The late Norman Brinker's influence on the casual-dining segment dates to the mid-1960s and a pleasant experience at a midpriced Phoenix eatery. From there, Brinker focused on turning the tiny Chili's burger chain into a casual-dining giant, changing American eating habits along the way. Today, Brinker International still operates Chili's, along with On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina and Maggiano's Little Italy.

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