Chili's opens outpost in India with a vegetarian menu

Brinker International, that owns Chili's franchises in 28 countries, opened the Bangalore outpost with Jawad Business Group. It's the first of 15 restaurants they will open together in India. Since the majority of the country doesn't eat meat -- especially the sacred cow -- the menu had to be developed specifically to accomodate their eating habits.

Chili's chefs researched local ingredients, cuisine preferences and menus from competitors to create "the essence of Chili's American-Southwest cuisine with a touch of familiar fare for the local consumer." 80 percent of the offerings can be prepared vegetarian and guests won't experience the typically bland Chili's food; the press release said the menu has "a heat profile that local guests will appreciate and enjoy."

President of global business development development John Reale said, "Chili's-Bangalore will offer guests a unique dining experience with bold, kicked up flavors," said Reale. "From the Tandoori Chicken Sandwich to the Paneer Bites to the Bombay Burger, guests will find local flavors they enjoy infused with the brand's Southwestern heritage."

I can't figure it out... if they are changing 80 percent of the menu, why are they using the name Chili's? Is it still Chili's withou their signature fajitas and "spicy" chicken strips? And how about adding the tandoori and paneer to our local American menus... maybe then I'd want to go. At least once.

Read the full press release

It's not news when 200+ location mega-chain Chili's opens another door in the U.S. It's not even interesting when it opens in France, although it's doutbful anyone in that culinary Mecca would salivate over bland American "Tex Mex." But when a burger haven like Chili's goes into India, where the bulk of people eat vegetarian, that's peculiar. Even vaguely newsworthy.

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