Chili's 'kitchen of the future' retrofit drives menu changes, sales

Analysts highlight equipment upgrades, costs and early results of chain’s program

More than 100 Chili’s Grill & Bar restaurants have undergone what chain parent Brinker International Inc. calls the “kitchen of the future” retrofit, installing new equipment that helps reduce labor costs and pave the way for menu expansion and increased sales.

Dallas-based Brinker’s 1,534-unit Chili’s division expects the kitchen retrofits to be a key driver in its guidance of a 400-basis-point, or 4 percent, improvement in net margins. The accompanyi

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