More than 50 people have signed a petition to bring US restaurant chain Hooters to Ivybridge.

The firm, famous for its scantily clad waitresses, has one UK branch - 250 miles away in Nottingham.

Steve Saunders, an Ivybridge resident of 25 years, started the tongue-in-cheek campaign to create a “talking point” around the town's £11m regeneration plans.

The scheme includes an Aldi supermarket, a 1,800 sq ft drive-thru unit and a 5,000 sq ft hospitality unit - which Steve suggested as a site for Hooters.

Sarcastic responses to the petition include calls for Steve, 34, to become the town’s next mayor.

Steve, a photocopier technician, said he was “smiling all day” when his petition reached 50 signatures - but says it was “just a laugh”.

He hopes it will encourage conversation about a new chain in the town which could retain footfall in the area.

Steve said: “People have reacted to the development plans in different ways.

“Some were getting upset with their being too many pubs in Ivybridge.

“It’d be great to have a chain here - not a Hooters but something like a Five Guys to keep people in the town for the night.

“I don’t believe in the staff hiring policy at Hooters - it’s a bit 1980s with the scantily clad girls.

“But it has created a talking point for ideas to keep people in Ivybridge.

“The town has great pub lunch venues such as the Duke of Cornwall and nice restaurants - but you don’t have a middle ground chain.

“We could have a Pret A Manger - there’s none of those around.

“Ivybridge is a great place with a very close friendly community. We just need a little boost.”

Jordan Wain wrote in response to the July 27 petition, signed 57 times: “An American restaurant would be an awesome idea!

“I recently found out they have Denny’s and Taco Bell in the UK so any of these three would really bring people from far and wide.”

Simon Hall wrote: “I just love them hot wings!”

Jim Harper wrote: “I’m hungry.”

Hooters has been contacted for comment.