Chili’s is adding new technology-based guest services, including the ability to settle tabs with American Express card rewards points.
Brinker International, the chain’s parent, said Chili’s will be the first casual-dining brand to accept AmEx rewards points. A few months ago, McDonald’s became the first quick-service chain to accept the points as payment.
Customers will be able to use the points by charging their meals with an AmEx card on Chili’s tabletop Ziosk kiosks.
Chili’s is also launching a new customer-rewards program that requires members to visit a restaurant at least every four months to maintain their points.
In addition, it is rolling out a new reservation service that lets customers know where they are on the waiting list for tables and when they will likely be seated. The system is supplied by NoWait.
Chili’s plans to adopt the wait time-management system in stages. Initially, explained Brinker CEO Wyman Robert, patrons will have to put their names on a wait list at the hostess station. They’ll receive a text when the table is ready.
Starting in July, guests will be able to use the Chili’s mobile app to put their names on the waitlist and monitor how the line is moving, so they can show up at the restaurant when their table is actually ready.
“We believe this technology will not only further improve the guest and team member experience, but will also support our efforts to improve throughput by turning tables faster,” Roberts told financial analysts.