Less Is More At Chili’s: Chain Cuts Menu By 40%

Image courtesy of JeepersMedia

In a bid to avoid the continuously closing fate of chains like Joe’s Crab Shack, Outback Steakhouse, Bob Evans, and Logan’s Roadhouse, seminal restaurant chain Chili’s is downsizing — its menu, that is.

Chili’s Grill & Bar parent company Brinker International announced today that it would gut the chain’s menu by nearly 40% in an attempt to focus on the quality and size of the meals that customers actually order.

Starting Sept. 18, Chili’s will offer a “more is less” 75-item menu that focuses on the “value of its core menu items that first made the brand famous — burgers, ribs, and fajitas.”

The pared down menu comes after the chain spent years “chasing consumer trends, expanding the menu, and trying to be all things to all guests.”

At its peak, Chili’s offered one of the largest menus of any restaurant chain with more than 125 appetizers, entrees, desserts, cocktails, and add-ons.

In the end, however, Chili’s says the wide-range of menu offerings didn’t result in more sales, but in a “fuzzy food reputation.”

“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,” the company said.

While the company realizes that some guests might miss departed menu items, it believes the improved quality of its remaining dishes will be enough to draw in customers.

“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,” Kelli Valade, president of Chili’s, said in a statement.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.