Casual dining giant Chili’s Grill & Bar will cut about 40 percent of its menu. The chain’s tried-and-true favorites are still on the menu — don’t worry, your burgers, fajitas and, of course, baby back ribs are safe — but the move will see 46 menu items (of a staggering 115) will be gone come September 18.
Mango Tilapia, Crispy Asparagus and Buffalo Fried Cauliflower are just a few of the items facing the chopping block, along with other foodie “fad” items, like quinoa and kale, the company sees as fading trends.
According to Bloomberg, the company says the move will “simplify operations and improve the quality of the remaining items” as Chili’s faces ever-changing consumer tastes and the sea change felt throughout the restaurant world.
Chili’s is hoping this “less is more” approach will help in the face of flagging sales — down 40 percent this year — and competition from TGI Fridays and Applebee’s, which are sharing in Chili’s casual dining struggles in a market that has seen customer traffic drop for two years running.
As Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Michael Halen put it, “They’re not giving people what they want. There’s a ton of competition and they haven’t been in tune with what millennials want — they’re getting beat up in a lot of different wants.”
Both fast-casual concepts and grocery options have seen gains in recent years, while full-service and casual dining restaurants are declining in popularity.
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