Skip to main content

For Find Out Friday Week 6- The Hamburger Hippies Behind Chili’s Restaurants



Have you seen this commercial for Chili’s?


I found it very informative. I love when I can learn something in sixty seconds or less.

I would have never wondered how Chili’s came to be but since they aired that commercial I wanted to know more. There is no better time to dive into a topic like this other than Find Out Friday!

I love Chili’s. I wish there were one right by my house. Sure we have Applebee’s, TGIF Fridays, and the like but no other restaurant in this category holds a candle to Chili’s. I love Mexican food and I love the choices they provide. They make great appetizers and cocktails too. One of those gigantic frozen drinks sounds like a little piece of heaven to me right now. Plus they are affordable. It is the perfect place for girl’s night out or an easy family dinner.

The Chili’s commercial inspired me to do some digging and thankfully there was lots of information (see Snapple blog) on the other side waiting for me. Owner, Larry Lavine opened his first restaurant in March of 1975 in Dallas, Texas. It was an immediate success setting the bar for a whole new type of eatery. The Texas connection would come into play and be present on the menu creating that Tex-Mex flare that I love so much.

Chili’s has always been an innovator and remains ahead of its competitors. First it was their infamous  “I want my Baby Back” ribs jungle created back in 1986. It was used again in 1999 during “Austin Powers The Spy Who Shagged Me”, forever cementing it into pop culture.

Their first television commercial debuted in 1984 announcing, fajitas, which was partially like a new food group for America or at least in its restaurants. On a personal note I had my first fajita in the early 1990s from McDonald’s and I thought it was the shit. Nowadays Chili’s is my preferred brand; after all I am classy now.

Nowadays there are tablets on every table to place orders, pay the bill, and for children to play games in lieu of the coloring paper menus kids of my generation did. You will see these tablets all around now but Chili’s did it first.

According to legend there is one upside down picture in EVERY single Chili’s, and no it’s not the same.

“Each sign is painted in red and green and hung upside down. The tradition looks to have influences of Chinese culture as the Chinese word for 'arrive' rhymes with the word for 'upside down'. The upside down picture symbolizes that good luck will arrive and it's a subtle way that Chili's is greeting all those that arrive at its locations.”

Now I will have to be on the lookout.

Despite all of the cool facts I learned about Chili’s, my favorite thing I learned from my investigation was their connection to St. Jude. My adoration for St. Jude (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2012/11/for-thanks-and-giving.html) consists of many levels. It’s the work they do, the way Marlo Thomas (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2012/03/for-that-girl-marlo-thomas.html) and fellow celebrities give, but most importantly that founder Danny Thomas created a financially free zone for children who have cancer. It’s really all in their motto: “No Child Should Die In the Dawn of Life.” If I weren’t a fan before this would have been the clincher.

In 2002 Chili’s began their relationship with St. Jude through their Memphis restaurants with a coloring sheet promotion that ultimately raised $14,000. Additionally Chili’s supports National Childhood Cancer Awareness month (each September) since 2004.

By 2006 Chili’s pledged a fifty million dollar donation to be delivered throughout the next ten years. But for Chili’s they finished first again, completing that promise in 2013, three years ahead of schedule. This stands out as the largest single corporate donation that St. Jude’s or any other hospital has been granted.

As if that fifty million dollars wasn’t enough, Chili’s went one-step further- this is the part that made me weak in the knees. In November 2007 “The Chili’s Care Center” opened in St. Jude hospital and is the only one of its kind. Their generosity seems endless.

I love when big business acts like a loving individual. It makes me proud to be a patron and provides an urge to choose Chili’s over others when the opportunity presents itself.

I know consider myself an honorary Hamburger Hippie. 

For More Information:



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

For Find Out Friday - Why Do Emery Boards Make My Skin Crawl?

You know that sound a fingernail makes when it scratches against a chalkboard?  You know that feeling the sound of that action gives you? I, like most people, hate that sound.  I instantly feel like scrunching my shoulders up to my neck and closing my eyes.  I feel the exact same way when I am using an emery board to file my nails. This annoying sensation has a name: “grima” which is Spanish for disgust or uneasiness. This term basically describes any feeling of being displeased, annoyed, or dissatisfied someone or something.  It is a feeling that psychologists are starting to pay more attention to as it relates to our other emotions.  Emery boards are traditionally made with cardboard that has small grains of sand adhered to them. It is the sandpaper that I believe makes me filled with grima.  According to studies that are being done around the world, it is not just the feeling that we associate with certain things like nails on a chalkboard or by using emery boards

For the Perfect Appetizer Dinner: “Morgan’s Brooklyn Barbecue”

Have you ever gone out to eat and wished that you just ordered a bunch of appetizers?  I have.  It is actually my preferred way to eat. I like to get a taste of a bunch of different things rather than one big plate. I am much more interested in the kinds of foods we eat as appetizers versus lunch or dinner. Desserts hardly ever register on my radar. At the beginning of this year, right before I was set to release my annual to do list , I stumbled upon a photo of the most beautiful plate of brisket nachos I have ever seen. I instantly wanted them. Naturally the establishment behind said nachos, Morgans Brooklyn Barbecue, earned a spot on my list. The week leading up to my visit all I could think about was “would those nachos be my entire meal or just my appetizer”? Sure I love all kinds of barbecue food: the ribs, the brisket, pulled pork, and don’t even get me started on those sides!! Any restaurant that serves mac and cheese, corn bread, and creamed spinach us

For Find Out Friday - How Do You Milk An Almond?

Despite my affinity for cheese and other dairy products, occasionally (actually a few times a week) I like to go dairy-free.  During those times I rely heavily on my favorite brand of almond milk, as seen in the picture above.  Though I know there is no dairy in this product, I constantly wonder: “how does one milk an almond”? Logically I am aware that no actually “milking” is taking place.  I also know that almond milk can be made at home, although I have zero interest in attempting to make it despite my love of spending time in my kitchen. So, what is the actual process?  How long does it take?  When / where / who was the first to successful develop this product? When talking about this kind of “milk” what we are really talking about is plant juices that resemble and can be used in the same ways as dairy milk. Plant like juice has been described as milk since about 1200 A.D. The first mentions can be found in a Baghdadi cookbook in the thirteenth