Q&A: Does Chili's Restaurant Franchise in the UK?

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Chili's logo

Many of us might not be familiar with American restaurant chain Chili’s but, due to its popularity in the US, if you’re an ambitious entrepreneur, you might consider being the individual to bring the brand to the UK. Today we ask, ‘Does Chili’s franchise in the UK’?

Chili’s is an American restaurant chain, founded by Larry Lavine in Texas in 1975 and currently owned by Brinker International, an American multinational hospitality company. The first Chili’s restaurant opened in a converted postal station in the Vickery Meadows area of Dallas, Texas, in 1975. Since its humble beginnings, the brand has expanded to 32 different counties and it recently celebrated 20 years in Mexico.

Its business model is simple - to create a space where you can hang out with friends over a burger and a beer. As well as burgers, Chili’s focuses on ribs and fajitas, and its restaurants offer genuine Southwest spirit and a friendly atmosphere. There are currently over 1,600 Chili’s restaurants. Read on to see if you can set up the next through franchising.

Does Chili’s franchise in the UK?

Yes. Currently, Chili’s has established itself as a brand in the US, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, Guam, India, Indonesia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and United Arab Emirates. There aren’t currently any Chili’s in the UK. However, the food franchise is actively looking for franchisees in the UK, Russia, China, Thailand and many more global locations.

Brinker International has over 150 cumulative years of international experience, 150 years of combined restaurant experience, over 25 years of international marketing experience and 11 nationalities and 10 languages spoken.

History of Chili’s restaurant

The concept was inspired by a chili cook-off in Terlingua, Texas in 1967. Young entrepreneur Larry Lavine was then inspired to create his own chili recipe and opened the first Chili’s restaurant in 1975.

Its offering of chili and burgers went down a treat with customers because of its simplicity, relaxed atmosphere and Southwest-themed décor. Within one year, another restaurant opened in Houston and, by 1983, there were 28 open. New items were added to the menu over time and the brand experienced rapid growth.

Starting a Chili’s franchise unit

Chili’s offers a flexible business model that adapts to almost any real estate location to be culturally relevant and profitable, all while delivering its brand promise. A standard international Chili’s restaurant is roughly 420 square meters in size and includes enough room for 170 guests.

The non-traditional restaurants offer a smaller space of approximately 300 square meters and include seating for 111 guests. Chili’s can be found on a high street or in a stand-alone building that is in close proximity to retail, residential and commercial centres, as well as non-traditional locations like upscale shopping centres, international airports and university campuses.

Becoming a Chili’s franchisee

In order to be considered as a Chili international franchisee, it is important to make sure you meet the following criteria:

  • Proven hospitality experience, preferably in the food service industry
  • Passion for developing a multiple restaurant development plan of at least five restaurants
  • Evidence of an existing business infrastructure that can support the launch and development of the restaurant
  • Local knowledge
  • Business relationships
  • Expertise in terms of consumer preferences, real estate, government regulations, labour and distribution

Click here to sign up.

How much you need to invest

You need to demonstrate minimum liquidity of $5 million.

What you get for your investment

  • You’ll receive support with evaluating market potential and key entry points, market mapping and site selection.
  • You will also get help with prototypical restaurant drawings and adapting the layout, designs and operations of the restaurant to ensure it will fit well in the local market.
  • Franchisors will also advise on a finance model, leverage profitability exercises and financial forecasting to guarantee a secure and successful business model.
  • The brand is also keen to train franchisees to be self-sufficient through harnessing tools like new restaurant programmes, compressive training, manager training and people succession planning.
  • Chili’s promises to deliver innovative menu offerings to partners that are in line with the classic Chili’s flavour whilst being localised with the local consumer in mind. Menu support activities include menu engineering, recipe adaption, product innovation and culinary training and development.

Similar opportunities with Point Franchise

While it is possible to start your own Chili’s restaurant in the UK, we appreciate that lots of aspiring burger franchise owners won’t have a net worth this high. Therefore, we’ve suggested two franchising opportunities with lower investment costs that might be more attainable.

Loaded Burgers

This UK restaurant chain boasts high-quality, meaty, flavoursome burgers with a large selection of toppings to contrast the ‘sad’ processed patties of other establishments. Founded in 2014, Loaded Burgers offers its customers affordable burgers in a cool setting.

  • Becoming a Loaded Burgers franchisee: Those looking to join the brand must have good managerial skills and a passion for the industry. To learn more and sign up, click here.
  • How much you need to invest: An investment of £150,000 will give franchisees access to the company’s franchise package.
  • What you get for your investment: All franchisees are enrolled onto a training programme and support in marketing and sales.


Our top burger franchise opportunity, Rocket’s, is a fast-casual burger brand that has been franchising for 27 years. It currently has a network of 51 restaurants and serves “hamburgers, fries, hand-dipped milkshakes and buttermilk chicken; all made fresh-to-order from open-view kitchens”.

Rocket’s has developed a business model that balances high quality with convenience. All Rocket’s burgers are made with premium Irish meat that is never frozen. What’s more, all meals are made to order and served within six minutes.

  • Becoming a Rocket's franchisee: The restaurant franchise prefers investors to have previous experience in the industry, but this isn’t essential. It’s more important that you believe in the brand and are business oriented.
  • How much you need to invest: An initial investment of €200,000 to €600,000 is required.
  • What you get for your investment: Rocket’s will be on hand to help when you find your perfect premises

Start an American restaurant franchise

There is an undeniable American influence on our food outlets in the UK, with big-name burger chains, hot dog vans at events and doughnut shops providing American-inspired foodstuffs nationwide. If you’re keen to tap into the demand with your own lucrative business, you can read more about American burger chain franchises in the UK and American restaurant franchises by clicking on the links.

>> Read more articles on the Restaurant sector

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