While the airline has struggled, Hooters of America is seeing success with other business, including the Hooters Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the launch of a Hooters credit card andHooters magazine, Peterson said.
About 80 new Hooters restaurants will open this year, 60 in international locations.
Brooks "can easily make money without banging his head against the wall," Peterson said. "What Mr. Brooks intended to do when we started worked out pretty good when fuel prices were just over $1. Now that fuel prices have doubled, it's a lot harder to accomplish what we set out to do. For Hooters, as an organization, it's a business decision. It's shifting gears."
For smaller airlines such as Hooters Air, fuel prices are a major issue because they don't have the buying power of major airlines, said Bill Oliver, vice president of The Boyd Group, a Colorado-based airline consulting firm.
As a charter , Hooters Air also held cash from ticket sales in escrow and could not dip into funds until flights were completed.
"He's right, it would be foolish to continue to follow a dream that doesn't pay for itself," Oliver said. "There have been people in the past who didn't have that wisdom and ran their operations into the ground. Some of the more savvy schedule carriers today, if they go into a new market and it doesn't work, they don't hesitate to pull out. That's just good business sense."
Staff writer Garrison Wells contributed to this report.