Twin Peaks co-founder and CEO Randy DeWitt responds to a federal lawsuit filed in Atlanta last week by the Hooters of America restaurant chain against new Twin Peaks franchisee La Cima.
The lawsuit claims that former Hooters executive Joe Hummel, now a part of La Cima, took information that would provide Twin Peaks with trade secrets, as well as confidential and proprietary business information belonging to Hooters, that will give Twin Peaks “significant competitive advantages.”
DeWitt says, “None of Hooters trade secrets have ever been offered to Twin Peaks and we would not want them anyway.”
Statement by Twin Peaks co-founder and CEO Randy DeWitt:
“I apologize for the delay in responding to the many media inquiries requesting comment on the lawsuit of Hooters of America vs. La Cima Restaurants, our new franchisee, but the Twin Peaks management team has been focused on supporting openings of six new Twin Peaks restaurants in San Antonio, Odessa, Baton Rouge, Houston, Scottsdale, and Denver.
“La Cima is the Twin Peaks franchisee that will be opening restaurants in the Southeastern U.S. Although Twin Peaks, the franchisor, is not a party to the lawsuit, I felt it necessary to issue the following comments due to the many media requests I have received.
“We think the lawsuit is frivolous and baseless. No one ever offered Twin Peaks any of Hooters trade secrets and it’s ludicrous we would ever want them anyway. To think we would benefit from using their trade secrets seems preposterous to me.
“At Twin Peaks, we have developed our own unique brand strategy, with systems and procedures that are unique to Twin Peaks. All of our franchisees, including La Cima, are required to use our systems and not use the strategy and systems from their previous company.
“We found Joe Hummel and the entire La Cima team to be highly ethical, experienced, and capable restaurant executives. We wanted them as franchisees for those reasons. It made no difference to us what brand they were associated with previously.
“Finally, some reports have left the impression that Joe Hummel was involved in the development of Twin Peaks. Scott Gordon and I founded Twin Peaks in 2005. Joe was not a founder. Scott and I have never worked for Hooters and only went there a few times as customers. We did not think the food was very good and the brand was stuck in the 1980s, but not in a cool retro way. The fact that they employ an attractive all-female service staff is hardly a secret.
“The bottom line is that any significant competitive advantages La Cima enjoys will come from Twin Peaks, not from the company they left.”