Twin Peaks may not be an allusion to the TV show

I learned a couple of interesting things about the tragedy that occurred in Texas when rival biker gangs started fighting that resulted in nine people being killed, 18 others injured, and over 150 arrests. One is that the media are shying away from calling it a ‘riot’ or the behavior of ‘thugs’, the language that comes easily to them if the perpetrators are black. Jenny Kutner says that much milder terms are being used in this case, such as ‘melee, fracas, brawl, fistfight, brouhaha, trouble, and chaos’ (CNN) and ‘shootout, fight, chaos, confrontation, problems’ (New York Times). Brouhaha? For something that resulted in such carnage?

The second is that I initially didn’t pay much attention to the restaurant where the fight started. I have since learned more about this chain that has the name Twin Peaks and it apparently is doing booming business as part of what is known as ‘breastaurants’, that feature scantily clad waitresses and, according to internal company memos, this is a carefully targeted marketing strategy based on a very simple model of the male psyche.

Twin Peaks attributes its success to a basic understanding of the sexes. “Men are simple creatures and so you don’t have to get too crazy to get them in the door,” Kristen Colby, the director of marketing for Twin Peaks franchise, told the Huffington Post earlier this year. She said that beer, sports, and beautiful women are all it takes.

An internal branding memo provided to ThinkProgress from a current employee at a Twin Peaks restaurant, who preferred to remain anonymous over fears about losing their job, backs up that claim. That employee said the memo was distributed to all the franchises nationwide, as well as handed out to waitresses.

According to the document, the restaurant wants to target guys “who love to have their ego stroked by beautiful girls,” and promises to provide an environment “that feeds their ego with the attention they crave.” They describe their typical customer as someone who likes “attention from beautiful girls and being recognized in front of the guys,” as well as someone who doesn’t want to be asked what he’s thinking.

Here is a promotional photograph of waitresses and a customer at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Texas.


I am beginning to suspect that the name Twin Peaks is not, as I first thought, an allusion to the 1990-1991 TV show that developed a cult following.


  1. raym says

    The phrase I’d use to describe this particular case is: thinning out the gene pool.

    You’re right, though, that this event has been handled utterly differently than had the participants been black. Indeed, I’m ashamed to admit that it didn’t even occur to me until I read it elsewhere. Yet another example of unthinking white privilege.

  2. says

    Local Austin radio personality “Charlie Hodge” is getting a lot of free publicity with his picture being shown with the ThinkProgress article. I suppose we’ll be hearing more from him in the next few days.

    In Austin (and surrounding areas) there are Hooters, Twin Peaks, and Bikinis. Guess what they wear at the last one. I think Bikinis was also featured on Undercover Boss recently.

  3. lanir says

    I live near a major midwest population center. This makes the third brand with a similar strategy I know of in my area (they have a couple restaurants nearby). Some male former coworkers liked going to one during lunch a couple years ago. I tried explaining to them that they were basicaly paying an extra $3-4 for a burger but they never seemed to get it. Their less than respectful commentary on the looks of the waitresses on several occasions and bizarrely disjointed tipping strategy made me uncomfortable so I quickly started steering us elsewhere. I always wondered how much (if any) of the extra charge on the food was used to pay the staff better. My guess is not much.

  4. Ollie Nanyes says

    Yes, “twin peaks” is a take off on the female anatomy in the way that “Hooters” is. That is well known (for those who have lived in that region)

  5. Scr... Archivist says

    “… and being recognized in front of the guys…”

    That’s telling. Isn’t a lot of male exploitation of women just a way for men to compete for status against other men?

    But hey, it’s not like a little “friendly” male competition will turn into a shooting spree or anything.

  6. Mr. Upright says

    In fairness, the name of the TV show probably alludes to the same things as the name of the restaurant.

  7. Trebuchet says

    My area is a hotbed of “Bikini Barristas”. Some of the coffee stands have taken to putting up signs that say “Family Friendly”, or “We Wear Clothes.”

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