How Fixing a "Broken Cheeseburger" Brought Chili's Compassion to Light

Viral Act of Kindness Inspires Nationwide Give Back Event benefitting the National Autism Association Monday, April 7

DALLAS - April 2, 2014 // PRNewswire // - Almost one year from the day when a young girl with autism was served a "broken cheeseburger" and a team member unknowingly saved the day, the lessons of compassion and understanding learned from a viral Facebook post still endure at every Chili's® Grill & Bar restaurant across the country.

The story began at a Chili's in Midvale, Utah where a server presented a little girl with her Kid's Cheeseburger cut in half. Unbeknownst to the server, however, Chili's standard presentation of a sliced cheeseburger signified the burger was "broken" to the guest. The server quickly had a new dish made and while the deed was seemingly small for the restaurant team, it made a profound impact on the child and her family as she joyfully kissed the "fixed" cheeseburger.

A family member's Facebook post thanking the restaurant for their care in the matter garnered attention from national media and thousands of Chili's fans. Since then, the server and young girl's friendship has continued and inspired the brand's recent efforts to support the autism community. On Monday, April 7 as part of National Autism Awareness Month, participating Chili's restaurants nationwide will host a Give Back Event, donating 10 percent of qualifying guest checks to the National Autism Association (NAA).

"The 'Broken Cheeseburger' story shines a light on the caring spirit and actions of Chili's team members. These moments happen in our restaurants every day, at every table, at every Chili's across the country," said Krista Gibson, chief marketing officer for Chili's Grill & Bar. "We are proud to support the National Autism Association while celebrating one of the brand's favorite stories of hospitality during nationally recognized Autism Awareness Month."

To contribute to NAA, guests simply need to mention the Give Back Event to their server or show the event flier when dining at any of the 1,249 participating Chili's restaurants for lunch or dinner Monday, April 7. NAA is a nonprofit organization providing research funding, advocacy, support and education for the autism community with the goal of helping all affected by the neurodevelopmental disorder reach their full potential.

"We are extremely grateful to everyone at Chili's for supporting the National Autism Association's programs with this Give Back Event," said Wendy Fournier, president of the National Autism Association. "As parents of children with autism, we were incredibly touched last year when we heard about the 'Broken Cheeseburger' story because what may seem like just a small act of kindness can truly mean the world to families like ours."

For more information and to find a local Chili's restaurant supporting NAA, visit Chilis.com.

About National Autism Association

National Autism Association (NAA) is the leading voice on issues related to autism safety and crisis prevention. The organization's mission is to respond to the most urgent needs of the autism community, providing real help and hope so that all affected can reach their full potential.

About Chili's Grill & Bar

Chili's® Grill & Bar is the flagship brand of Dallas-based Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), a recognized leader in casual dining. Chili's offers a variety of Southwestern-inspired, classic American favorites at more than 1,500 locations in 33 countries and two territories. In addition to Chili's, Brinker owns and operates Maggiano's Little Italy®.

At Chili's, More Life Happens Here® around every table, every day, at every Chili's across the country. Guests are encouraged to share their stories of More Life Happening at their Chili's by connecting with the brand on Facebook (http://facebook.com/chilis), Twitter (http://twitter.com/chilis), YouTube (http://youtube.com/chilis) and Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/chilis). For more brand-related information, please visit http://www.chilis.com.

SOURCE Chili's Grill & Bar

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Chili's Grill & Bar
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