The word on TheStreet: Chili's is really trimming down.
All the quinoa, flatbread and cauliflower what-have-yous that have taken residence on a growing menu will likely be the first ones to be cut from the team. What gives?
Well, Chili's has been on the decline for quite some time. What started out as the place to get baby back ribs and meaty burgers and a more-than-generous portion of fajitas, Chili's turned a blind eye on its very own meat-based lineage to join the masses as the "everything" restaurant.
Applebee's finds itself in a similar boat with dwindling numbers, despite its efforts to attract millennials.
The restaurant industry as a whole is feeling the burn, as delivery, drive-thru and casual dining prosper in a culture bound to their couches, begetting "staycations" and binges in the form of food and entertainment. In the past quarter, visits to casual dining restaurants fell 4 percent.
And with shifting trends, restaurants face difficult choices to stay with the tried and true, or reinvent themselves.
Chili's admitted in a press release that it had "over the years, like many bar and grill chains, chased consumer trends, expanded the menu and tried to be all things to all guests, therefore compromising execution and resulting in a fuzzy food reputation."
The takeaway from this Chili's identity loss is this, my friends: Be comfortable in your own body (figuratively).
So, not surprising that the Tex-Mex dining company announced September 8 that they plan to dress way down to a scantily clad menu, baring just the Chili's "birthday suit."
To be exact, 40 percent of its menu will be removed. So, goodbye burritos and egg rolls. Welcome back, wings, ribs, burgers, barbecue sauce. And a cold margarita. Cheers!
While it has not yet been announced which items will get the boot, based on the statement made by Chili's, baby back ribs will probably be safe. After all, baby back ribs are what made up the very infrastructure of Chili's from day one (again, figuratively, of course!).
Hopefully, Chili's will feel its proverbial hair in the wind as it waves goodbye the other 50 or so baggage menu items that accrued on the menu since its original opening.
For the revival of its original menu, here's the perfect (and only) tagline to commemorate this restaurant's former glory: "Chili's is back, baby!"