Skip to content

Chili's Reacts to Rumors That All Its Restaurants Are Shutting Down

Recent reports suggest the chain is going out of business, but the company is setting the record straight.

Is Chili's going out of business? Recent internet rumors have certainly hinted at the possibility, leaving fans befuddled. Now, the chain has spoken out to set the record straight.

The rumors appear to have originated from a story published on May 9 by a blog called Taste of Country. The headline for the story reads "Chili's Is Shutting Doors Across America in 2024," while a photo published with the post shows a Chili's storefront stamped with the text "Closing Down." The article was subsequently republished on several other media sites, such as KXRB and KIXS.

 10 Restaurant Chains Closing Locations In 2024

Chili's margaritas
Chili's Grill & Bar / Facebook

The post devastated the chain's fanbase, many of whom took to social media to lament the news.

"CHILI'S IS SHUTTING DOWN!!!!! I AM NOT OKAY!!!!!!!!!!," one customer posted on X last week.

Luckily, the rumors seem to be unfounded. A company spokesperson confirmed in a statement shared with several media outlets—including Eat This, Not That!that those articles and social media conversations "include misinformation and mischaracterizations about the state of our business."

In fact, the spokesperson said that Chili's is currently "growing in popularity throughout the country," noting that the chain's sales growth last quarter was "significantly better than restaurant industry averages."

Additionally, the statement highlighted the recent debut of its new Big Smasher Burger, which Chili's has been touting as an alternative to the McDonald's Big Mac with better value, as a major win with customers. The burger comes as a classic entree or as part of the 3 For Me deal with fries, a bottomless non-alcoholic drink, and bottomless chips and salsa for $10.99.

chili's big smasher burger and fries
Chili's Grill & Bar

"We will continue to offer the best value in the restaurant industry," the statement read.

To be clear, the chain did see some closures this year. Several local media outlets have reported on one-off Chili's closures since the start of 2024, as was noted in the Taste of Country article. Additionally, Brinker's latest quarterly earnings report shows that the chain had 1,221 restaurants open in the United States in March this year versus 1,231 at the same point in 2023. This indicates that a net total of 10 locations have closed in the past year.

 10 Restaurant Chains That Are Struggling in 2024

The chain's international store count also dropped from 371 in March 2023 to 345 in March 2024, indicating a loss of 26 locations. However, Chili's said restaurant closures don't necessarily mean the business itself is in trouble. It's not all that uncommon for major restaurant chains to close select underperforming locations to strengthen the brand as a whole.

"Being an industry leader with 1,500 restaurants, we regularly review the performance of our restaurants. At times, like all leading national restaurant chains, we make a tough decision to close one. That is not a negative indicator of our overall brand health," the Chili's spokesperson said.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe