LAS VEGAS – Meagan Pastorchik of North Charleston, S.C., was crowned the 2015 Miss Hooters at the annual Las Vegas competition Wednesday night, and she wants folks to know Hooters girls have more than just sex appeal to offer.
“I would say go to your local Hooters, sit with any Hooter girl, and you will understand why it’s more than just surface,” Pastorchik told FOX411.
Former NFL great and celebrity judge Clinton Portis agreed people shouldn’t pass judgment on the pageant or its contestants. “I think you really should learn the stories of these young ladies, you really should read the bios and know what they go through," he said.
Pastorchik competed for the title against 100 other young women at the 19th annual swimsuit competition. The finalists were selected from more than 18,000 Hooters waitresses who currently work in one of the more than 400 restaurants worldwide.
According to Hooters, contestants are evaluated based on responses to interview questions, personality and overall contribution to the Hooters brand, as well as swimsuit attire.
"The cornerstone of the brand is the world famous Hooters girls,” said Mark Whittle, Hooter’s senior vice president of global development. “She is beautiful, wholesome, optimistic, charismatic and the greatest antidote to a bad day."
Pastorchik will receive a $30,000 cash prize and the chance to serve as the face of the Hooters brand with opportunities to appear in advertisements and assist in international openings.
The new Hooters queen has her real estate license and attends a technical school where she studies business. She says she plans to put her winnings towards a four-year degree.
“I think I’m going to put it in the bank, for school obviously, I’ve got four more years left,” Pastorchik said.
As Pastorchik looks toward the future, so is the Hooters company.
The chain calls itself a 'billion-dollar brand,' but the racy restaurant group has recently seen an uptick in competition from other "breastaurants" that are cashing in on its formula of lots of hot girls, cold beers and TVs.
Twin Peaks and Tilted Kilt are gaining ground in the US and some argue their girls wear sexier uniforms and the restaurant atmosphere is more high-tech and modern than the aging Hooters.
Whittle agrees some Hooters restaurants are in need of a face-lift.
“Hooters is investing a significant amount of time and capital into remodeling existing U.S. locations with a new, contemporary comfort design concept that matches the fun-loving persona of the brand,” Whittle said.
The restaurants might be in need of a touch-up but Pastorchik doesn’t think Hooters should change its famous skin-tight uniform of orange shorts and a white shirt.
“We don’t have to change who we are to fit into other molds and trends that the other restaurants are doing, we stay true to where we were back in Clearwater,” she said. "If' it's not broke don't fix it."
Matt Finn is a Fox News correspondent based in the Chicago bureau. Follow him on Twitter: @MattFinnFNC