Brinker grants On The Border franchises to Chili's, Romano's operator

DALLAS Brinker International Inc. said Tuesday it has signed an agreement with Shoot The Moon LLC of Great Falls, Mont., to develop five On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina restaurants in southern Idaho, Montana and Utah.


As part of the deal, Shoot The Moon bought the existing On The Border restaurant in Boise, Idaho. The casual-dining Mexican concept has 144 locations in 32 states.



This is the second agreement between Shoot The Moon and Brinker. In May 2006, Shoot The Moon agreed to acquire and develop Chili's Grill & Bar and Romano's Macaroni Grill restaurants in the Northwest.



This deal also makes Shoot The Moon the first domestic Brinker franchisee to develop three individual brands.



Dave Orenstein, president of On The Border, said: "This agreement is particularly exciting because it allows us to extend our brand into the Northwest U.S., bringing the On The Border experience to a new base of customers."



Brinker said its strategy this year is to expand franchise ownership of its brands from 20 percent to about 30 percent. Brinker also owns and operates the Maggiano's Little Italy concept.