One of the world’s largest casual dining companies, Brinker International operates and franchises about 1,500 Chili’s Grill & Bar locations in about 30 countries. Trailing only Applebee’s as the largest full-service restaurant chain, Chili’s specializes in southwestern-style dishes with a menu featuring fajitas, margarita grilled chicken, and its popular baby back ribs. About 680 of the eateries are operated by franchisees, including more than 200 international locations. In addition to its flagship chain, Brinker operates Maggiano’s Little Italy, a casual Italian chain with more than 40 units, and it owns a stake in Romano’s Macaroni Grill.
1983: Norman Brinker, known as the father of the restaurant industry, buys Chili’s 23 restaurant locations.
May 3, 1986: Chili’s inaugural 10k run is hosted in Dallas and benefitting several local charities, including Texas Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital for Children. The run was held for more than 10 years.
Nov. 22, 1989: Chili’s, Inc. acquires Romano’s Macaroni Grill®.
1992: Chili’s inks franchise agreement with Pac-Am Food Concepts to expand into East Asia.
1992: The Komen Foundation establishes the Brinker International Awards for Breast Cancer Research recognize leading scientists for significant work that advances basic research concepts or clinical application in the fields of breast cancer research, screening or treatment. The awardees are determined on a peer-review basis.
1994: Norman Brinker retires, appointing Ron McDougall as the new CEO of Brinker International. Norman remains on as Chairman of the Board.
1994: Brinker International acquires On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina®. (2007-2010 Komen Corporate Partner)
1995: Brinker International purchases Maggiano’s Little Italy from Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You.
1997: Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk was elected to the board of directors of Brinker International Inc.
2000: The Komen Foundation has owned $162,843 in Brinker International stock during 2000, the only year in which the data was available. (See Swissler, supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism in Washington, D.C.)
2004: Ron McDougall steps down as Brinker CEO. Doug Brooks is appointed as Chairman of the Board and CEO of Brinker in addition to his President title.
Aug. 3, 2004: Chili’s opens 1,000th restaurant at Pinnacle Park in Dallas.
2005: Chili’s celebrates 30th anniversary.
June 22, 2006: Chili’s makes 10-year, $50 million dollar commitment to St. Jude, that once completed will be the largest corporate donation to the hospital.
Nov. 14, 2007: The Chili’s Care Center opens on the St. Jude campus in Memphis, Tenn., making this the first patient care building on the hospital’s campus be named for a corporate partner.
Dec. 18, 2008: Romano’s Macaroni Grill is sold to Golden Gate Capital.
June 9, 2009: Chairman Emeritus Norman Brinker passes away at the age of 78. His legacy to the foodservice industry will live on through the brands he helped grow and expand across the globe. He mentored an industry of leaders who transformed casual dining into an everyday celebration and demonstrated how to serve the world a great taste of life.
May 9, 2009: Chili’s celebrates 200th international restaurant with the opening of its location in Bangalore, India.
Dec. 22, 2009: Maggiano’s expands internationally, opening in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
April 2010: Maggiano’s unveils private wine label, Ruffino Salute Amico. Produced and bottled by the world-renowned Ruffino winery in Tuscany, Italy, the wine, which is available only in Maggiano’s restaurants, is a Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese blend that pairs well with many Maggiano’s menu offerings.
June 30, 2010: Brinker sells On The Border Cantina Mexican Grill & Cantina to Golden Gate Capital.
Look for Brinker’s association with O’Neill accompany.
M.A. Swissler, Compromised?