In 2002, Chili's Memphis General Manager and today Operations Director Dharam Rampersad was looking for a way to connect with his local community. Aware of the life-saving research happening at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®, he and fellow managers came up with an idea. With the help of some crayons and chili pepper coloring sheets, they organized seven neighboring Chili's restaurants to raise $14,000 in support of St. Jude. Fifteen years later, that $14,000 has been multiplied 5,000 times. As of 2017, we have raised more than $70 million for St. Jude, and we were the first corporate partner to have a building on the hospital campus named in our honor. The seven-story, 340,000–square-foot facility houses 21st century imaging and treatment technology in support of St. Jude and their mission: Finding cures. Saving children®. Supported by the enduring generosity of our Guests and Team Members, we are now on our way to raising another $30 million for a school on St. Jude's campus, so children can continue their education while undergoing these life-saving treatments. We're proud to share that it all began almost 20 years ago, with the head and heart of some enterprising ChiliHead managers.
St. Jude Partnership
Partners in Care | The Chili’s and St. Jude Story
Visit your local Chili’s to feel the power of a simple instrument – a crayon. From Aug. 28 through Sept. 30, 2019, guests can color a pepper and donate $1 to make a difference in one child’s life during Chili’s annual Create-A-Pepper campaign. While it may not seem like much in the moment, all it takes is for one Guest to color one pepper and donate $1 to positively impact the lifesaving work of St. Jude. This campaign supports St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and their mission of Finding cures. Saving children®.
Women Taking The Lead: Developing the Next Generation of Chili's Leaders
Walk into any restaurant and there's a good chance the smiling face at your table, the cook working hard behind the counter and the manager "herding cats" is the face of a woman. But look at the ranks of restaurant leadership and more male faces emerge, just like in Silicon Valley, Wall Street and the United States Congress. This disparity deprives us and other restaurants of diverse viewpoints, innovative thinking and a richer, more effective work environment for men and women alike. Therefore, we launched a unique program, called Women Take The Lead, which provides customized training, mentorships and assess to outside resources such as the Women's Food Service Forum. The program teaches promising female leaders technical skills, ways to increase confidence, how to accelerate their careers and acquire practical best practices for living a "Best Life" as a mom and community leader, while still conquering the challenging demands of restaurant leadership.
Bolder Together: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
As food on our menu comes in all shapes, sizes and flavors, no two Team Members are the same, and that’s the way we like it. It’s quite simple: We believe a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace is good for Team Members, Guests, and the communities we serve. Our Team Members and Guests are diverse in gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, age, cultural background and life experience. We celebrate these differences through a culture of inclusion where individual strengths and stories are respected and valued. We’re proud to be a community-oriented meeting place and want everyone to feel welcome at Chili’s.
Commitment to Veterans: A Legacy That Endures
Our founder and namesake, Norman Brinker, learned some of his leadership skills in the early 1950's, when he proudly served in the U.S. Navy. Today, we continues to honor Norman's memory and the hundreds of other veterans who lead and work in our restaurants. We partner with Snowball Express, supporting the largest annual gathering of the children and families of America's fallen heroes. We work with local chapters of Feed Our Vets and supported Feed A Million Veterans because of our shared belief that no veteran or veteran’s family member should go hungry. Through our support of Wreaths Across America, we honor generations past and the historic sacrifice of our veterans. Finally, we are part of the Veterans Job Mission, a corporate initiative with the purpose of providing job opportunities to veterans returning from conflicts in the Middle East and other areas. Like Norman Brinker, veterans leave an indelible mark on America, and our efforts are a small way to say “thanks” not just for how they serve, but to honor and teach the inspiration of how our veterans live–in service to something larger than themselves: our country.