Chili’s opens a delivery/takeout unit and adjusts the “3 for me” offer

Chili’s Grill & Bar, the casual dining division of Brinker International Inc., plans to open a smaller unit dedicated to pick-up and delivery on Thursday, the company announced Wednesday.

Dallas-based Brinker said the new unit, reported in August while under construction, will open near Southern Methodist University, scaled down to 1,600 square feet from the brand’s traditional 5,500 square foot building.

A spokesperson said the so-called Delco unit offers ‘opportunity for Chili’s to enter premises that are too small’ for traditional restaurants and ‘opens up a large addressable market by thinking differently – with off-site accounting for a third of sales of Chile”. The location will employ 20 workers, the spokesperson said.

Earlier today, Brinker released results for the first quarter ended Sept. 28, with executives saying they were working to simplify operations and overhaul menu offerings, such as providing more cost-effective versions of Chile’s value-driven “3 for Me” offering. .

Since taking office five months ago, Kevin Hochman, CEO and chairman of Brinker, said the company has identified four areas to focus on, including atmosphere, food, hospitality and guest experience. Members of the team.

A new menu introduction on Oct. 25 saw Chili’s introduce the restructured “3 for Me” platform, which still starts at $10.99, Hochman said.

“We’ve reduced the combination of menus for this platform,” Hochman explained. “We went from 12 offers to nine, and we also went from four price points to three price points. The intention was to generate more trades in ‘3 for me’ as well as better customer control. Hochman had previously indicated that he wanted to reduce the number of discounted tickets and items provided through the rewards program.

“We’ve seen significant increases in average checks for those who buy ‘3 for me,'” Hochman said. “We also saw a reduction in the mix in ‘3 for Me’, as some [customers] went back to the map to find the items that were removed.

What Hochman called “destination items,” such as Cajun Chicken Pasta, Chicken Fajitas and Grilled Chicken Margarita, have been repositioned out of the package and onto the a la carte menu. “It also helped us get out of some of those discounted checks,” he noted.

These small moves also helped the average checks per person for the restaurant as a whole, he added.

Joe Taylor, CFO of Brinker, “We’re a week away, but obviously pretty excited about what we see coming out of it. We’ll see it develop over the rest of the quarter, but it’s working on all metrics, including the mixes into the a la carte side of the equation.

For the first quarter ended Sept. 28, Brinker posted a net loss of $30.2 million, or 69 cents per share, compared with earnings of $13.2 million, or 28 cents per share, in the same period. one year ago. Revenues were $955.5 million, up from $876.4 million in the same quarter last year.

The primary driver of the first-quarter operating loss was “significantly increased food and beverage costs, driven primarily by chicken and beef prices,” the company said.

Combined same-store sales for the quarter increased 5.3%, with increases of 3.8% at Chili’s and 18.2% at Maggiano’s Little Italy.

Brinker International, founded in 1975, has 1,645 restaurants, including 1,592 Chili’s and 53 Maggiano’s. It also owns the virtual brands It’s Just Wings and Maggiano’s Italian Classics.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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