Believe it or not, turns out a 125-item menu might be overkill. Chili’s today has announced that its menu — a Poor Richard’s Almanack of Tex-Mex stretching 18 sections long — will be pared down by nearly half, to a more respectable 75 items.
People heading to their local Chili’s for Mango Chile Tilapia or Crispy Asparagus will be SOL starting September 18. “Quinoa, kale — all those trends come and go,” Chili’s chief marketing officer tells Bloomberg News. “But what Americans want to eat doesn’t change that much. It’s the expectations that have changed.” In her own statement, president Kelli Valade says the decision comes after realizing that “today no restaurant can be everything to everyone.”
And so, Chili’s will now attempt to get “back to its roots.” This means “investing millions” in improving core menu items like burgers, baby back ribs, and fajitas. “Our guests have made their feedback clear,” parent company Brinker’s CEO Wyman Roberts told investors back in April, adding they’d identified three specific things: “Their dining experience needs to be faster. The food needs to be hotter. And they still want high quality product at a great value.”
Time to cue up that ribs ad: