Chili's Grill & Bar jumps into the competitive pizza space

April 10, 2013

For the first time in the brand's 38-year history, Chili's Grill & Bar is offering pizza. The menu item is available at participating restaurants for lunch or dinner.

Chili's pizza lineup includes traditional flavors such as five cheese and pepperoni, as well as Southwestern chicken and taco options. According to a news release, the company's pizza crust is fluffy on the inside with a crisp finish. The pies are baked to order and include options such as red pepper flakes and parmesan.

"After 38 years of delivering cult-like favorites such as our Baby Back Ribs, guest feedback and preference is telling us now is the time to bring pizza to Chili's, but with our signature, Southwestern flavor profile," said Krista Gibson, senior vice president of brand strategy for Chili's Grill & Bar. "Our brand made recent and significant investments in kitchen technology, culinary research and team member training to ensure we could deliver on guests' expectations of Chili's – and this new menu platform."

For value-oriented consumers, the 9-inch Pepperoni Pizza is offered as an entree selection on the brand's $20 Dinner for Two menu along with appetizer and second entree.

Pizza is also featured on both Chili's Lunch Break and Pepper Pals kids' menu. At lunch, a 6-inch pizza is available in five cheese or pepperoni and served with salad or soup for $6. Children 12 and under receive their choice of a 6-inch classic pepperoni or cheese pizza — in addition to a drink and side — when ordering from the Pepper Pals menu.

"When guests think of Chili's, pizza is not necessarily one of the first menu items to jump to their minds," Gibson said. "To change this perception and drive trial, we are highlighting this culinary innovation in several categories of our menu as well as looking for opportunities to expand the platform, including the launch of flatbreads in May 2013."

Chili's Pizza Menu features:

  • Five Cheese – topped with cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey and pepper Jack, Parmesan, diced tomatoes and green onions.
  • Pepperoni – topped with mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Parmesan and classic pepperoni.
  • Southwestern Chicken – topped with chile-rubbed chicken, chipotle, pesto, cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey and pepper Jack, green and red bell peppers, red onion and house-made pico de gallo.
  • Taco – topped with seasoned ground beef, salsa, cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey and pepper Jack, red onion and cilantro with a drizzle of cumin-lime sour cream and house-made pico de gallo.

For $1 each, customers can add more toppings such as mushrooms, jalapenos and seasoned ground beef.

Read more about food and beverage launches.

Topics: Equipment & Supplies , Food & Beverage , Marketing / Branding / Promotion , Operations Management , Pizza Sauce , Pizza Toppings

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