Chili’s Is Betting on … Pizza?

by Christopher Freeburn | January 24, 2013 12:44 pm

[1]Brinker International‘s (NYSE:EAT[2]) Chili’s Grill & Bar restaurants around the country will start serving pizza this year[3].

Pizza is being introduced as part of the company’s program to enhance its menu as it updates its kitchens. Company-owned restaurants will see the new kitchens first, with franchised locations following, Restaurant News notes.

Chili’s is positioning its pizza offerings as a single-person meal. Company officials said the cost of producing the pizza was low, helping boost the company’s profit margin.

Earlier this week, Brinker posted second-quarter earnings of $37.2 million, up from $35.7 million in the same period last year, on revenue that climbed 1.1% to $689.8 million.

Last month, Chili’s unveiled new appetizers and desserts, including mango-chile chicken, mango-chile tilapia, chocolate-chip cookies and soft pretzels. The new menu items are designed to take advantage of updated kitchen equipment.

Shares of Brinker International rose about 1% in Thursday midday trading.

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