Love is in the Air at Chili's(R)!

Despite Economic Downturn, Hundreds Of Chili'S Restaurants Report Record Breaking Sales On Valentine'S Day

Dallas, // PRNewswire // -- Even the current economic climate didn't stop people from sharing a flavorful meal with their special someone this past Valentine's Day. But many did forgo upscale, pricey restaurants and instead spent the holiday eating at places with more affordable fare.

That behavior change led to almost half of Chili's Grill & Bar restaurants experiencing their biggest sales day ever! On an average Saturday, Chili's serves about 750,000 guests. On Saturday, Feb. 14, more than 1 million guests were served. Most Chili's restaurants nationwide were up in same store sales and guest counts, and the majority were up by double digits.

"What better time than a romantic holiday to cozy up and enjoy a great meal with your sweetheart?" asks Todd Diener, president of Chili's Grill & Bar. "This confirms that our brand offers great value and is resonating with guests across the country even during these tough economic times. Our focus on delivering flavorful food and genuine hospitality positions us well to weather the economic downturn."

Valentine's Day is also typically the highest annual sales day for Chili's To Go service. This year was no exception, as To Go sales across the brand were up more than 65 percent versus a typical Saturday.

And with love in the air, guests were in the sharing mood as sales of Chili's Triple Dipper, an entree comprised of three appetizers, soared up 74 percent on Saturday versus recent sales. The Chili's in Memphis, Tenn., sold 365 Triple Dippers on Saturday--more than three times the average.

"Customization, affordability and the opportunity to sample multiple bold and flavorful menu items all contribute to the popularity of the Triple Dipper entree," said Diener. "Chili's provides great food, service and atmosphere all at a great value; and it's a privilege for us to share special occasions with our guests in addition to providing an everyday option for lunch, dinner and To Go."

Chili's Grill & Bar is the flagship brand of Dallas-based Brinker International (NYSE: EAT), a recognized leader in casual dining. Chili's offers a fun, energetic atmosphere and a distinct, fresh mix of grilled American favorites at more than 1,400 locations in 26 countries. Other Brinker brands include Maggiano's Little Italy(R) and On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina(R).

SOURCE Chili's Grill & Bar

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