Chile’s new happy hour menu features food and drink deals during televised soccer games. /Photo courtesy of Chili’s Grill & Bar.
Chili’s Grill & Bar launched a new happy hour earlier this month, offering deals on food and drinks during all televised games this football season.
When football is on, happy hour is on, with a range of special menus starting at $3 on the bar and lounge side of participating establishments.
“We are Chili’s Grill & Bar, and we want to invigorate the bar with this expanded happy hour,” said CMO George Felix. “Linking it to football invites people to come back to the bar to watch. We also re-established our partnership with DirecTV and NFL Sunday Ticket and have plenty of TVs and bar seating.
The new bar menu focuses on simplification to make it easier for the team and on value to attract customers and increase sales and traffic.
On the food side, there are 10 new bites of sea bass, including nine variations of wings served with curly fries and homemade ranch. Boneless and boneless wings are available in Garlic Parmesan, Honey Sriracha, Mango Habanero and other flavors developed for Chile’s virtual brand, It’s Just Wings.
“We don’t expect the wings to be a [price or supply] new challenge, and we have diversified the menu enough to guard against it,” said Félix.
Wings and curly fries are offered at the bar for the first time, but the latter have been on the main menu for some time. Customers can now order the fries separately, topped with white queso for $5 or loaded with queso, bacon and jalapenos for an additional $1.
A hearty Philly cheesesteak ($10) and discounted Burger Bites ($7) both come with curly fries; baskets of wings with fries cost between $7 and $14 depending on size.
“All the ingredients were already in our kitchens, which reduces complexity,” Felix said.
Several new drinks were added, including Chili’s Ranch Water, a cocktail originating from Texas where the chain is headquartered. It’s a mix of tequila on the rocks with soda and a little lime.
“Ranch Water is taking Texas by storm and as tequila experts, we want Chili’s to be the brand that introduces it to the rest of the United States,” Felix said. “It may be the next margarita.”
Chili’s knows margaritas. The drink has long been a signature of the brand, through Chili’s Margarita of the Month promotion and its signature Presidente Margarita. This one is available for $9 on the new happy hour menu, along with several new $5 snaps.
“The PB&J shot is at the forefront of the spirits trend,” Felix said. It’s a blend of peanut butter whiskey and black raspberry liqueur. Also on the list is a Lemon Drop Shot made with lemon vodka and a shaken Green Tea Shot with Irish whiskey, peach schnapps and sour lemon.
“The shots are a fun improvement that we’ve never had before,” he said. The peanut butter whiskey also accompanies the Grown-Up Molten, the only dessert on the menu. It’s a pairing of melted chocolate cake with a sidecar of whiskey.
There is also a secret side to the drink menu for connoisseurs. Included are Modelo beer topped with frozen margarita and a Michelada that pairs Modelo with a Bloody Mary mix, lime juice and a Southwestern Cajun rim. No-frills beers start at $3.
The happy hour menu operates all day on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as Thursday and Monday evenings. For Monday night games, the channel has partnered with DraftKings to attract fantasy football fans.
A few weeks later, Felix and the team in Chile received great customer feedback and a slow increase in traffic.
“Football brings in a great mix of happy hour customers. All ages, and some of the new drinks are particularly appealing to women,” he said.
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