Brinkers International, one of the world’s leading casual dining restaurant companies has launched its first restaurant in India. The company which runs three brands– Chili’s(R) Grill & Bar, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina(R) and Maggiano’s Little Italy(R), in 28 nations, has opened its restaurant under the brand Chili’s Grill & Bar, recently in Bengaluru.
Speaking in an exclusive interview , John Reale, president of Brinker International’s global division stated, “Brinker International views India as a dynamic, diverse and vibrant market with a high potential for growth. We decided that the market was large and diverse enough to launch the Chili’s brand.”
“We never take entering a new market lightly and hence, much work has gone into launching the brand from menu adaptation to supply chain and replication of signature items.”
Brinkers International was named one of Fortune Magazine’s Most Admired Food Service Companies in 2009 and was honored by the magazine as one of the Top 50 Employers for Minorities and the Top 50 Employers for Women.
Speaking about the business plans in India, Reale said, “With this opening in Bengaluru, Chili’s Grill & Bar now has 200 restaurants outside the States. This restaurant is part of a 25-restaurant, five-year agreement that will expand Brinker’s presence throughout India. We hope to expand the presence of all three Brinker brands throughout India in foreseeable future”
“For opening outlets, we have partnered with two area developers—Om Pizza & Eats which is a division of Jawad Business Group and, Stellar Concepts in Delhi. The first Chilli’s Grill & Bar outlet in Delhi will be opened in Spring 2010.”
“Jawad Business Group is a strong, longtime business partner of ours in the Middle East. This expansion of our partnership into India is ideal because it underscores their desire to grow with not just one, but all three Brinker brands.”
Informing about the menu offerings at Chili’s, Reale says, “Our Menu offerings showcase the cuisines of Southwestern America and include dishes such as our Sizzling Fajitas, Big Mouth Burgers, Kickin’ Crispers and India’s signature items like the Tandoori Chicken Sandwich, Paneer Bites and a Bombay Burger. More than 70 percent of our menu is adapted to vegetarian tastes and local dietary requirements.”
“Prices of the entrees range from 245 Rupees to 455 Rupees.”
On the average size of the Chili’s outlets, Reale remarks, “Due to India’s varied real estate, the efficiency of available space varies greatly. We typically like to be able to have somewhere between 120 – 160 seats which implies about 2,200 to 3,500 square feet depending upon the location.”
“Our Chili’s brand, however, is very flexible. We have brand extensions like Chili’s Too that can accommodate smaller or less efficient real estate depending upon the market.”
Commenting on the sense of competition from regional and national players in India, Reale says, “Regardless of competitive and regional restaurants, Brinker’s goal is to add variety to the choices that guests are offered when dining out. There are numerous options in the region, and we want to provide a stellar dining experience so guests will want to visit and then keep coming back.”
— Bhavya Misra