Chili’s brand partnerships connect guests and fans in flavorful ways

Chili's Catch a 'Rita promotion at Daytona 500
Chili's Catch a 'Rita promotion at Daytona 500 / Chili's

From the first note of an iconic jingle to the enticing shake of a Presidente margarita, Chili’s understands that connecting with guests extends beyond the meal enjoyed in the restaurant. As seen in its recent brand partnerships, authenticity flavors the choices.  

Fast casual restaurants continually look for ways to bring guests to the table. While cost-effective food promotions can make some people choose one neighborhood bar and grill over another, restaurant brands long to have that one time guest turn into a repetitive customer. Whether it is Saturday night out or the place to celebrate a special moment, restaurants want to be that location that people hunger for.  

Recently, two Chili’s brand partnerships have played to different scenarios, both of which connected with a fan base. The iconic Baby Back Ribs jingle has people instantly thinking of Chili’s and one of its most famous menu items.  

Bringing Boyz II Men into that conversation hits a nostalgic note. Even if the regular diner cannot harmonize as smoothly, the jingle can make people salivate for that classic meal. Similar to the earworm that lingers far after the song ends, this hunger for that specific taste gets people to sit down at a Chili’s table.  

While the savory notes sung by Boyz II Men have people hungry for baby back ribs, the shake of the iconic Presidente Margarita makes guests thirsty for that cocktail. As seen with the recent Catch A ‘Rita collaboration with Spire Motorsports Corey LaJoie at the Daytona 500, tapping into the NASCAR fan base opens the restaurant’s doors to another loyal group.  

During a special event prior to the Daytona 500 race, fans lined up both outside and inside the restaurant to interact with their favorite NASCAR driver. While the restaurant team shook up plenty of margaritas during the afternoon, it is how people felt during the event that will bring them back to enjoy that cocktail with some chips and salsa.  

From stepping behind the bar to learn the perfect Presidente shake to giving the team an “ATL,” it is LaJoie’s authenticity that makes this brand partnership special. Chili’s found a partner who appreciates fan interaction in an authentic way. The Daytona event showcased that. The personal conversations that LaJoie had with each person in line and choosing to celebrate the restaurant’s team’s achievements deepens that fosters a connection long after the checkered flag is flown.  

While many people might have “caught a ‘rita” through the QR code on the car, it is more than a specific promotion that will drive people to order and order again that margarita. It is how the people reacted to the collaboration which will make them thirsty for another sip of that iconic sour mix.  

What will the future hold for Chili’s? If the fast casual restaurant brand stays on this successful path, the next brand partnership will foster that authenticity and stay true to what Chili’s does best. Whether it is the first note of a jingle, the shake of a margarita, or maybe a memory from the past, people are excited to come back to the table.