Fresh Innovation at Chili’s

The Challenge:

Chili’s discovered a trend emerging among younger customers. Millennials were not embracing the Chili’s brand and were instead flocking to quick-serve restaurants that served fresher tasting food and healthy menu options. Chili’s turned to ProdigyWorks to help refresh their menu and become more relevant with millennials without alienating baby boomers, the restaurant’s core customer base.

The Approach:

We selected a diverse combination of Prodigy Panelists, including creative, high-IQ millennial foodies, bloggers, a former Hispanic food marketer, Top Chef and Chopped contestants, locavores, cookbook collectors, food entrepreneurs, a French chef and more.

After a deep brand immersion, our panelists scouted food trends, visited unique independent local restaurants and food trucks, read food blogs and kept a foodie’s eye on relevant TV shows and social media streams.

Chilis-Chipotle-Chicken-Fresh-Mex-BowlOur Prodigy Panelists brainstormed online for two weeks against a well-defined challenge. They submitted descriptive written ideas and a gallery of engaging images. Active online collaboration and focus groups with leading participants helped the team improve concepts and develop promising new ideas.

The Results:

Through our proprietary ideation process, the ProdigyWorks panel quickly created more than 450 new ideas and concepts for fresh burgers, entrée salads and signature fresh Mex dishes. After evaluation, testing and development, five of our fresh Mex recommendations were adopted for the Chili’s menu. Now, one of every four Chili’s guests orders a fresh Mex entrée.

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