Maggiano's Little Italy(R) Franchise Helps Make Wishes Come True by Raising $500,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation(R)

Sixty-five Wishes Will Come True from Seventh Annual 'Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish(R)'

DALLAS /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Maggiano's Little Italy announced today it raised more than $500,000 to help grant the wishes of more than 65 children during its seventh annual "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" campaign. The program ran April 15 through May 26 with proceeds directly benefitting the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

"The dedication of our guests and teammates made 2010's 'Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish' campaign the most successful yet," said Steve Provost, president of Maggiano's Little Italy. "With their support, we far exceeded our initial goal, raising half a million dollars for this worthy case, enabling us to give back to the communities who give us so much."

This year, Maggiano's aimed to raise enough funds to help grant at least one wish per restaurant through: food and drink donations from the special "Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish" menu; contributions for new guest sign-ups to Maggiano's e-mail club; and showcasing decorative star-shaped cards throughout the restaurant naming the patrons who have donated to the program.

Throughout the campaign, restaurants nationwide created fun and exciting ways to raise money in each city and hosted send-off or welcome home parties for deserving wish kids. In Jacksonville, Fl., 18-year-old Ian, who loves cooking and wants to attend culinary school someday, got VIP behind-the-scenes treatment during his enhancement dinner. Team members from the Jacksonville Maggiano's generously donated their tips for an evening to ensure they reached their fundraising goals.

"Maggiano's passion for giving has been evident throughout the seven years of the 'Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish' campaign," said David Williams, president and CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. "Their guests and teammates have donated more than $1.5 million to the Foundation to date. We are grateful for their contributions and look forward to expanding the 'Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish' program for years to come."

About Maggiano's Little Italy

Maggiano's Little Italy specializes in Italian-American cuisine served in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Maggiano's menu features both classic and contemporary recipes - authentic pastas, signature salads, prime steaks, fresh seafood, regular chef specials and specialty desserts. Maggiano's 45 locations worldwide offer lunch and dinner, delivery, carryout service and banquet spaces for special occasions. Maggiano's is owned and operated by Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), one of the world's leading casual dining restaurant companies, serving more than one million guests daily. Brinker owns or franchises more than 1,500 restaurants in 30 countries and two territories, and employs more than 100,000. In addition to Maggiano's, Brinker owns and operates Chili's(R) Grill & Bar and holds a minority investment in Romano's Macaroni Grill(R).

About the Make-A-Wish Foundation

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Founded in 1980 when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, the Foundation is now the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 65 chapters in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and nearly 25,000 volunteers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants a wish every 40 minutes and has granted more than 193,000 wishes in the United States since its inception. For more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visit wish.org and discover how you can share the power of a wish(R).

SOURCE Maggiano's Little Italy

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