While the vibe is very different, there are two prominent chain restaurants under the purview of Brinker International. Chili’s, the baby back rib house, and Maggiano’s Little Italy have the same parent company, and Brinker has introduced two ghost kitchens over the past few years, both following the style of their popular franchise forebearers.
It’s Just Wings is the hospitality group’s spin on fast-casual crispy wings, while Maggiano’s Italian Classics whips up traditional fare inspired by Italy in minutes. Chili’s successor, It’s Just Wings, is still going strong, but Maggiano’s Italian Classics is on its way out, according to early 2023 sentiments from the company.
Chief financial officer Joe Taylor said on an earnings call that the closing of Maggiano’s virtual brand was “part of simplifying our restaurant operations,” while CEO Kevin Hochman said “simplification” is a key word at Brinker, and they want to concentrate on “What we call core four … burgers, fajitas, chicken crispers and margaritas.”
If you’re a fan of Maggiano’s Little Italy, don’t worry. Although their virtual spin-off seems to be no more, there are still several dozen Maggiano’s all over the United States.