Moscow's Historic City Center Sizzles with The Opening of First Chili's(R) Grill & Bar in Russia

Russian guests clamor for a taste of the Southwest at opening of Chili's

DALLAS, Feb. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Chili's(R) Grill & Bar sizzled in snow-covered Moscow's hottest nightspot and historical city center, Novy Arbat, when the doors opened to the first Chili's in Russia. The American brand that paved the way for casual dining chains as the restaurant industry grew in the United States was welcomed to Russia with great fanfare earlier this month.

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Local residents and ex-pats alike embraced the flavors of the West surrounded by Chili's iconic decor in the heart of Moscow. In comparison to Chili's U.S. menus, the menu at the Novy Arbat restaurant offers a variety of pastas, a step-by-step guide on how to build a fajita and an expansive menu with premium spirits, which are available by the bottle and served tableside. These menu adaptations were based on Chili's global chefs' research of Russian lifestyles and local cuisine preferences.

In 2010, Chili's parent-company, Dallas-based Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), announced four target countries in which the casual dining leader would seek development of the brand - Brazil, Russia, India and China. In addition to Russia, Chili's currently serves up its famous fajitas at four restaurants in India and plans to open in Brazil later in the year. Brinker at present owns, operates and franchises more than 220 restaurants outside the U.S., with Chili's and Maggiano's Little Italy(R) locations in 30 additional countries and two territories.

"Casual dining overseas is akin to the growth we saw 15 to 20 years ago here in the United States," said Carin Stutz, president of global business development for Brinker International. "Consumers in emerging countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China are highly focused on iconic brands and they buy accordingly, which gives Brinker a unique opportunity to expand the reach of our restaurants, connect with local consumers and drive loyalty to our brand."

Chili's unique ambience and its famous Southwestern-inspired food became part of the local scene in Moscow, as crowds gathered to sample hand-shaken Presidente Margaritas and delicious fall-off-the-bone Baby Back Ribs at the VIP event. More than 180 guests enjoyed the event, complete with a live band, karaoke contest and a cooking demo by Chili's corporate chefs.

The first Chili's in Russia was developed by Russian franchisee Interdining Group, and as part of the agreement, 25 restaurants are slated for development in the Russian Federation by June 2017. Interdining Group is a privately held company headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and formed by three business partners for the sole purpose of developing and operating Chili's Grill & Bar in the Russian Federation.

"Franchisees like Interdining Group who are experts in the local market and consumer trends are valuable to our success and we're proud to partner with them as we extend our international presence into one of the world's largest consumer markets," said Stutz.

Located at 17 Novy Arbat, Moscow, the 188-seat restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.

About Brinker International

Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), is one of the world's leading casual dining restaurant companies, serving more than 1 million guests daily. Founded in 1975, and based in Dallas, Texas, Brinker owns or franchises more than 1,500 restaurants in 31 countries and two territories, and employs more than 100,000. Brinker restaurant brands include Chili's(R) Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy(R). Brinker also holds a minority stake in Romano's Macaroni Grill(R). For more information, visit www.brinker.com.

SOURCE Chili's Grill & Bar

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