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Chili’s owner Brinker dishes on global expansion

March 26, 2009

Brinker International which owns casual dining restaurants Chili’s Grill & Bar, Maggiano’s Little Italy and On the Border brands, says that outside the United States it’s on track to open about 300 outlets over the next five years which would bring it’s total overseas presence to about 500…many of those are already located in the Middle East and Mexico. Even though the company’s international president John Reale concedes there has been a slowdown in sales “they are still up in the high single digits” which is more than they can say in the U.S. where mid-tier chains across the board have seen comparable-store sales turn negative as consumers tighten their budgets. Reale says the biggest challenge for the remainder of 2009 is trying to understand consumer behavior, but he does see a bright spot. Prices for real estate around the world, which had prevented the company from opening in some locations, have come down “30 to 40-percent.” Click here to hear what Brinker International President John Reale had to say:
Reale interview from Reuters TV on Vimeo.

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