At Brinker International, our passion is to make people feel special and one of the ways we live this passion is by giving to the communities we serve. Giving back has been part of our company DNA spanning Norman Brinker's support of philanthropic and charitable events like the Chili’s 10K Run benefitting the Texas Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital and the Byron Nelson Golf Classic to our long-time support of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® and Make-A-Wish®.
Since families are at the core of our communities, we focus our giving on children and family organizations, primarily through our support of St. Jude and Make-A-Wish. Given that we are a leading casual dining restaurant company, we believe it is important to be part of the solution to end hunger in America and are increasing our support of local food banks, especially in the Dallas area where our Restaurant Support Center team is located.
Our restaurants are also involved in philanthropic events in their respective communities and often host Give Back Events at our restaurants where a portion of the proceeds from sales are contributed to a community or charitable organization.
Chili’s partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital began in 2002, when Memphis, Tennessee-area Chili’s restaurants started a coloring sheet promotion that raised $14,000. In 2004, the Chili’s brand launched the national Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer campaign. Each September during National Childhood Cancer Awareness month, Chili’s kicks off the nationwide fundraiser to support the St. Jude mission of finding cures and saving children. Throughout the Create-A-Pepper campaign, Guests at Chili’s locations nationwide and in Puerto Rico help support the lifesaving work of St. Jude through several in-restaurant, digital and interactive promotions. In 2013, Chili’s made good early on its 10-year, $50 million commitment to St. Jude, which represented the largest corporate donation in the history of the hospital. In total, Brinker International, the Chili’s brand and the brand’s generous Team Members and Guests have donated over $58 million to St. Jude, contributing to projects like the Chili’s Care Center, which opened in 2007.
Maggiano’s began its partnership with the Make-A-Wish® in 2003 to help make dreams come true for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Through the annual Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish campaign, Maggiano’s restaurants nationwide feature a number of delicious giving opportunities designed to raise enough funds to grant at least two life-changing wishes per restaurant. Guests can contribute by: ordering a food or beverage item from the Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish feature menu and purchasing a decorative star-shaped card for an amount of their choosing and displaying it in the restaurant with their name. In addition, each Maggiano’s restaurant hosts “wish enhancement dinners” for local Make-A-Wish children and their families, such as send-off parties before a wish is granted or welcome-home parties after a wish comes true. In total, Brinker International, the Maggiano’s brand and the brand’s generous Teammates and Guests have donated over $6 million, enough to grant over 800 wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
The Brinker Family Fund was established as a 501(c)(3) organization in 1997 to help Brinker employees and their families in times of need such as natural disasters, serious illness, death or injury. In times of catastrophic events, all Brinker International Team members (BrinkerHeads) are eligible to receive assistance. The organization is funded primarily by BrinkerHeads who donate a percentage of their paychecks to assist Team members nationwide during times of need. Since the fund’s inception, more than $15 million has been donated to aid BrinkerHeads and their families. Since 2009, the fund has annually raised approximately $1 million per year supporting more than 5,000 BrinkerHeads when they needed it most.
Through Passion with a Purpose, Brinker International supports Team members who allocate their resources to causes for which they are truly passionate. Whether the support is through time or money, Brinker International will supplement Team member efforts with a cash contribution. Under our Passion Points program, the company will match up to 40 unpaid volunteer hours with a donation of $500 per Team member per year. With Passion Bucks, Brinker will match a Team member donation of at least $100 with a company match of $500 per year. Team members can participate in both programs for a maximum match of $1,000 per fiscal year.