Robert H. Brooks (1937-2006) – Businessman
Robert H. Brooks was an American businessman who, in 1967, founded Naturally Fresh Foods, a condiment and salad dressing manufacturer in the Atlanta area. But, he is most notably remembered for his other business venture, Hooters of America, Inc. In 1984, Brooks bought the expansion and franchise rights for Hooters from Lynn D. Stewart and his five minority partners. Brooks founded Hooters of America, Inc., along with a group of investors. He eventually got majority control and chairmanship of the entire organization. Under Brooks’ leadership, Hooters expanded from half a dozen restaurants (in and around Clearwater, Florida) in the mid-1980s; to more than 430 stores worldwide. Brooks purchased the Hooters trademark from the company’s founders in 2001. He turned over control of the company to his son, Coby, in 2003 and retired to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
After his death in 2006, the family had to sell the chain and its $1 billion a year in sales, partly because of estate taxes. The sale price was not disclosed, but the chain was reportedly worth up to $250 million. The estate tax was 46 percent when Brooks died, meaning the family could have owed $115 million.
Robert H. Brooks was a very accomplished businessman, but even successful businessmen can fail to plan properly. If you want to minimize the consequences of failing to properly plan your estate, then contact The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. for a free initial consultation on estate planning, trust planning, and/or probate issues.