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Chili's Grill & Bar tests pizza in select markets

Chili's Grill & Bar tests pizza in select markets

Chili’s Grill & Bar is trying out a new menu platform with the addition of pizza, the casual-dining restaurant said.

The Brinker International-owned brand has been testing four pizzas and a “Create Your Own” option for at least the past week at some units, including one in North Dallas near its headquarters.

Known for its burgers, fajitas and baby-back ribs, Chili’s appears to be making a full-throttle venture into the pizza business with this test.

No menu items have been foreshadowed in earnings conference calls, as the chain rolled out its new “Kitchen of the Future” initiative to more units and hinted at possible new menu offerings.

The company is not discussing the pizza test, but spokeswoman Maureen Locus did confirm it was under way. “Chili’s is testing pizzas right now in select markets,” she wrote in an email to Nation’s Restaurant News Wednesday.

Chili’s has not offered pizza before, other than a simple cheese version on its kids’ menu.

A waiter at the North Dallas restaurant said the new nine-inch pizzas had been offered there since last week.

The four pizzas on the menu at the North Dallas location include:

Five Cheese, topped with Cheddar, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, pepper Jack and Parmesan cheeses, as well as diced tomatoes and green onion, for $11.79.

Southwestern, with chile-rubbed grilled chicken; chipotle pesto; Cheddar, Monterey and pepper Jack cheeses; green and red bell peppers; red onion; and pico de gallo, for $12.79.

Grilled Chicken and Cheese, with grilled chicken, Cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Parmesan, diced tomatoes, red onion and cilantro, for $12.79.

Taco Pizza, with ground beef, salsa, Cheddar, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, red onion and cilantro with a cumin-lime sour cream and pico de gallo, for $11.79.

The “Create Your Own” option starts at $10.28 with one of 11 available toppings and three additional toppings for $1.49 each.

The pizzas are also flagged on Chili’s value promotions. The Five-Cheese and Taco Pizzas are on Chili’s “2 for $20” dinner menu, along with a nine-inch pepperoni pizza.

Chili’s has more than 1,500 restaurants in all 50 states, as well as 33 countries and two U.S. territories.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated with additional pricing information.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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