October 3, 2011 · 0 Comments
Atlanta — (www.hospitalitybusinessnews.com) –Hooters of America, this week, filed a suit against a former executive claiming that he stole trade secrets and took them with him to his new company that will franchise stores under the Twin Peaks brand.
According to the Washington Post the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta on Wednesday said former Hooters vice president Joseph Hummel downloaded reams of “sensitive and highly confidential business information” to help La Cima Restaurants, an Atlanta-based firm that plans to build 35 Twin Peaks stores across the Southeast.
“The casual dining industry operates on extremely thin profit margins,” Hooters said. “As a result, every operational advantage … is a jealously guarded business secret.” Hooters did not comment on whether or not sales information based on breast size was stolen or not.
Hummel was Hooters executive vice president of operations and purchasing.
The majority partner of La Chima is Coby Brooks, who until July had served since 2003 as president and CEO of Atlanta-based Hooters of America, LLC. Other Hooters Executives who work form La Chima are
· Joe Hummel, former Executive Vice President of Operations and Purchasing for HOA;
· Roger Gondek, former Vice President of Company Store Operations for HOA;
· Clay Mingus, former Vice President and General Counsel for HOA;
· Jim Tessmer, former Vice President and Controller for HOA;
· Patti Frederick, who served 17 years as Business Administrator to Bob Brooks, owner of HOA from 1984 until his death in 2006, and with the Brooks estate for the past five years.
Hummel, Gondek, Mingus and Tessmer all resigned from Hooters of America in July.
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Since the first store opened near Dallas in 2005, Twin Peaks has busted out to 14 locations in four states, with plans to unleash more to serve other untapped markets.