Top 5 Reasons Not to Buy Chili’s Franchise

Even though purchasing a Chili’s franchise may appear to be a “take quick money” strategy, the harsh reality is that […]

Even though purchasing a Chili’s franchise may appear to be a “take quick money” strategy, the harsh reality is that it requires a significant amount of money, time, and hard work to maintain and prosper.


The initial investment cost to be paid to initiate the Chili’s Grill & Bar franchise is projected to be about $2.6 million to $4.0 million, along with a franchise fee of around $40,000 to $60,000.



Chili’s Bar and Grill has experienced a slight increase in sales until significantly reducing its menu and striving to improve product quality. The growth came only after the restaurant customer traffic fell by about 4.4% in Quarter 2 2018.

In the volatile foodservice industry and digitally equipped business under which chain stores could ghost out in very little time, we are pretty doubtful that Chili’s would ever regain its dominant market position. Although their menu changes may have managed to help, Chili’s has always been struggling for various reasons.

Chili’s is falling behind its competitors, according to a new report from Bloomberg Business. The brand ranks below Cracker Barrel and Buffalo Wild Wings on crucial growth, debt, employee satisfaction, and brand reputation. These issues have left many franchisees inclined to leave the system — a sign that the company needs to reposition itself to become a competitor once again.

Our comprehensive analysis of existing franchisee complaints, competitors’ proposals, and company research shows that Chili’s is not the best Investment in the franchise industry.

A Brief About Chilis- Grilling It

Chili’s is the third-largest casual dining chain in the US and has over 1,600 locations. At the same time, the restaurant remains among the most popular chain stores of its kind, like Applebee, Olive Garden.

With restaurant locations in 32 countries and all 50 states, we can’t avoid Chili’s bar, and grill customers are turning away from the chain at an increasing rate. Many franchisees are leaving because they don’t see profitability in it anymore.

Top 5 Drawbacks of Buying Chili’s Franchise

Consider the drawbacks of Chilis ownership before buying a franchise. Here we have compiled a list of the top 5 reasons to help you understand why you should not consider purchasing the Chilli franchise.

#1 Need Heavy Capital to Invest In Chili’s Franchise

The initial franchise investment is heavy with Chili. You also have to choose between Chillis Grill & Bar and Chilli’s Special Venue Restaurant.

  • The initial investment cost to be paid to initiate the Chili’s Grill & Bar franchise is projected to be about $2.6 million to $4.0 million, along with a franchise fee of around $40,000 to $60,000.
  • Besides, the initial investment cost to be paid to initiate the Chili’s Special Venue restaurant is projected to be approximately $1.4 million to $3.5 million, along with a franchise fee of around $40,000 to $60,000.

Also, there are more additional Costs to pay for franchise operating and startup costs, which is heavy on every pocket.

  • National advertising program fee- Up to four percent.
  • Regional advertising program fee- Up to 4 percent.
  • Local advertising program fee- A minimum of 2.5 percent.
  • Advertising production fee- 0.5 percent.
  • A continuing technical services fee- 2.75 percent, and
  • Continuing royalty fee- 1.25 percent of monthly gross revenue.

#2 Highly Competitive Industry to Sustain

Industry or market trends usually change every year; however, one thing that has remained static over the last decade is the decreasing prominence of delicate dining restaurant chains. It is due to increased competition and over-expansion. It was terrible for existing restaurants that now faced a far more competitive market, making it more challenging for Chili’s franchisees to turn a profit. Until the restaurants like Chilis discover a way to differentiate them in an over-saturated marketplace, they will experience reduced sales and traffic with every emerging competitor.

#3 Data Breach Allegation Hampered The Goodwill

With a data breach allegation in the past, they lost their customers’ trust. It was in 2018 when customers discovered a data breach that revealed credit and debit card information. As a Chili’s franchisee, regaining customers’ trust and creating market space can be a tedious job to start. Moreover, if Chili’s management needs to reclaim its customers’ trust, they need to be more assertive in data confidentiality, which is again a relative matter.

#4 Declining Brand Recognition for Chili’s

A few customers’ experiences at Chill’s rapidly deteriorated when they were denied service or poor services. It is debatable whether it was a discrimination case or merely a staff making a poor decision. Unfortunately, Chili’s is currently on the list of company names associated with this practice, which may be challenging to clean for new franchise owners.

#5 Deteriorating Hygiene and Good Quality

While nobody will prefer to dine-in in a dirty kitchen establishment,  On rare occasions, in 2018, a Chillis location was closed due to an unsafe and dirty kitchen. A franchise location at Winter Haven, F, was forced to close when health inspectors issued around fifteen violations after discovering live roaches in the kitchen area. The issues found included dead bugs on a store plate near a salad bin, limescale in a dishwasher, leaking rainwater in ceiling tiles, food debris accumulation in microwaves, etc. It deteriorated the brand position drastically.

When to Consider Buying Chili’s Franchise?

For new franchisors, entering the highly competitive hospitality industry can be both exciting and intimidating. Knowing the rewards, benefits, and potential failures of the franchisor will assist potential buyers in determining whether or not buying a restaurant franchise is the correct move for them. Restaurant franchises are still among the leading franchise opportunities on the market today, making them excellent business ventures to capitalize on their prominence and profit-generating potential.

Help To Have Immediate Market Presence

Buying a Chili’s franchise will help you to achieve immediate market presence and brand recognition. Because of this familiarity and reputation, the franchisee can take over immediately without starting from the initial step to acquire a clientele.

Get Skilled With Extensive Training Process

Before opening the restaurants, franchisees have to undergo a rigorous training program, enabling the new owner to understand every critical step that would contribute to successful biz, which an independent business owner is unlikely to receive.

Because franchising a restaurant isn’t for everyone, some of the benefits listed in the guide above may not endear to everyone’s tastes.


When you plan to buy the Chilis franchise, you must look through the drawbacks before stepping forward. The brand recognition has rapidly deteriorated in the past few years due to its poor customer services, hygiene issues, and many more listed above.

Also, apart from initial operation and startup costs, it requires marketing and advertising support, operating systems, and ongoing royalty fees for using the brand name. Hence, owning a Chilli’s franchise and your association with it would be a deterrent due to the franchise’s reputation, affecting your business detrimentally.