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The First Chili
The year was 1975, and people were waiting in line wrapped around the corner of Greenville Ave. and Meadow Rd. in Dallas to sample the food and casual atmosphere of a funky, new burger joint called Chili Copper chili kettles serving as lamps hung above Mexican tiled tabletops and scattered with a collection of beer bottles filled with salt and pepper. An odd assortment of antiques, toys, signs and Texas memorabilia were strung from the ceiling or perched on shelves. Guests could even play tunes from a jukebox stocked with 50s and 60s melodies for free! The food, atmosphere and prices were a hit from the start with teenagers, young adults and families. It was among the first restaurant of its kind and helped pioneer the casual dining industry.
Chili partnered with Ziosk bring tabletop tablets to all restaurants nationwide in Sept. 2013. The new tabletop technology complements the fun and personal dining experience Chili is known for, while putting the convenience and control of on demand ordering, entertainment and payment all at the guests fingertips. It was one of the best, if not the best burger around. Our burgers have evolved over the years and continue to be a signature item available on the Chili menu today. Chili changed that when the were introduced to the lineup of food choices. After a successful test run, Chili rolled out Fajitas to its 23 locations nationwide in 1984. Fajita smoke filled the air, and lines of hungry guests rushed to the restaurants. Some restaurants ran out of fajita skillets, and others even ran out of fajitas! To celebrate this newfound success, T shirts were created for servers reading, survived the Summer of Fajita Madness!
Baby Back Ribs
Baby Back pork ribs were added to Chili menu in 1986, and of course, the launch of a new menu item called for a new advertising campaign. Not only have the Baby Back Ribs become one of Chili most craveable offerings, but the song is one of the most recognizable jingles in pop culture history.
The famous ribs and jingle have even popped up on various television series, including Grace, Office and Versions of the jingle have been performed by the singing group Sync, the boxing champion Evander Holyfield, USA Olympic gold medal gymnast Dominique Dawes and Tonight Show host Jay Leno. Ad Age magazine named the song first on its list of songs most likely to get stuck in your head in 2004. Perhaps the most memorable rendition of the jingle was performed by Mike Myers character, Fat Bastard, in the 1999 smash movie, Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. It was there that Chili liquor vendor pitched a new, higher tiered margarita recipe. The drink was served the first night in Cancun and that was all it took. Upon returning to Dallas, Chili added the margarita to the menu with a special touch Presidente brandy. Thousands of guests have since ordered the Presidente Margarita over and over again!
With 281 million guests served annually, Chili could feed the entire population of New York City 35 times in a year!
The number of burgers served every year could stretch across the 3,000 miles of the continental United States between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Chili serves 135,000 gallons of Presidente Margaritas every year that is one gallon every 15 minutes for the entire year and enough to fill 13 swimming pools.