Patrick Henry, Chairman & CEO of Patrick Henry Creative Promotions and Founder of the Millennium Advisory Board (M.A.B.), announced Hooters of America CMO Bruce Skala has been selected as chairman of M.A.B. for a two-year term through January 26, 2026.
“The Millennium Advisory Board gathers the top leaders across food, beverage and hospitality businesses, and we are thrilled Bruce Skala is taking the helm of our organization as we promote a shared vision of the future of these rapidly evolving industries,” explains Henry.
“Expect us to continue forecasting future trends, harvesting great ideas, identifying challenges and solutions and advocating for an industry serving an estimated four million customers a day,” says Skala as he assumed his leadership term this month. “The battle for gaining and maintaining consumers’ attention has never been fiercer, and we intend to break through the noise to keep consumers and peer companies very engaged with our industry’s macro initiatives.”
Skala will be the third Chairman in the M.A.B.’s history. Touting an impressive 30-plus year track record of success in the food and beverage industry, Skala started his career with The CocaCola Company and Heineken USA. He joined HOA Brands/Hooters more than a decade ago and has been recognized as an innovator for his creativity and organizational skills to seize tremendous opportunities in meeting consumer needs in the marketplace.
Bruce Skala earned his CMO title as well as the prestigious 2021 VIBE Innovator Award after helping HOA Brands thrive in the pandemic and post-pandemic world. Arguably the toughest period ever faced by the restaurant industry, Skala’s expertise, creativity and innovation allowed HOA to generate sales and elevate its brand when many restaurants were closed or severely impacted by restricted seating capacity.
Soon after the pandemic hit, Skala created a program called “Hooters on the Fly” to ensure Hooters curbside, to-go, and delivery models were as efficient and safe as possible and to capitalize on the only sector of the business that was functioning at the time. Working with the legal department, he added alcohol-to-go options to take advantage of loosened restrictions and kept track of changes to restrictions and laws so Hooters did not miss a single opportunity. To-go orders generated essential same-store sales needed to help bridge the loss of sales with dine-in seating restrictions.
Fully understanding the need for a “touchless” guest experience, Skala invested in QR smart menu technology and launched a dynamic digital menu that opened the door for various marketing opportunities not possible with basic paper menus. These enhancements included custom video content with Hooters Girls highlighting food and beverage menu items and flexible promotional content shared with guests based on the time of day, day of the week, region and individual restaurant location.
While focused on attracting the next generation of Hooters fans, Skala developed new sponsorships and strengthened existing partnerships to leverage key audiences to maximize brand awareness and drive sales. These initiatives include spearheading partnerships with legendary golfer John Daly and John Daly II as Hooters’ first name, image and likeness (NIL) ambassador and inking first-of-its-kind NIL deals with college offensive linemen across the country. He also shepherded the re-signing of Chase Elliott, NASCAR’s most popular driver, and collaborated with Elliott to launch Chase Elliott’s Chicken Tenders virtual restaurant.
Under Skala’s leadership, Hooters won Brand of the Year at the 2023 NIL Awards. This honor, one of 12 award categories decided by an eight-member selection committee, recognizes creative excellence by a brand or organization for collaboration with student athletes.
Each of Skala’s innovative marketing campaigns debuted to viral fanfare and has helped Hooters enjoy 100% brand recognition among consumers and remain a leader in the food service industry.