When you think of brands born in Texas, Whataburger, H-E-B, Julio's, and 7-Eleven might immediately come to mind. However, everyone's favorite baby back rib joint, Chili's, Chili's is a Texas invention that will now be coming to your television screens on NBC. In 2016, Daniel Riley wrote a wildly interesting article, "Inside the Church of Chili's", for GQ. The longform article detailed the pure enthusiasm that the Dream Team, Chili's super-trainers that train new staff and locations, has for the restaurant. It's worth a read, especially for those who swear by Chili's skillet queso and margaritas. Chili's work culture is so inspiring and cult-like that according to Deadline, NBC is developing an untitled sitcom based on the article.
Written by Sean Gray, the former Veep co-executive producer, the comedy will detail the lives of an ensemble cast of Chili's super-trainers, the Dream Team, that travel the country opening the new locations of the popular restaurant chain that began in Texas in 1975 by Larry Lavine. The first location opened in Dallas and ever since, customers have flocked to the casual dining chain for pure comfort food in the shape of fajitas, burgers, and ribs. The mix between American and Tex-Mex flavors is evident in Chili's menu, which naturally means lots of cheese.
So what makes the Chili's and its Dream Team interesting enough to warrant a television show? Well, as Daniel Riley put it in his article,
That strange, salty, satisfactory place: It makes a claim on our culture--in cities small and large, but especially those -urbs in between--that no other American restaurant chain does. It serves as this comforting beacon of exactly-good-enough, shining softly at the edges of our highways like nightlights plugged into asphalt. It is my Chili's and it is your Chili's. But more than anyone's--and this is the point of this whole thing you're getting into--it is their Chili's. Chili's belongs to them.
We can't wait to see who will star in this comedy that celebrates one of the Texas food innovations that has truly become part of American culture.