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Chili's Is Getting Into the Delivery Business -- For Orders $125 and Up

Chili's is rolling out delivery nationwide—but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to get your $10 lunch delivered to your office.

Few major sit-down chains offer delivery services. Adding delivery often necessitates buying delivery trucks, testing that items will still be tasty post-delivery, hiring additional employees and more. However, Chili's is keeping costs at a minimum with a unique take on delivery.

Unlike your local Chinese takeout spot, the minimum order at Chili's is $125. “The core target for delivery is large or bulk food orders,” says a Chili's Grill & Bar spokesperson. “During the pilot test, Chili's looked at a number of different minimum options, and this order minimum made the most sense operationally and for guests given the speed, convenience and value of the delivery experience.”

The chain is also cutting costs by avoiding third-party delivery companies and having employees use their own cars for delivery.

Chili's has implemented delivery in 468 of its company-owned restaurants across the country. “With more than 800 corporate-owned restaurants, it didn't make sense to roll this initiative to the entire fleet,” says a spokesperson. “So within each market, the brand looked at the geography to select prime restaurant locations that could optimize the delivery experience in the surrounding area.”

Related: Coca-Cola Splits in Effort to Focus on Franchising

Chili's is focusing their delivery menu on “Party Platters:” snacky offerings such as wings, sliders and fajitas that serve around six. Beverages are sold by the gallon and salad are sold by the party-size bowl. Plates, napkins, utensils and set up are included with the order.

The focus on party-sized offerings draws from Chili's sister-company Maggiano's. Maggiano's started offering delivery in the late 2000s, with similar parameters to Chili's: $125 minimum, focus on party platters and a specialized delivery menu. Maggiano's, however, offers delivery at every location.

In addition to the 800 plus company-owned restaurants, there are 443 franchise-owned Chili's in the United States. Franchises have the option of opting-in to the delivery service, as Chili's company-owned restaurants continue to gather information on the service.

Related: Arby's Expensive Revamp: Two Logos in Two Years
 

Kate Taylor is a staff writer for Entrepreneur.com.

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