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Chili’s Massive New Craft Hamburgers Will Try To Reverse Weak Sales

Chili’s hopes taking a step back in time – with a few twists - will help reverse an unsavory stretch of sales.
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Chili's hopes taking a step back in time - with a few twists - will help reverse an unsavory stretch of sales. Owned by Brinker International (EAT) - Get Brinker International, Inc. Report , Chili's recently debuted a craft burger menu at its over 1,500 locations. The 'Sunrise Burger' features a cage-free egg on top, pepperjack cheese, Applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, onion and tomato and an undisclosed sauce. As for the 'Ultimate Bacon Burger', it's stacked with a double dose of bacon, cheddar cheese, jalapeno aioli, spicy buffalo sauce, pickles, onion, tomato and honey chipotle sauce. Chili's says that burgers were a staple on its menu when the brand launched in Dallas, TX. back in 1975, and it wants to remind diners of that following years of expanding into Tex Mex inspired fare and promoting babyback ribs. 'Our goal for the new campaign was to figure out how do we take a brand that everyone thinks they know everything about and make people sit up and listen,' said Krista Gibson, chief marketing officer for Chili's, adding, 'The answer is to tell them something unique that they don't know, and, for us that's our heritage story.' Chili's also added a new margarita infused with peaches, and plans to soon debut craft beer taps in some locations to cater to the booming interest by people in more unique brews. It will introduce its well-known 'presidente' margarita on tap, too, which should make the job of bartenders a bit easier during busy times. TheStreet sampled the new craft burgers, which go for about $12 each with a side of fries, at a location in East Rutherford, NJ. Were they the most mind-blowing burgers ever? No, as the beef could use some seasoning and they were on the greasy side. But, overall they delivered in giving diners a solid tasting burger that is great for Instagram photos, and which offers immense value due to the gargantuan size of the grass-fed beef. TheStreet's Brian Sozzi reports.

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