Chili’s Plans to Cut 40 Percent of its Menu Items Starting Monday


Popular casual dining chain Chili's Grill & Bar announced it plans to cut 40 percent of the items from its restaurants' menus starting Sept. 18.

But don't worry, the famous baby back ribs aren't going anywhere!

In a press release, the Texas-based company said it plans to "invest millions to improve the food quality and value of its core menu items that first made the brand famous - burgers, ribs and fajitas."

Chili's started as a burger shack in Dallas in 1975 with 25 menu items, including alcohol and other beverages.  In January of this year, the Chili's menu nationwide had 125 menu items.

The restaurant plans to focus on 75 core items in a new menu plan that it is calling "less is more."  The change will take effect on Monday.

While the company has not released the full list of menu items that will be taken off the menu, TODAY Food reports the Smothered Smoked Chicken Burrito, Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas and Spicy Shrimp Tacos will all disappear from the chain's restaurants as part of the change.

"We value every Guest and we know that cutting even one entrée like Mango Chili Tilapia, or a delicious appetizer like Crispy Asparagus could disappoint a Guest who loves that dish," said Kelli Valade, president of Chili's, in a press release. "But, Guests have also told us they know that today no restaurant can be everything to everyone. So, by eliminating 40 percent of our menu, we've reinvested in meatier burgers, ribs and fajitas – the items that we've always been known for. We apologize to any Guest who misses a departed dish, but with this bold move we commit to all Guests to do a better job of serving our famous food on every visit, in every restaurant."

CNBC reports that customers will see larger portion sizes starting with the change on Monday as it competes with new fast casual chains like Shake Shack.

Chili's said it will release information over the week about the menu changes on its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

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At Chili’s, we believe everyone should be themselves. And we know that starts with us. Thanks to your support, we’ve had the pleasure of learning and growing every day for the past forty two years. We started life in 1975 as a small burger shack on Greenville Avenue in Dallas, and now we serve burgers, ribs and fajitas all around the world. As we’ve grown, our menu has grown, until we ended up with 125 dishes—about as many college football teams as there are in the NCAA. You could get everything from quinoa to mango tilapia at the favorite Chili’s down the street, but we heard you ask us a question: “Just because you can be everything to all does that mean that you should?” So, after a lot of self-reflection, we’ve realized something you may already know — in restaurants as in life, you just can’t be everything to everyone. We’re making a dramatic change, and we wanted you to know first. Sounds like we might be closing our doors, doesn’t it? Oh no no no no no. If anything, we’re kicking them down. We’re cutting our menu by 40% so we can increase the quality and size of what we’ve always done best: our burgers, ribs, fajitas. The roots that really make us, us. We know you might miss one of your favorites, but we hope you’ll give us a chance to show we can bring you the very best food, every time you visit. The kind of “Dang, that was good” food you received on your first Chili’s visit years ago. The new menu launches on September 18th. We’ll see you there, and we’ll come as we are. You should too. Welcome back.

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