Chili's Grill & Bar is an American casual dining restaurant chain that features Tex-Mex-style cuisine. The company was founded by Larry Lavine in Texas in 1975 and is currently owned and operated by Brinker International.
Chili's first location, a converted postal station on Greenville Ave. in the Vickery Meadows area of Dallas, Texas, opened in 1975. The original Chili's on Greenville Ave. moved to a new building on the same site in 1981 before relocating again in 2007.
Lavine's concept was to create an informal, full-service dining restaurant with a menu featuring different types of hamburgers offered at an affordable price. The brand proved successful, and by the early 1980s there were 28 Chili's locations in the region, all featuring similar Southwest decor.
In 1983, Lavine sold the company to restaurant executive Norman E. Brinker, formerly of the Pillsbury restaurant group that owned Bennigan's.
In addition to their regular menu, the company offers a nutritional menu, allergen menu, and vegetarian menu. They also offer a veggie burger (non-vegan) that is supplied by the Kellogg Company.
"Chili's (Welcome to Chili's!)" is an advertising jingle used in Chili's Restaurant commercials to advertise the restaurant's line of baby back ribs. The ad features a doo-wop quartet singing a cappella. The song was written by Guy Bommarito and produced by Tom Faulkner Productions for GSD&M Advertising of Austin, Texas. Faulkner sings both "I want my baby back, baby back, baby back...", as well as the melodic theme. The deep "Bar-B-Q Sauce" was sung by famed New York bass vocalist, Willie McCoy. Advertising Agemagazine named the song first on its list of "10 songs most likely to get stuck in your head" in 2004.
In 2008, the chain aired parody ads for "P. J. Bland's", a fictional restaurant chain with cardboard foods.
In 2013, Chili's used Wendy Rene's Stax single Bar-B-Q in their TV commercial.
Chili's serves American food influenced by Tex-Mex cuisine, such as Spicy Shrimp Tacos, Bacon Burgers, and Steak.
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As of 2015, they have 1,580 locations worldwide, including 839 that are company-owned and 741 that are franchised.
In October 2008, a Chili's Australia franchise was prosecuted and fined AU$300,000 by the NSW Office of Industrial Relations for underpaying staff, pressuring employees to sign an Australian workplace agreement and failing to pay AU$45,000 in owed wages by a deadline set by the Office of Industrial Relations. In the same year, Chili's announced that it would be closing all of its Australian branches.