[MUSIC PLAYING] If you wanted a burger in 1975, you could dress up and go to a stuffy restaurant for a gourmet burger or you could leave your flip-flops on and get a not so great fast food burger. Our founders had a simple idea– serve the best burger ever in a relaxed place. At the start of each day, they’d say, let’s play restaurant, embracing service that was inclusive, playful, and enjoyable. Guests lined up around the block.
It was bold. And we got even bolder. We opened 23 restaurants across six states. Norman Brinker, father of the restaurant industry and the inventor of the salad bar, bought us. In ’84, we taught America how to eat and pronounce fajitas. Then in ’86, we introduced our legendary baby back ribs, and the jingle to jingle all jingles, forever the end.
But we weren’t done. By ’94, we were the number one seller of margaritas in the US, and we still are. And we knew we had achieved a pretty epic level of cultural significance when ChilI’s served as the backdrop to NBC’s The Office’s “Dundee’s” episode. We could all feel God in this Chili’s. Even the kids know who we are thanks to the “Hi, welcome to Chile’s” Vine that went viral.
All that and we still knew we had work to do. The world had changed. Casual dining was a shrinking category. To grow, we needed to rethink our beloved brand. So in 2017, we hit the reset button. We went back to our food roots of burgers, ribs, fajitas, and margaritas. We went back to our people roots and our values of love, inclusion, and enjoyment.
It felt great to recommit to our brand promise of “bolder together.” Think of it like this. When we work together, our results are far greater than the sum of their parts. And our people are the key.
We call it the Chilihead factor. Once you’re a Chilihead, you’re dedicated. Chiliheads have always had that special something– that intangible connection to our guests, our restaurants, and to each other. We bring a little bit of ourselves to every order, to every table, to every single thing we do it from the front door to the heart of the house and beyond.
And the benchmark for Chiliheads’ success is articulated in our cultural beliefs, written in first person so they’re kind of like a personal mantra– every guest counts. I own the guest experience to ensure they return. Food perfection. I deliver quality food and beverages on time, the best they can be. Be accountable. I execute on the standards expected of me. Play restaurant. I make it fun for the guest and team. Hashtag #Chilislove.
These beliefs keep us on course. They ensure Chili’s is about people and connections. We know our guests come here for more than a burger. They come here for a night out or a night off. They trust us with that precious time because of the love we put into making and serving awesome food. And they know they are at Chili’s when they get burgers that are a whole half pound, ribs that are smoked low and slow in house, fajitas that sizzle every time, margaritas that are shaken 25 times.
After all, food should be fun. Dining out should feel like a celebration, even if we’re not celebrating anything. Going out to a restaurant should be interesting and invigorating so guests can loosen up, try new things, meet new people, and celebrate together. This is the experience we strive to provide. This is how we turn every customer into a forever guest.
Hi, welcome to Chili’s.