Brinker International, Inc., owner of Chili’s Grill & Bar, is renewing its partnership of more than 20 years with QSR Automations. As part of this agreement, Chili’s will upgrade its kitchen display system to ConnectSmart Kitchen. These technological improvements are part of the reinvention plan laid out by Brinker’s President and CEO, Kevin Hochman “to simplify the business and make it fun again.”

Some of the many improvements to come from this upgrade include increased capabilities of touchscreens, plus Cloud-connectivity, which allows for centrally managed datasets and additional integrations in the future. The first install of ConnectSmart Kitchen took place in February, and full deployment to approximately 1,200 Chili’s restaurants should be completed in 2024.

“There has been immense change both in our business and the restaurant industry as a whole over the past two decades, but it’s clear that QSR Automations remains the best in breed for kitchen technology,” says Pankaj Patra, CIO at Brinker International. “They’ve been an outstanding partner, and we look forward to our relationship growing as we evolve together.”

QSR Automations and Brinker International’s partnership began in 2001 when Chili’s became the first casual chain to adopt QSR Automations’ legacy kitchen display system. Later, QSR Automations was integral in assisting Brinker to implement their curbside pick-up feature, well before the pandemic made off-premise dining a necessity for so many restaurants. This innovation poised Brinker for success in 2020 when it quickly launched its carryout-only concept, It’s Just Wings, again with QSR Automations’ help.

“I can confidently say that Brinker International has helped us just as much as we’ve helped them over the years,” says Anglea Leet, CEO of QSR Automations. “The ability to learn from and grow with our long-term customers has been absolutely vital to the evolution of our technology. We’re looking forward to our next steps together.”

ConnectSmart is now in 21 of the top 25 fast-casual restaurants in the United States.

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