain has two restaurants in China "" in Shanghai and will open two more. Hooters plans multi-location restaurant openings in Spain Germany and the U.K.

An industry veteran after graduation Weber 61 rose through the food industry working for "chains like Wendy’s. I worked for a number of chains that experienced high growth." Weber has variously been a member and board member of a variety of industry and state trade and franchise associations including a directorship of the American Beverage Institute. He spent nine years as a vice president with the Applebee’s chain prior to joining Hooters in 2000. "My plan was to retire " he said until the chairman of Hooters approached him. "My main function beside qualifying franchisees is to guard the concept."

The secret of a good restaurant Weber said is basics. "The restaurant has to be clean the service good the food consistent. "¦ It’s no major secret. People make it complicated." Arriving on Guam on Aug. 7 for the first time he told the Journal in an Aug. 8 interview "I spent time last night and today going to other concepts here. I look at what they are doing wrong not what they are doing right."

The chain has grown in popularity with families Weber said. He recognized the Hooters name has certain adverse associations to some people. "I wasn’t one of the original six guys that named the restaurant. The name is controversial but over the years it hasn’t really hurt us." He told the story of a woman who would not let her husband visit the restaurant but was eventually persuaded to visit by her husband’s friends. "She had a good time and went back and got a job." The message he said is "Come in and see it for yourself." MBJ