Chili's Has Said Goodbye To Its Original Chicken Crispers

Fans of Chili's Original Chicken Crispers were busy enjoying their tempura-battered not-that-crispy version of chicken tenders (via Twitter), when a customer tweeted a photo of their order, along with the caption, "btw...this isn't original chicken crispers." That was back in June 2021. The next month, another and then another reported the same thing happened to them.

In each case, Chili's responded with an apology, and everything seemingly went back to normal – except that by August 2022, Chili's had taken to referring to its Original Chicken Crispers – in the past tense. In response to another customer whose craving for the Original had gone unsatisfied, Chili's reply was simply: "We're sure sorry you miss our original chicken crispers," followed by information on how to formally share feedback with the company (via Twitter). Then, on October 25, Chili's left no more room for doubt. "Like this tweet if you're going to miss original chicken crispers," Chili's said in a post, to which more than 30,000 Twitter users did just that.

And so it was that with a minimum of fanfare and nary a timely press release, Chili's revealed that its Original Chicken Crispers were, officially, history. The protests were vocal. As recently as today, Chili's is still fielding the replies of gutted fans of the Original Chicken Crispers who are only just now finding out that Chili's has said goodbye to their personal favorite (via Restaurant Business Online). Indeed, that says something, albeit not necessarily what you might think.

Did too few people love the Original Chicken Crispers?

On December 9, Restaurant Business Online confirmed that Chili's had discontinued its Original Chicken Crispers back in October. The decision reflects Chili's very on-trend mission to simplify its menu, per Today. Many fans have responded via Twitter with messages ranging from stoic acceptance to disgruntled threats of never returning to Chili's. There's even a petition to bring back the Original. So far, around 580 have signed.

"We still have chicken crispers (just not the original)," Chili's assured its fans in a December 9 Twitter post. Indeed, the Crispy and the Honey Chipotle varieties remain on the menu, which begs the question: If the Original were so beloved, why the goodbye? A review of the relevant Twitter timeline suggests an answer.

Perhaps the Original Chicken Crispers are not as near and dear to nearly as many as all the noise on social media would tend to suggest. Why else would it be that it's only in recent weeks that fans have taken to tweeting their disappointment about the demise of the OG? It's almost as if they're just discovering now that their "favorite" has been discontinued – when, in fact, the Original has been gone since at least as far back as August (via Twitter). Indeed, Dallas News reports that, in the end, fewer than 20% of chicken crispers sold were the Original variety. A company spokesperson confirmed the same, via Restaurant Business Online.