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We Must Band Together To Save Chili’s

chili's bar and grill

Before my waitress can even finish her “Welcome to Chili’s!” schpiel, I’ve already blurted out my order; the excitement too much to contain.

“Presidente Marg. Dr. Pepper. Skillet Que*. Crispy Chicken Crispers, double fries. Molten Chocolate Cake.”

*”Skillet Que” is what people who house Chili’s Skillet Queso call Chili’s Skillet Queso

I love Chili’s. Senior year of college, I chose Chili’s as the spot for my 22nd birthday dinner. Some people like to drink fancy cocktails on their birthday and eat steak and lobster. I went the route of Presidente Marg, Dr. Pepper, Skillet Que, Crispy Chicken Crispers (dub fries), Molten Chocolate Cake.

My brother got food poisoning at that dinner and couldn’t stop puking during my birthday party later that night. It was hilarious (I wrote about it here). Chili’s truly is the restaurant that keeps on giving.

But it might not be around to do all that giving too much longer.

From Business Insider:

Casual dining is in danger — and millennials are to blame.

Brands such as TGI Fridays, Ruby Tuesday, and Applebee’s have faced sales slumps and dozens of restaurant closures, as casual-dining chains have struggled to attract customers and increase sales.

“Casual-dining restaurants face a uniquely challenging market today,” Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith recently wrote in a letter to shareholders.

According to Smith, these sit-down restaurants’ struggles can be blamed on a frequently besmirched generation: millennials.

“Millennial consumers are more attracted than their elders to cooking at home, ordering delivery from restaurants, and eating quickly, in fast-casual or quick-serve restaurants,” Smith wrote.

This millennial is most certainly not to blame. So what’s the big idea, you millennial scum, Chili’s-devoid heathens? Do you think you’re better than us (Chili’s and I)? While you’re off to Chipotle to prepare to shit your appendix out your ass in three hours’ time — either with or without the assistance of E. Coli — I’m enjoying the satisfying and surprisingly light CRUNCH of Chili’s’ made-to-order tortilla chips. While you’re standing in line at Schlotzsky’s, I’m navigating Chili’s’ sleek new Ziosk tabletop point of service system. While you’re enjoying your “freaky fast” Jimmy John’s sub, a mixologist is hand-shaking my Pres Marg to perfection. You and your millennial choices are not better than me and my old-school tastes. Not even close.

Convincing millennials to move away from their fast casual restaurants and one-off gourmet destinations isn’t going to be easy. As a whole, millennials are too cynical to allow the Goodness Overload of Chili’s into their lives as they know doing so would completely refragment the fabricated sense of self-worth they’ve cannily injected into their own personalities. That’s the enemy we’re fighting against in the War for Chili’s. The battles won’t be easy, but I know plenty of millennials who appreciate what Chili’s is doing and are willing to head out to their local CB&G (Chili’s Bar and Grill) to ensure this cultural icon stays firmly planted in the annals of American gastronomy. Join me, won’t you? The first round of many Skillet Que rounds is on me.

Only you can prevent Chili’s Bar and Grill and its delicious offerings from going away for good.

[via Business Insider]

Image via Shutterstock

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Jared Borislow

Jared Borislow (né The DeVry Guy) is a Senior Writer for Grandex Inc and a 2015 graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

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