Our Story

2010 AND BEYOND

  • April 2010 - Maggiano’s unveils Ruffino Salute Amico. Produced and bottled by the world-renowned Ruffino winery in Tuscany, Italy, the wine, which is available only in Maggiano’s restaurants, is a Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese blend that pairs well with many Maggiano’s homemade, classic Italian-American menu offerings.

  • June 30, 2010 - Brinker International sells On The Border Cantina Mexican Grill & Cantina to Golden Gate Capital.

  • Nov. 11, 2011 - Maggiano's celebrates 20th anniversary at flagship Clark and Grand restaurant in Chicago

  • Jan. 18, 2012 - Chili’s introduces a new Lighter Choices menu with 590 calories or less, but the same bold Chili’s taste guests love.

  • Sep. 4, 2012 - We continued to grow our brand internationally. Our first Chili’s restaurant opened in San Jose, Costa Rica in 2012.

  • 2013 - Doug Brooks steps down as Brinker International CEO and President and remains as Chairman of the Board. Wyman Roberts is appointed as Brinker International President and CEO in addition to his President of Chili’s title.

  • April 29, 2013 - Maggiano’s celebrates 10 years of partnership with Make-A-Wish. The generosity and passion of Maggiano’s guests and teammates helped make wishes come true for more than 400 children by raising more than $3 million for Make-A-Wish.

  • September 2013 - Chili’s partnered with Ziosk® to bring tabletop tablets to all restaurants nationwide. Chili’s was the first in the casual dining industry to meet the demand for guest-facing technology and enhance the dining experience by placing 70,000 tablets on all restaurants tables across the U.S.

  • October 2013 - Chili’s reaches the extraordinary commitment of raising more than $50 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, three years earlier than planned.

  • November 2013 - Doug Brooks steps down as Chairman of the Board for Brinker International. Joseph DePinto is appointed as Chairman of the Board for Brinker International.

  • Sept. 2014 - Chili’s extended the partnership with St. Jude beyond the month of September by taking part in the St. Jude Thanks and Giving® campaign and other fundraising efforts.

  • Sept. 24, 2014 - Maggiano’s launches new “Lighter Take” menu which features 11 new preparations of classic, Italian dishes with at least one-third fewer calories than the original recipes.

  • Oct. 6, 2014 - Chili’s flips a burger from TV to table overnight on TNT’s “On the Menu” competition. Four contestants were charged with creating a savory dish for Chili’s new Craft Burger line and in less than 12 hours from premiere to the doors opening at more than 1,200 Chili’s restaurants nationwide, guests could try the new burger!

  • 2015 - Chili’s celebrates 40th anniversary.

  • Sept. 10, 2015 - The first Chili’s restaurant in Tunisia is opened.

  • Nov. 6, 2015 - The Baybrook Maggiano’s opening marking their 50th restaurant.

  • April 6, 2016 - The first Chili’s restaurant in Morocco is opened.

2000's

  • 2000 - Brinker International restaurants begin selling gift cards.

  • 2002 - Seven Memphis-area Chili's restaurants raised $14,000 with nothing more than crayons and pepper coloring sheets for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® located in Memphis,TN.

  • 2002 - Singing sensations ‘N Sync appear in a Chili’s commercial singing a harmonized version of the Baby Back Ribs jingle.

  • Chili's in Taipei, Taiwan

    2002 - Chili’s opens restaurants in three new countries – Taiwan, Qatar and Oman – giving the brand a presence in 22 countries.

  • Kadena Air Base, Japan

    Oct. 27, 2003 - Chili’s opens on Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, making it the first casual dining restaurant to open on any U.S. Air Force. This also marks Chili’s first restaurant in Japan, with 23 countries now on its international rolodex.

  • 2004 - As a result of team member passion and belief in the cause, Chili’s launches national St. Jude partnership with the 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 understanding, treating and defeating childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Throughout the Create-A-Pepper campaign, guests at locations nationwide and in Puerto Rico can support the lifesaving work of St. Jude through several in-restaurant, digital and interactive promotions.

  • 2004 - Ron McDougall steps down as Brinker International CEO. Doug Brooks is appointed as Chairman of the Board and CEO of Brinker International in addition to his President title.

  • 2004 - Wyman Roberts is named President of Maggiano’s Little Italy.

  • Aug. 3, 2004 - Chili’s opens 1,000th restaurant in Pinnacle Park, Dallas.

  • Ramstein Air Base, Germany

    Oct. 1, 2004 - Chili’s opens first restaurant in Germany location on Ramstein Air Base.

  • 2005 - Chili’s celebrates 30th anniversary.

  • 2006 - Maggiano’s introduces “The Maggiano’s Way”, which aligns all teammates on the brand’s Passion, Dream, Purpose and defines the unique culture.

  • Chili's Care Center at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis

    June 22, 2006 - Chili’s makes 10-year, $50 million dollar commitment to St. Jude that is today one of the largest single partner donations in the history of the hospital.

  • May 30, 2007 - Maggiano’s announces national partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation® to help make dreams come true for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

  • Chilis Care Center Lobby

    Nov. 14, 2007 - The state-of-the-art Chili’s Care Center opens on the St. Jude campus in Memphis, TN, making this the first patient care building on the hospital’s campus be named in honor of a corporate partner.

  • Dec. 18, 2008 - Brinker International sold Romano’s Macaroni Grill to Golden Gate Capital.

  • 2009 - Steve Provost joins Maggiano’s as Senior Vice President, Marketing and Brand Strategy and was later promoted to President of the brand.

  • Chili's in Bangalore, India.

    May 9, 2009 - Chili’s celebrates 200th international restaurant with the opening of its location in Bangalore, India.

  • Norman Brinker

    June 9, 2009 - Chairman Emeritus Norman Brinker passes away at the age of 78. His legacy to the foodservice industry will live on through the brands he helped grow and expand across the globe. He mentored an industry of leaders who transformed casual dining into an every day celebration and demonstrated how to serve the world a great taste of life.

  • 2009 - Maggiano’s introduces “Classic Pastas,” an offering where guests choose from a selection of handmade pastas and baked specialties, then go home with a second pasta as a gift from our chef.

1990's

  • 1990 - Chili’s, Inc. is now listed on the New York Stock Exchange as EAT.

  • 1991 - Chili’s, Inc. changes its name to Brinker International, Inc. to encompass the company's growing restaurant portfolio.

  • Maggiano's first location on Clark & Grand in Chicago, IL.

    Nov. 11, 1991 - Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc. opens the first Maggiano’s Little Italy® in Chicago, Illinois on the corner of Clark Street and Grand Avenue.

  • Dec. 2, 1991 - Chili’s opens first international location in Canada.

  • Dec. 8, 1992 - Chili’s opens first restaurant in Mexico.

  • 1994 - Chili's makes a splash in Asia with first restaurant opening in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

  • Norman Brinker retires, appointing Ron McDougall as the new CEO of Brinker International. Norman continues his leadership as Chairman of the Board.

  • 1994 - Maggiano’s made the decision to expand outside of Illinois and opened their fourth restaurant in McLean, Virginia at Tyson’s Corner Galleria II.

  • Chili’s Presidente Margarita

    1994 - Chili’s introduces the President Margarita® as first top-tier margarita. This margarita, which is now Chili’s number one selling drink, is hand shaken 25 times on the way to the table and is made with Sauza Conmemorativo Tequila, Patrón Citrónge organe liqueur and Presidente® Brandy.

  • On the Border in Allen, Texas

    1994 - Brinker acquires On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina®.

  • Chili's Cairo, Egypt

    July 19, 1994 - Chili’s expands to the Middle East by opening a restaurant in Egypt.

  • 1995 - Brinker International purchases Maggiano’s Little Italy from Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You.

  • 1996 - Big Mouth Burgers® are introduced to the menu as Chili’s goes back to its burger roots (remember this was the first item on the menu of the original Chili’s). The Big Mouth Burger, in many varieties from the classic OldTimer® and Bacon Burger to newer favorites like the Guacamole Burger, is still a signature category on Chili’s menu today.

  • Aug. 28, 1996 - I want my baby back, baby back, I want my baby back, baby back, baby back...Chiiilliiiis baby baaack riiibbs! Chili’s new version of the Baby Back Ribs jingle premieres on the CW Network (formerly known as the WB) solidifying the tune in pop culture history.

  • 1997 - St. ChiliHead Day was founded to commemorate the anniversary of the first Chili’s, which opened in March 1975 on Greenville Ave. in Dallas, Texas. The “St.” was added to coincide with the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Chili’s team members celebrate each year with an outdoor party at the Brinker International Restaurant Support Center, where partygoers have an opportunity to savor a slice of Chili’s birthday cake (either in the shape of a hamburger or a giant chili pepper) and give back to the community.

  • 1998 - Brinker International begins its sponsorship of The Pavilion at the HP (formerly EDS) Byron Nelson Championship golf tournament, a partnership that spanned over a decade.

  • 1999 - Chili’s Baby Back Ribs jingle is made famous in "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" when Mike Myers’ character Fat Bastard, adlibs the jingle, forever engraining the song as one of the most recognized jingles in history

1980's

  • Norman Brinker

    1983 - Norman Brinker, known as the father of the restaurant industry, buys Chili’s (23 restaurant across six states) and takes on the task of transforming Chili’s “Hamburger Hippies” into future restaurant industry leaders.

  • The original Chili’s "Hamburger Hippies"

    1983 - Chili’s, Inc. is listed on NASDAQ and goes public with its Initial Public Offering.

  • 1984 - Chili’s hits the airwaves with its first TV commercial introducing Fajitas. This new menu item caused an uproar in the kitchen becauseuntil this point, burgers and fries were only served in baskets, so the addition of skillets and plates to better (and more safely) serve the sizzling menu addition was new for team members. Salads, chicken sandwiches and buffalo wings were also added to the menu.

  • 1986 - Chili’s introduces fall-of-the-bone, delicious Baby Back Ribs to the menu and the original Baby Back Rib jingle hits the airwaves.

  • May 3, 1986 - Chili’s inaugural 10K run is hosted in Dallas, Texas to benefit several local charities including Texas Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital. The run, which was held for more than 10 years, allowed Brinker to raise more than $2 million for Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital.

  • Nov. 22, 1989 - Chili’s, Inc. acquires Romano’s Macaroni Grill®.

1960's-1970's

  • Terlingua

    1967 - Chili’s founder, Larry Lavine, attends the inaugural Terlingua Chili Cook-Off hosted in Terlingua, Texas, by famous race car legend and Lavine’s father-in-law, Carroll Shelby. Lavine falls in love with chili cook-offs and decides to create Chili’s® Grill & Bar to share that love with his friends and family.

  • Chili's first location in Dallas, TX.

    March 13, 1975 - Larry Lavine opens the first Chili’s® Grill & Bar in Dallas, Texas on the corner of Greenville Ave. and Meadow Rd. Chili’s was among the first of its kind, pioneering the world of casual dining, with a full-service restaurant boasting a fun, funky and laid back atmosphere. The restaurant was known for serving mouth-watering, napkin-soaking gourmet burgers out of baskets and having a line of customers around the corner.

  • Chili's first menu, 1975-1978.

  • Interior of the first Chili's restaurant.

  • Chili’s team members from the original opening.

  • Chili’s second location on Richmond Ave. in Houston, TX.

    Nov. 18, 1976 - Chili’s opens its second location in Houston, Texas after remodeling a flower shop on Richmond Ave.

  • Doug Brooks’ first day at Chili’s.

    1978 - Doug, who is now the longest tenured Brinker team member, also served as the Chairman, President and CEO of Brinker International. Doug is a highly respected industry leader who has been recognized for his talents and contributions by several publications and restaurant industry organizations.