Monday, June 24, 2024

Chili’s responds to wild social media rumors with humor. What’s behind the closing lies

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Rumors circulating across the internet claim that American restaurant chain Chili’s is closing all locations due to poor performance over the last few years. This rumor is just plain false.

This wild speculation stemmed from an article shared by KIXS 108 FM with the title “Chili’s is shutting doors across America in 2024.” Screenshots of the article, which originated from the blog Taste of Country, circulated across X formerly known as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

In the article, the writer states that “Brinker International, the owner of Chili’s, had a rough time in 2023, shutting down 16 Chili’s restaurants all across America.” He went on to point out that the trend seems to be continuing in 2024. The article was picked up and shared by MSN.com and other websites associated with country music radio stations.

People who didn’t read past the headline assumed that all Chili’s locations were closing in 2024. Social media uproar ensued.

“Y’all please pray! We’re in the end times. THEY SHUTTING DOWN ALL CHILIS” read one such tweet. Chili’s official account on X @Chilis tweeted back that “fast food planted this cause they’re scared of our prices,” with the eye and cold face emojis.

The official account on X @Chilis has been systematically responding to the flood of comments claiming the chain is closing stating, “thankfully that rumor is NOT true. Whew!”

Is Chili’s closing?

Chili’s is not closing its locations. And, according to the company, business is good.

“Recently, there have been several articles and social conversations that include misinformation and mischaracterizations about the state of our business,” a spokesperson for Chili’s told Reuters in an email. “The fact is Chili’s reported sales growth for its last quarter significantly better than restaurant industry averages … We will continue to offer the best value in the restaurant industry.“

How many Chili’s locations are closing?

Since 2023, Chili’s has closed fewer than 20 locations. There are still over 1,500 Chili’s restaurants open across the United States.

The company said the closures in 2023 do not reflect the brand’s overall performance.

“At times, like all leading national restaurant chains, we make a tough decision to close one,” Chili’s told Reuters. “That is not a negative indicator of our overall brand health.”

When does Chili’s close?

Chili’s is not closing all of its locations. There are over 1,500 locations still open and according to Forbes, the company did not indicate plans to close anymore stores.

Chili’s told Forbes that the social media posts and comments spreading about the restaurant chain closing are simply inaccurate and that the company is actually “growing in popularity throughout the country.”

Chili’s has reported a 3.5% growth in sales during the third quarter of 2024 compared to the third quarter of 2023.

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Reach the reporter at dina.kaur@arizonarepublic.com. Follow @dina_kaur on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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